1. Great Rocks are Found in Incredible Places
Bucket lists have never been my thing, but that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t have a few places around the world stored deep in my memory. Something that always impacts my choices is never wanting to go somewhere without a proper reason. To seek out new rock and achieve exciting goals on them is more than enough to justify a trip out. We’re lucky that great rocks tend to be found in some of the most gorgeous places on Earth.
2. Climbing Outside Teaches You New Skills
There is only so much plastic holds can teach. Your technical abilities will surge with more time spent on real rock. No matter how much time you have spent honing your jamming skills, your first visit to a granite splitter crack will make all of that practice finally stick. If you’ve been trying to give your crimp-loving fingers a break and grow your sloper game, nothing can replace an introduction to some ego-smashing sandstone. There are so many types of rock and with them come just as many styles and techniques to send their routes.
3. Climbing Trips Keep Inspiration Levels High
Making your way out to real rock will work with you mentally in a few different ways. For inspiration, you’ll see positives from travel both during your trip and back home. Out at the crag, excitement could be from testing out the skills you’ve been practising, the view out from the anchors in a beautiful spot, or just the camaraderie forming around the campsite. When you’re back home, memories of past trips or plans for future ones are going to keep you motivated and working hard.
4. The Health Benefits Are Far Beyond Just Physical
No matter what your everyday job and life looks like, taking time out for a proper break is brilliant for your quality of life. Even as a freelancer who is never near a normal office situation, this holds true for me. It is so powerful when I tell myself that a trip is to turn my brain off to all of the to-do lists and productivity that are usually hanging around in my headspace. You will never be turning your brain off completely, as all exciting sends involve lots of intentional head space. The switch from your normal, everyday thoughts to those of testing yourself on a hard climb benefits you in innumerable ways.
5. Keep Growing Your Climbing Connections
After a few years as a climber, it is rare for me to show up to an area and not know anyone from somewhere else. Meals made huddled around community stoves and beers passed around chilly campfires connect you with some of the best humans - and belay partners - around. The more you get out to new places, the larger this group of yours will be. Friends from all over the place is always a good thing.
Name: A. Carter Clark