The primary purpose of this blog is to provide visitors and new citizens of Calgary, Alberta with information and news about the city that they're staying in. This week I'm covering one of the most overlooked rookie-friendly sports you can do in Calgary, Rock Climbing.
Isn't Rock Climbing Dangerous?
At a basic, introductory level, no. Not at all. however, there are many different aspects of climbing, and some are definitely more dangerous than others. On one end of the spectrum, there's indoor sport climbing. The routes are all protected, the local climbing gyms are supervised by well-trained staff, who are more than happy to supervise and instruct newcomers, and safety standards are rigidly enforced. Climbing gyms, if you obey the rules and listen to the staff, are %100 safe. On the other end of the spectrum there's free soloing, which is absolutely %100 pure danger, and is generally not advisable to anyone who can't consistently defy gravity.
Aren't all those ropes and knots really complicated?
They're not. In basic, indoor climbing you really only need to know how to tie one knot. That knot is the figure-eight follow-through, and it takes about five minutes to master. There's also only two pieces of equipment you have to know your way around, your harness, and your belay device. While there are a variety of designs of both, they are all very simple to operate.
Isn't that equipment expensive?
Sure, the high end stuff is pretty pricey. Hoevever, an average starter's kit will run you about $200. So really, compared to most other sports, climbing is actually very cheap to get into. Also, equipment rentals only put you out about $15 each time you climb, so it's easy to dip your toe in to see if you like it.
Where's a good place to learn how to climb in Calgary?
Every climbing gym in Calgary runs introductory programs, the cost of which is quite reasonable. And as a matter of fact, Calgary is a great city in which to learn how to Climb. Being on the front doorstep of the Canadian Rockies, Calgary has a long reputation for producing fantastic climbers. An hour's drive to the west or the south will bring you to some of the best outdoor Rock Climbing areas in the world. This climate of history and accessibility has created a local culture that favours sharing knowledge and valuing hands-on experience. Just head to a local climbing gym and you'll see what I mean. Below is a comprehensive list of all the climbing gyms in Calgary. Also, if you decide to head out into the mountains to go for some Sport Climbing, the book you'll want to take with you is the most recent edition of Sport Climbs In The Canadian Rockies, which is available for purchase at most climbing gyms and bookstores.
Jonathan Meier is the Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for O Hotel Suites, the premiere property manager for short term rentals and executive suites in Calgary, Alberta. When he's not at the Hotel dealing with the daily dose of craziness he's usually out in the mountains near his hometown of Canmore where he can be seen climbing, skiing, or doing anything at all that doesn't involve computers.