Getting into climbing doesn’t have to be intense or intimidating. You don't have to be strong, or have special abilities to climb. According to hobby-climber and outdoor-influencer, Andrea Holm from Sweden, absolutely everyone can enjoy the sport. We've talked to the climbing enthusiast for tips and inspiration to get started.
I climbed with some family friends for the first time when I was 6 years old. It suited me perfectly. As a child, I loved climbing trees and just about anything else I could physically climb. When I turned 20 , I really got into the sport, and learned it properly when some friends took me climbing. Since then, I've been completely hooked and I don't think I'm ever going to stop. What's so nice about climbing is that age doesn't matter. Whether you're six or sixty, you can have just as much fun!
First of all, I think it's really fun! Secondly, it challenges me both mentally and physically. It is a very rewarding sport; you become strong and agile, while stimulating your creativity by constantly having to think up good solutions for how to handle the wall in front of you. I find that incredibly fun and challenging. I also love that you can climb inside and outside. It’s convenient especially if you live in a climate like Norway or Sweden. On rainy days and in the winter months, you can keep climbing – just take it inside!
Absolutely, everyone can start climbing! It doesn't matter if you're short, tall, strong or weak. That's what's so much fun. There are climbing walls adapted to all levels. For example, walls with an overhang for the more experienced, and walls with more balanced routes for beginners. You’ll find quickly that you don't have to climb for a long time before you get smoother, more solution-oriented, and stronger!
There are many ways to get started. If you have friends who do it, join them and learn. If you don't know anyone, head to a climbing center and take an intro course to learn the basics. In my experience, the climbing environment is so welcoming, and everyone is very helpful. It leaves you with nothing to fear as a beginner! I myself have been helped several times by strangers both outside and at the climbing center. Whether you start inside or outside, doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you learn everything you need to know about the safety from someone with good experience before you get started. Safety is key so that you don't hurt yourself or others.
For beginners climbing inside, getting shoes and chalk is enough. Ropes hang on all the walls, so you don't have to have your own. The good thing about starting at a climbing center or gym is you can borrow or rent all the equipment right there. If you want to gradually advance and try rope climbing outside, you will need climbing shoes, a harness, a chalk bag, chalk, screw-lock carabiners, and a belay device. You could also consider bouldering outside instead, which would require shoes, chalk and a mat.
My best tip for beginners is to learn safety and the right technique from the beginning. It's really worth taking a course, so you can learn everything the safe way. Then, just get out and have fun!
Hope to see you on the mountain 😊
Best climbing greetings, Andrea