Rock Climbing, Getting Started: book review

Rock climbing getting startedThe last few years I’ve been learning to climb, again.

I’d been keen in my late 20’s and had a climbing partner who taught me. Moving to Perth for work and without a partner or rack, life generally intervened. So now decades later I’m back into it. A friend started climbing in a gym so I went along with him and got hooked agin.

We where lucky to be given some cams (old-shool rigid-stem which I love) and between us put a rack together.

Having only led one pitch a long time ago I was on a steep leaning curve, and catch-up with new technology.

So without a mentor where do you go for information. Well, a lot of internet time, where I found mostly American perspectives, which where good but I sensed different to what I had leaned in the past.

For a thorough grounding I turned to an old copy of Rock Climbing, Getting Started, by Glen Tempest, Open Spaces Publishing 1998. Sadly it’s out of print but if you’re starting out, especially in Australia, it’d be worth tracking down.

All the basics are there, and being revised in ’98 it has contemporary cams and relevant information. Learning what I have since, I can say the techniques in this book are solid and not out of date, apart form the cartoons which capture a portrait of 80’s climbing style (some of my gear is from that period — I’m trying to frame this as a retro thing).

I keep going back to Rock Climbing, Getting Started, even as I read other books and evaluate different perspectives online, this book is the cornerstone of my climbing.

So if your leaning climbing and/or moving out from the gym, you couldn’t do better than studying Rock Climbing, Getting Started.

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