A dangerous sport which has, in some cases, proven fatal. This is true. Climbing is risky, but beginners ought to go with guides or experts, and the most important lesson climbing teaches you is that there are no set rules in life. No set rules on how you approach a certain pitch, a specific move, a tricky section. You are free to interpret it the way you want to, and the magical aspect of climbing is to see how your body adapts to the rock, how a simple shift in position, a change in the way you place your foot or hand, can make a world of difference. Isn’t it the same in life? We very often focus on a particular thing, whose outcome is most certainly wrong, but still we insist and persist, until we eventually give up. Equally, persevering on a wrong move brings nothing, and a plan B is required. There may also be a plan C, a plan D…. attempts of any kind are most welcome.
You can give it a go in your local climbing wall - you can find more and more these days – and then take it from there. But you may also want to experience it during your stay in Alta Badia. Get in touch with the local mountain guides or ask your hotel for information. It will be a chance to savour a new experience in exceptional surroundings. You may be frightened at first, but you may also love it.
You will require special climbing shoes and a harness. These can be borrowed from the guides or most climbing walls. If you’d rather ask a friend, choose one you can trust completely, as your life depends on him or her.
And remember, a climber aims at “dancing” on the rock, so focus on short, light movements as opposed to big steps, which only tire you and take you nowhere. You will also need someone to show you “the ropes”, i.e. the key aspects and a little “schooling” as far as movements are concerned. Try and observe good climbers, you will learn a great deal from their movements. Do not aim at perfection, but take things at your own pace. If you are a beginner, thinking of climbing El Cap in one year is out of the question. But most of all try and have fun. That is the most important aspect. It may not look like that - in fact, some climbers shout and suffer while on a wall, but that’s part of the game. And a very enjoyable one, too.