Nearby Squamish is world-famous for rock climbing. For decades, professional climbers from around the world have headed there to scale the granite walls. These days, climbing culture has spread beyond Squamish. You can climb both indoors and outdoors all over greater Vancouver. And while it might seem intimidating, here are four different beginner-friendly ways to get into rock climbing.
Rock climbing is a dangerous sport. But it can be quite safe if you use climbing gear properly. Go with a guide or take a rock climbing course to make sure you stay safe.
Check Out a Rock Climbing Gym
Did you know that the Greater Vancouver area has over a dozen indoor rock climbing gyms? With gyms from Squamish to the Fraser Valley, there’s bound to be one nearby. Most gyms have beginner climbing classes to show you the ropes… literally. And when you want to graduate from indoor climbing to outdoor climbing, they’re got courses for that too.
Go Outdoor Climbing with a Guide
You’ve probably heard of rock climbers scaling Squamish’s most famous rock feature, the Stawamus Chief. But did you know that countless other granite bluffs are popular with climbers too? They are hidden away in mazes of trails all over the Sea to Sky corridor. If you’re new to the area, or just new to rock climbing, hire a guide like Mountain Skills Academy to help you explore or teach you the basics of climbing outside.
Clip-in to a Via Ferrata
Have you heard of via ferrata? In Italian, it means “iron path”. Via ferrata routes use steel cables, ladders and bridges bolted to the rock every few meters. You clip your harness to the cables as you climb instead of using a rope. It’s a popular way of exploring the mountains in Europe, and it’s starting to catch on near Vancouver too. Head to the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish or Whistler Peak to try it out.
Go Bouldering in Riley Park
Rock climbing doesn’t always involve ropes. In the last few years, bouldering has become increasingly popular. In this sport, climbers climb up or traverse across large boulders. They never get too far off the ground, so they don’t need a rope, although they may use mats to cushion their falls. And in Vancouver, you can try out this sport for FREE! Head to the large artificial boulder in Riley Park, across the street from Nat Bailey Stadium. Bring your own rock climbing shoes and chalk if you have them. And if you don’t, give it a go in your sneakers anyway. It’s harder than it looks!
Source: Inside Vancouver