Climbing is a fun, intriguing form of weight lifting, with its gymnastics and puzzle-solving. Austin has easy, moderate and tough routes, so everyone can participate.
Friendly locals and convenient crags make it easy to learn the sport. Get my guidebook (here) to understand the local climbing scene, read amusing tales, and learn safety issues with some of the local routes.
Here are five ways to learn this fantastic sport in Austin:
1. Guiding Services: Hire a certified professional guiding service to teach you the sport at local crags:
Austin Rock Gym (Click here.)
Lost Soles (based in Houston. Click here.)
Rock-About (based in Austin. Click here.)
Mountain Madness (based in Austin. Click here.)
2. Climbing Gyms: Rock climbing gyms are a fun, convenient way to climb. Build strength, learn cool techniques for climbing hard routes, and meet partners for outdoor climbing. Most gyms offer instruction in the gym and outdoors. (Austin Rock Gym does.)
3. Books: No one learns outdoor climbing safely from a book, but few people can afford the time and money to immerse themselves in repetitive, habit-forming instruction. Supplement your instruction by reading and re-reading the following book, available at Amazon:
Use your instruction and readings to assess whether the friends you meet are safe climbers. While accidents are infrequent, it's your responsibility to learn and to hold your partners to good climbing practices.
4. Total Strangers: If your time in classes and the gym fails to produce experienced outdoor climbing friends, grab your copy of my guidebook and head to Seismic Wall, Deadcats, Middle Earth Wall, or Prototype Wall. Watch the climbers to see if they are using good practices, then ask to jump on their "topropes" (the safest method of climbing).
5. On-Line Forums: Several on-line forums help climbers coordinate plans outside, and sometimes at the gym. New climbers have pretty good luck asking to tag along. See the guidebook's introduction for a list of on-line forums.
Your first day of climbing is likely the start of an amazing, life-changing adventure! Stay safe and enjoy it.