Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Life at the Edge

It's unbelievable, how this adventure sport turned into a way of life for many outdoor enthusiasts and more often than not this is difficult to comprehend if you're not part of the scene.

Rock climbing is red-hot! An adventure sport considered to be among the fastest growing outdoor activities in North America, a sport that can turn into passion in no time. The physical and mental challenge is one thing that attracts climbers. Others appreciate the chance to explore as well as the creativity of every move they make. They experience adventure and freedom while relaxing at the same time. Rock climbing is searching for and overcoming of vertical challenges. There's no doubt: To be at the edge is what makes rock climbing magic.

Go for it all year long

Rock climbing is the hardest form of hiking. It can be practiced all year round. During the summer month it is usually not difficult to locate rock climbing hot spots. Even if you do not live in the mountains, chances are you'll find some boulders or rock formations to practice rock climbing techniques and hone your skills. During the winter, or when the weather is bad, indoor rock climbing gyms with artificial rock walls are an excellent alternative. And if you love winter and the cold, you may want to look into ice climbing.

Climb with the right partners

It's out of question, rock climbing has its potential dangers. That's why it's crucial to prepare yourself for the adventure. The best training is - of course - to go and climb a mountain. If you know someone with experience who will guide you and is willing to share his/her knowledge, consider yourself lucky.

What if you don't have any such contacts? Don't worry! Search the Internet for a local chapter of an Alpine Club or similar organization. In no time you'll get to know the right folks and find potential climbing partners. Most clubs offer courses for a small fee and will teach you necessary basics.

Safer than playing soccer

A study published not too long ago in "Wilderness and Environmental Medicine" magazine showed that indoor rock climbing is safer than playing soccer. Researchers analyzed the injury risk during the 2005 Rock Climbing World Championships in Munich, Germany. Rock climbers from 55 countries participated in 3 disciplines and totalled 520 days of rock climbing.

The study found that only 3.1 injuries occurred for every 1,000 hours of rock climbing. As a comparison, male senior national soccer players typically face an injury rate of 30.3 (!) per 1,000 hours of playing soccer.

Have you heard? Climbers use chalk bags for the same reasons as gymnasts do: to absorb perspiration and get a better grip.

The definitive bodily outdoor action

Albeit rock climbing is known to be an extreme sports activity, it is not quite as dangerous as you might think, given you practice it in the approved manner. It is an outstanding workout for the whole body. You'll build strength and increase your flexibility. You will not only be challenged physically but mentally as well. On top rock climbing is an excellent team building activity. Let me tell you, rock climbing is the perfect physical adventure sport.

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