4 Smart Tips to Help You Take Your Gym Climbing Outdoors

You’re flying through the grades at your local climbing gym and inevitably asking yourself…what’s next?

So you’ve officially dropped in. You have your shoes, harness, belay device, and cool personalized chalk bag. You’ve spent the last few months building up finger strength, sanding down calluses (and inevitably tearing them off), mastering your knots and belay technique…so now what?

If you’re anything like me, the gym is only a means to an end, and that end is standing on top of an actual rock somewhere out in actual nature with an actual view. You didn’t get into climbing to spend the rest of your life pulling on plastic!

Making the transition from gym climbing to outdoor climbing can be intimidating. It’s one thing to walk up to a color-coded wall with a prefixed rope, another thing entirely to walk up to a blank rock and know what to do next. These few tips will give you the catalyst you need to make the jump!

1. Familiarize Yourself!

There are countless videos on the internet explaining how to set up a top-rope system outdoors. Watch one of these. Watch all of these. Even if you don’t remember every detail, you’ll start to get an idea of the main concepts of anchor building. Having a base-level familiarity will give you a head start when you learn how to build these systems outdoors. Make sure you have your basic climbing gear ready before you head out!

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