Indoor rock climbing is scary at first, but the more you do it the less scary it is.
If you’re about to go climbing for the first time or if you’re new to the sport, you’ve probably already thought about the topic of fear.
Every climber deals with fear in the sport at some time. Whether that’s a fear of falling, heights, or failing to succeed at a climb. But a great part of the sport is that every climber is willing to lend moral support to anyone else. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips from your friends or anyone at the gym. Over time, many climbers get used to the heights and grow to love rock climbing.
Let’s check out a few tips to help you deal with any fears you have while climbing.
How Do I Stop Being Scared of Rock Climbing?
The best way to stop being scared of rock climbing is to go and do it.
I know, it’s tough to deal with one of your fears by going and participating in it. But that really is the best way to get over your fear. Climbing with certified instructors is a fantastic introduction to the sport because they have taught beginners before. You will be in good hands with a certified instructor.
Many beginner climbers are also afraid of the gear that’s used for rock climbing. That’s totally understandable. And in fact, rock climbers should always be inspecting the gear they use before they trust their lives to it. Climbing gyms keep track of the equipment used by guests and they have regular inspections of their equipment to make sure they are all up to good standards.
How Do You Cope With Fear?
Most climbers would agree that at certain points in their climbing career, they have to deal and overcome fear.
Fear in cock climbing can come in a variety of ways: there’s the fear of heights, or being scared of falling, or just a general fear or snakes and critters when climbing outdoors. We want to enjoy rock climbing and not spend all of our time being afraid of what could happen.
One of the best ways to deal with fear is to start climbing in a controlled environment like at a climbing gym. You can top rope climb with an instructor and get used to the new sensations of climbing up a wall and being lowered back down.
What Is the Fear of Rock Climbing Called?
Climacophobia is the clinical term for the fear of rock climbing.
There are other phobias that are similar to the fear of climbing. Bathmophobia is the fear of stairs or inclines. And acrophobia is the fear of heights. If you’re feeling scared of indoor rock climbing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a phobia.
Climbing can be an exhilarating sport where you’re getting high off the ground. It’s perfectly normal to have your heart race increase and to feel nervous before climbing. If you talk to other climbers, there’s a good chance that they will have the same exact nerves that you feel.
I remember the first time I started climbing, I wasn’t able to get past 20 feet without my knees shaking uncontrollably. It took me a long time to get used to the heights, but I kept with it and eventually I was able to go climbing and make it to the top!
Is Indoor Bouldering Scary
Indoor bouldering can be scary if you don’t practice falling beforehand.
A lot of beginners tend to try bouldering before rope climbing because the bouldering walls aren’t as tall and it requires less equipment. But there’s more risk than you might think.
When you are bouldering, every time you fall you’re going to land on the ground since you don’t have a rope to catch you. It’s critical that you spend time beforehand learning how to fall properly to prevent a serious injury.
Many climbing gyms will require you to take a quick bouldering seminar before you start climbing at the gym. This is a great intro, and refresher for experienced climbers, where you learn the ins and outs of bouldering and most importantly, how to fall while bouldering. If your gym doesn’t offer this, sign up for their intro to bouldering class before you boulder for the first time.
But once you get the fundamentals of bouldering down. It is a lot of fun and a great workout. Always be aware of your surroundings and what the fall zone looks like if you were to fall. Have plenty of crash pads on the ground to protect any obstacles that may injure you in the event of a fall.
How to Deal With My Fear Of Indoor Climbing Gym Heights
Here are a few tips to deal with your fear of heights the next time you are indoor rock climbing:
- Double and triple check your safety equipment before you start climbing. Make sure the equipment is in good shape and that your knots and harness are correct. This will help give you some peace of mind that your equipment will work as intended.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth while you’re climbing.
- Take a rest. One trick I like to teach to new climbers is to pay attention to when they start to get nervous. When you feel the nerves coming in and you start getting scared, ask for your belayer to take so you can sit on the rope and collect your thoughts. Take some deep breaths and try to relax. Then when you’re ready, you can continue climbing.
Can I Climb With A Fear Of Heights
Yes! You can go rock climbing even if you have a fear of heights.
It will take some time for you to get used to climbing and the sensation of heights, but I promise you that you can still enjoy rock climbing even if you’re afraid of heights. If you talk to other climbers, I guarantee that you will find someone else who is in the same boat as you.
Nervous for Indoor Rock Climbing
Are you nervous for your first time going indoor climbing? Don’t worry because that’s totally normal. When I first started climbing, I was always nervous to climb top rope and to get high off the ground. But I stuck with it and I kept practicing my climbing skills so I could keep climbing hard in the gym and eventually climb outdoors.
If you’re nervous before going climbing, make a list about what you’re nervous about. Some climbers are nervous about belaying their friends. If that’s the case for you, take a class, get familiar with your belay device and become totally proficient with it. Identify your concerns and then take steps to correct them.
A lot of people are also nervous about using the auto belay at the gym. Many accidents on the auto belay occur because climbers forget to clip into the device before climbing. Follow the safety precautions and always double and triple check your equipment before climbing.
Is Indoor Climbing Scarier Than Outdoor Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is not usually scarier than outdoor climbing. When you’re on a climb at the indoor gym there’s a lot less variables to account for. The great thing about climbing indoors is that you can progress at your own pace, focus on your skills and build confidence in your climbing ability and technical skills.
But funny enough, there are a few indoor climbs that freak me out more than some outdoor climbs. It all depends on the climb. Some days are off days and that’s okay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Indoor rock climbing eliminates a lot of the risk associated with outdoor climbing. Climb with a certified instructor at your rock gym and you will have a good time!
Practice falling and take deep breaths while you climb. The more you climb the more comfortable you’ll feel with the sport.
Having upper body strength is helpful for climbing, but unlike other sports, climbing relies on technique more than you might think.
All climbers, even a professional climber, will feel fear at some point when they’re on the wall, take your time and keep with it and you will learn to deal with your fear.