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What Should I Consider When Choosing Rock Climbing Clubs?

Some rock climbing clubs are for experienced climbers, and will not allow novices to join.
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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2014
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Choosing a rock climbing club that suits your needs and requirements is very important. You may want to take into account when the club meets, the skill level of the members, and the club’s preferred setting for climbing. The number of members and the overall attitude of the club are also significant.

One fundamental choice is whether you want to take part in indoor or outdoor rock climbing. Outdoor rock climbing takes place on natural stone formations. Indoor rock climbing, also called indoor wall climbing, takes places at fitness centers and other facilities. The sport does not utilize actual rocks but rather simulated rock-like surfaces covering wood and metal frames. Indoor climbing may be safer than its outdoor counterpart because of increased safety precautions and a controlled environment.

Skill level requirements are very important for many groups. Some rock climbing clubs are for experienced climbers and will not allow amateurs or novices to join. Other rock climbing groups are only for beginners and provide rock climbing training. Many groups are for individuals of all skill levels and offer opportunities for everyone.

The number of members in rock climbing clubs may be a significant consideration. If you are an inexperienced climber, a club with fewer members may provide an opportunity to receive more personalized rock climbing instruction. More experienced climbers may prefer to join bigger rock climbing clubs. If you have an interest in competitive climbing, a larger membership may provide you with a greater challenge.

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The attitude of the group you wish to join could be informal or formal. If your primary concern is to have fun, an informal club may be the best option. A climbing association with a casual atmosphere may be suitable for hobbyists. Individuals with a serious attitude towards climbing may want to join a club with likeminded members, and competitive climbers may choose to enter into a club that has stricter rules and regulations.

Some rock climbing clubs require you to pay a membership fee prior to joining, while other clubs require that members pay monthly or annual dues. Consider how much you are willing to pay, and what features you want before affiliating yourself with a particular group. Some rock climbing groups offer fitness centers and wall climbing access as a membership perk. There are some rock climbing clubs which provide necessary supplies, whereas others require you to provide your own rock climbing gear.

It is wise to make sure that the rock climbing club takes the proper safety precautions. Some rock climbing clubs require you to sign a waiver that frees the club from legal liability when accidents occur. If you can find testimonials from current or former members, it may aid in your decision-making process.

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