Experience the challenge of rock climbing and bouldering in the Vail Valley. Whether you are searching for the rewarding views offered by outdoor climbing or the convenience of indoor rock-climbing gyms, you'll discover that Vail is perfect for both. There are many challenging and exciting climbing spots such as Camp Hale, Wolcott, and the Homestake area. The Vail Valley offers spectacular climbing for all skill levels, but remember that if you are a novice, never climb alone. Take advantage of a local, professional climbing guide to insure that you have fun while also being safe and comfortable. Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up or across natural rock formations or man-made rock walls with the goal of reaching the summit or the endpoint of a pre-defined route. Rock climbing is similar to scrambling (another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations), but climbing is generally differentiated by its need for the use of the climber's hands to hold his or her own weight and not just provide balance.
Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with his or her mental control and problem solving skills. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. The wide variety of rock formations around the world has led the sport to separate into several different styles and sub-disciplines. The natural variance in topography around the Vail Valley allows this region to be home to a variety of quality climbing venues. In addition to those found in nature, several top-notch climbing walls can be found in the Valley's gyms and recreation centers.
Safety is of essence in climbing. But excellent local rock climbing vendors ensure that even first-time climbers can learn to summit a challenging route. This is not an activity to set out and try for yourself. Sign up for a trip, class or workshop with one of the local vendors, who will ensure proper belaying technique and safety while you learn the ropes.
Most vendors will have all the equipment you need, from harnesses to ropes to climbing chalk but call ahead to be sure. Climbing shoes are a specialty, so depending on the level of your excursion, you may want to invest in a pair before your trip so you can break them in. This is a strenuous activity anyone with arm or shoulder injury, or those who are faint at heart at great heights, should consider another adventure.
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