10 Tips for Rock-Climbing Beginners

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1. Buy your own harness and shoes. You can always hook up with other people who have gear, but the most important aspect of rock climbing is a good harness and shoes.

2. Check out a rock gym in your area. Most gyms have classes that will help you learn the sport before you go outside.

3. Much of Alaska’s rock is undiscovered so be ready to explore and clean. A lot of rocks are dirty and moss-up every year. So to climb in Alaska, you have to be ready to get a little dirty.

4. Climbing in Alaska is very adventurous. It’s easy to get in over your head. Make sure you have the proper equipment and be wary of older equipment already in place.

5. Try to find locals who are into climbing in Alaska. Many areas are unknown and can be found only with help from others.

6. If you’re a traveler, consider getting a rental car or some sort of transportation. Most climbing areas can’t be reached by public transportation.

7. Wear the proper clothing. Some areas may be easy to get to, but they are still alpine environments. Be prepared for any kind of weather.

8. Be ready for emergencies. There are lots of loose rocks and other hazards and many areas won’t have cell phone reception. Get an emergency GPS beacon or know how far you need to go to find a signal and call out.

9. Remember that Alaska’s animals are large and numerous. Be careful with your belongings, especially food around the crags and be wary of bears.

10. Many local guidebooks can be hard to find. Try looking in local outdoor shops and online for extra information.

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