Beginners guide to climbing
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If you have never been climbing before there a few handy things to know before you go. Taking a taster session at a climbing centre is the best way to start really. This will show you how to put on the harness, attach your self to the rope correctly with the use of figure of eight knot, the basics on how to climb on the wall and how to belay correctly. (Belay: the person at the bottom controlling the climbers rope) It also pays to have a few further lessons to get confident and then the centre will asses you on your skills and once they give you the thumbs up to can join the club and climb on your own. Well you need someone to belay but you get the point! It's a great sport to get into and you will soon be eyeing up every gorge, rock and potential outdoors training site.
So you get the thumbs up by the centre and you are wasting valuable money on having to hire your gear every time you go. So what to buy. Firstly you will need a harness which is worth getting advice about in your local climbing/outdoors shop. You don't want to buy a cheap and nasty harness which is god knows how many years old and a faded pinky colour, remember your life might depend on you harness! You will probably be looking at about £40-65 for a good harness. Next are the climbing shoes which really you need to go to a shop and try on to make sure they fit perfectly because climbing puts alot of strain on you feet and the slightest niggle will be amplified when climbing. You can expect to pay around £50-70 for a decent pair.
A belay device and screwgate karabiner can be bought as a set in some places and will be a little cheaper this way but you can expect to pay around £20-30 for a set. As for clothing well that's up to you but we would suggest shorts/knee length combats and a tee shirt. Remember you get what you pay for and your life depends on it. Don't buy crap!
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