Great views from the top - Metro US

Great views from the top

Photo courtesy of Dave Norona

Dave free-climbs a “secret” bouldering route along the West Vancouver Waterfront.

The summer months are the perfect time to grab a friend and head off to discover rock climbing. There are a ton of parks and secret areas throughout Vancouver that allow beginners or expert climbers to challenge themselves. Here is what you will need and where to go.

If you’re new to rock climbing then the perfect place to start is an indoor climbing gym. Indoor gyms are the perfect place to learn belay and climbing skills in a safe and fun environment. You can also seek out outdoor professional climbing guides who can show you all the important things you need to know in the specific area you like to climb. This way you will learn the proper way to tie off knots, belay your partner and set up anchors to ensure your safety in the future.

Once you take a lesson you will need some equipment. Heading to a well-equipped store like Mountain Equipment Co-op ensures that you get the right gear. Remember, you will be relying on this gear for your safety so buying used equipment is not advised. Look for gear that is light, strong and easy to use as this will make things much more enjoyable when you’re climbing. Choose climbing shoes and a harness based on proper fit and comfort, as you will be spending a lot of time in them. Climbing clothing should be light, breathable and allow maximum movement as you will be bending and stretching to reach those hidden hand and foot holds.

There are many books on rock climbing and guidebooks showing areas, different routes and their ratings available at Mountain Equipment Co-op. You can also check out the www.rockclimbing.comwebsite for information on areas all over North America and the world.

Lighthouse Park is one of my favourite places to go during the summer months. There are several routes that are easy to set up and the area offers amazing views of the city and water. There are lots of short sport climbs that allow you to start with something easy and progress as you warm up and feel stronger.

Just up the road in Squamish is one of the best areas in North America. The Smoke Bluffs offer tons of sport routes for every type of climber out there. You can also try a section of the giant granite wall called the Chief. The whole area around Squamish is littered with amazing routes that would take you a lifetime to explore. So you better start today.

gear guide

Lululemon Chakra Light Crop

Description: Climb on with these pre-shrunk, chafe-free, four-way stretch crop pants from Lululemon. The flat waist works perfectly under a climbing harness and the lightweight fabric allows for uninhibited movement while you climb.

Price: $64

Where to find it: www.lululemon.com

Five Ten Dragon Rock Shoes (Unisex)

Description: Stick to anything with the Five Ten Dragon Rock Shoes. Lacing allows you to get a super snug fit especially at the toes and heel. Comfortable fit with Cowdura synthetic leather uppers and perforated toe rands.

Price: $121

Where to find it: www.fiveten.com

Petzl Selena Harness

Description: Stay comfortable on those long routes with Petzl’s Selena harness. Breathable monofilament mesh distributes pressure evenly, elasticized leg loops and green belay loop helps to remind you the proper re-enforced tie-in and belay points.

Price: $73

Where to find it: www.petzl.com

Holey Soles Getaway

Description: While belaying your climbing partner or at the end of an epic day of climbing, slip into the comfort of the Getaway all-purpose clog. This item is super lightweight, ultra comfortable and has two tone colour styling with a durable outer sole.

Price: $29

Where to find it: www.holeysoles.com

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