We know the feeling. You walk into the climbing gym and see a shirtless and sinewy strong man climbing upside down, or an athletic she-beast floating effortlessly up the wall. They say things like, ‘I’m plus 2, so was able to just skip sloper and go straight to the crimp.’ or ‘Was that an on-sight flash? Or have you been working that rig?’ And they just look so cool.
Sometimes it’s easy to feel intimidated in any new environment. But here’s the secret; everyone was new at some point. You too can be a climber, it just takes time.
Rock climbing is a fantastic way to get a workout and be active. But like any sport, climbing has its own language, culture, ethics, and community. If you’re going to climb at a Touchstone Climbing Gym, we encourage you to jump right in and learn all of it! While our daily Intro to Climbing or Intro to Bouldering classes are the perfect way to get on the wall, in 2016 we’re offering up something a little different.
Introducing; Beyond Belay! This class is designed to get new climbers up to speed on climbing techniques that will help them develop and improve, along with tips on proper gym and outdoor etiquette. This four-session class introduces footwork, body positioning, mental strategies for efficient climbing, and more. You’ll gain an excitement for climbing as a physical challenge and a positive social activity under the guidance of one of our awesome instructors.
“We developed this class for new climbers who want a more comprehensive introduction to climbing,” said Touchstone Programs Director Ryan Moon. “Historically, mentorship is an integral part of rock climbing, and this class is designed to emulate that experience for new climbers. You’ll spend the month with the same group of climbers, so it’s great to see your fellow classmates improve together.”
After introductions and a warm up, the instructor will focus on basic technique, terminology, and etiquette. Good gym etiquette should be high on your list of what you’re looking for in a mate. It’s the difference between a n00b and a beginner. The difference between clueless and conscientious. And the best part is, etiquette is easy to learn. You’ll leave day 1 with the tools and confidence to keep coming back for more.
“The first class of Beyond Belay was fantastic,” said participant Elayne Chou. “I learned two techniques and got to practice them. They make a huge difference in my climbing! I’m excited for the next three classes. This is the perfect class for where I am in my learning.”
Footwork. Say it with us; FOOT WORK. When you are climbing, using your lower body effectively is a game changer, and you’ll spend this class learning different ways to use your gams.
By the third week, you’ll be a connoisseur of climbing terminology and movement. Now it’s time to learn some more intermediate skills. We’ll focus on structuring your climbing session along with techniques like dynamic movement and momentum exercises.
In the last session, we focus on your brain bucket. Sure, climbing is physical. But your success is hugely dependent on your mental game. We’ll explore everything from managing fear to reading a route and planning rests.
Beyond Belay is offered at the following locations in January, and we’re taking sign ups now! Register online to save your spot today!
- Berkeley Ironworks
- Mission Cliffs
- The Studio
- Sacramento Pipeworks
- MetalMark Climbing
- Diablo Rock Gym
- Great Western Power Company
We recommend that you already know how to belay before taking the class. If you don’t have a permanent belay card, be sure to practice belaying and test for a belay card the day of the class. If you feel like you need a refresher, you can take our Intro to Climbing Class. This daily climbing class is free to members and $30 for non-members.
If you have questions about our climbing clinics, email [email protected]