Rock climbing as a sport is becoming more and more popular day by day. It is a great way to get you outdoors amidst nature, get fit, and reach new heights, quite literally. And let’s face it, the view is worth everything.
You might not be interested in climbing outdoors and would like to climb inside in a gym, the choice is yours to make. Maybe you are just confused and are just starting as a beginner. We are sure there is one question running in your mind- ‘how much does rock actually cost?”
We have compiled a list of everything you will need for rock climbing and how much they will actually cost you. We have considered both indoor as well as outdoor climbing, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
The good news is that some things like shoes, chalk bags can be bought second hand. But when it comes to buying security-based equipment, new equipment should be bought.
Having said that, a lot of stores offer discounts and sales, make sure you keep it on the lookout. If you are planning to join a climbing club then that will get you discounts that last up to a year. Sales are great as you can get some beautiful deals for items that need to be purchased.
Now let’s see in detail – how much is rock climbing In Reality
This should be the first thing you buy when you decide to pick up rock climbing. This is definitely a no brainer. When you are doing rock climbing, rockfalls occur commonly. And you should buy a climbing helmet to protect your head from it. The preference of the climbing helmet should be based on how it fits instead of how it looks or what it costs. The helmet should be comfortable so that it feels like wearing it always.
It will cost you an average of $90
Rock climbing shoes
For rock climbing, you need shoes specially designed for climbing, your regular walking shoes won’t do the task. These shoes are such that they are tight, not too tight, but tight and will help you stand on edges that you normally wouldn’t be able to. There are several different kinds of shoes depending on the type of climber you are.
There are shoes that are aggressive, flat, moderate, high ankle protection shoes, and a lot more. If you are just starting out then you should buy neutral shoes that have a thick rubber sole and they are a little more comfortable. Basic shoes are cheaper and are affordable. So, you should try as many shoes as you can before you settle with one brand. The golden rule is not to buy shoes that are so tight that you can barely think about anything else.
You can buy refurbished shoes as they are not safety gear. You can find second-hand shoes easily online and in some gyms as well. There are certain Facebook groups that offer second-hand pairs of shoes.
The approximate cost of climbing shoes can be $100 USD.
A harness is very important equipment as it is responsible for your safety. If you are just starting off then you don’t need to buy top-line models just yet. Any basic model with good padding will do the deal. Gear loops can come in handy as the more you progress, the more equipment you will need and gear loops will help you attach it.
A basic harness will cost you an average of $100 USD
Belay device along with a locking screwgate carabiner
A belaying device is nothing but an allow device that is tube-like and it makes use of friction so that when you apply some weight on it, you can easily hold the belayer to make that fall. You will need enough practice and skills to learn how to perfect belaying and have safe climbing. When you are belaying, you are responsible for the climber’s life. Always keep this fact in mind and hold on to the rope as tightly as you can.
A carabiner is used as conjunction alongside a belayer. There is a tube that screws on the nose and this prevents it from the device accidentally opening.
The approximate cost would be $60
Chalk bag and chalk
Using climbing chalks is a must as climbing chalk will help you keep your hands from getting sweaty. They will absorb the moisture when you are climbing and won’t let the sweat ruin your grip. A lot of the climbing areas will need you to use colored chalk so that it matches the color of the rocks. You should always respect the ethics of where you are climbing.
You should get a chalk bag as it keeps the chalk from getting everywhere.
It will cost you around $20
The cost of other climbing equipments
The above-mentioned equipment is enough to get you to start climbing but you will need some more gear as you keep progressing. You don’t need to buy them immediately; you can buy them as you need them. You can share the cost with your friends or climbing partners.
The other climbing equipment you will need are:
Personal Anchor safety
Personal Anchor safety or as climbers call it PAS is a climbing device or gear that helps you securely attach yourself to the anchors present on the route. This can be done if you use the PAS with two lock carabiners. Personal anchor systems are used majorly for cleaning the routes. Which is removing the gear from a route?
Personal anchor systems are available in the chain loop form. The loops are not dependent on the other loops and thus every single loop has a lot of strength. The PAS adds more security but along with it, the loop systems make the length adjustment much easier and more convenient.
Here is where you can learn more about cleaning a route.
PAS costs approximately about $80 and a carabiner will cost you about $15.
If you want to go on your own routes then owning your personal rope will help you a lot and you won’t have to be dependent on anyone else. These ropes can last for about 1-3 years depending on how often you use them. Yes, they are a huge investment but they are completely worth it. But if you consider single climbs, then the ropes will seem very cheap.
For your basic climbs, you just need a rope that is of 10 mm in diameter and 200 feet in length. If you want ropes with a smaller diameter than they are comparatively pricier and you should only invest in them once you have progressed in climbing.
It can be confusing to consider all the different brands. So, yes sure read a few articles but don’t get trapped into the confusion as the ropes will do their job well. There are always good sales that you can take advantage of.
The average cost of climbing rope is about $200.
Quickdraws are clips that attach to the single bolts when you are climbing up on the wall and reaching the anchor while doing lead climbing. You will have to practice top-roping before you are confident enough to try lead climbing. Make sure you have some supervision from experts when you are lead climbing or lead belaying as both the techniques are very different from top roping and if you don’t do them correctly then you can get into serious accidents.
Most of the guidebooks or topos online will specify how many bolts will be there on the wall so you will have an idea of how many quickdraws will be needed. We suggest that you always carry more than you will need so if you can, then buy 2 sets to have sufficient quickdraws or you can also share them between your climbing partners.
The approximate cost of quickdraws is $180 for a set of 6 quickdraws
There cannot be too many carabiners. They are very special and can be used for several tasks as well as to build anchors. We suggest you should buy 2 small carabiners and 2 large ones with screwgate locks.
They will cost about $70 for a set of four
Slings are like carabiners; you can never not want slings. You should get an extra sling of 120 cm that can be attached to bolted anchors.
They will cost you about $20
The total cost will be about $900 including all the equipment we have mentioned so far.
Is this cost expensive?
A lot of adventure groups, climbers think that this amount is substantial, but we don’t necessarily agree. Hear us out.
A lot of people shell out $150 or more on gym-based fitness classes. Yes, they do offer good services but that money could be used somewhere else like buying gear that will open your path to several other opportunities and you could be spending that time with rocks outside.
And if you compare the cost of rock climbing with other sports or activities like scuba diving, rock climbing is cheaper.
What you should keep in mind is that for just 6 months of fitness class money, you can buy all the gear you need for rock climbing, which can last you for about 3 years. Sure, you might have to replace the equipment for your own safety, but that will be affordable. Few gear items like carabiners and belay devices will last forever unless there is no external damage caused.
Plus keep in mind you can share these costs with a climbing partner. You can share quickdraws and ropes with your friends and still enjoy the experience.
Because of all these factors, rock climbing becomes pretty affordable when you compare it with other sports or activities. And the freedom you get while rock climbing is inexplicable and you get to see the world from a new angle.
As an added bonus, rock climbing in most of the outdoor locations is free. You will have to use the money for gas but the view will be worth it.