One of the most popular activities for adventure tourists is rock climbing. There are many different types of rock climbing, and it has been separated into several different sub-disciplines and different styles. The two main types are indoor and outdoor, and for adventure tourists, it’s all about the outdoor rock climbing. Some people even enter competitions that have the objectives of attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route or completing the route in the quickest possible time.
Pros and Cons
There are many advantages to rock climbing. For starters, it keeps you in fantastic shape.
Climbing builds a very strong core and develops terrific abdominal and back muscles.
It also develops mental toughness. Rock climbing requires constant planning and problem solving, and entails controlling your nerves as you hang off the edge of a cliff hundreds of feet above ground. Researchers have found that rock climbing encourages positive thinking, improve self-confidence and reduce stress. There are some downsides, the most obvious of which is the risk factor. Climbing a cliff face hundreds of feet above ground entails some danger, and things can always go wrong. The gear is expensive, and it is very easy to get injured. Climber’s finger is a common tendon injury caused by trying to support your body weight with only a few fingers.
One of the most popular places in North America for rock climbing is the Red River Gorge. Located in Kentucky, the gorge features an intricate canyon system with an abundance of natural bridges, waterfalls, rock shelters, and sandstone cliffs. The numerous sandstone and cliff-lines have helped this area become one of the most popular rock climbing destinations. Acadia National Park in Maine is another popular destination. This area provides a beautiful view of the northern Atlantic Ocean and is home to an impressive formation of pink granite.
The Road Less Travelled
Some people may be surprised to learn that the Nevada desert has some of the best rock climbing in the world. The Red Rock Canyon, located just outside Las Vegas, showcases a set sandstone walls and peaks, and large red rock formations called the Keystone Thrust. Some of these walls are up to 3,000 feet high, which make them an extremely popular rock climbing destination. Outside of North America, some other excellent but relatively unknown places for rock climbing include Kullen in Sweden, Flatanger in Norway, and Kangaroo Point in Australia.
Costs and Savings
Unlike some other extreme sports typically involved with adventure tourism, rock climbing is usually free, although some locations may charge day rates due to an entrance fee for the national park (and not for the sport of climbing). Rock climbing gear, however, can be quite costly depending on the quality and brand. Shoes and helmets generally cost between $50 and $100, while ropes can cost up to $350. In order to ensure the proper safety measures, however, it is advisable to buy the best equipment available, especially if climbing some of the more difficult cliffs.