The climbing gym is a new phenomenon these days. Many people are already signing in for it, and if you haven’t done it already, you’ll be doing it shortly. It’s a new sport and is very popular with the youngsters.
This new craze for climbing can be understood by a report prepared by Climbing Business Journal. According to them, 23 states in the USA had 43 new commercial climbing gyms opened in 2017. And this was the first time something like that happened in history.
The numbers are growing even faster since the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo held a climbing contest for the first time.
Expert climbers opine that it is fun to climb rocks indoors. But the adventure and adrenaline rush that one experiences while climbing natural rocks outside is matchless. Everyone can’t be an expert in climbing like Alex Honnold, but one can try at least.
With the popularity of climbing, new locations are being constantly identified and explored. These locations are also associated with the entire Yosemite Decimal System (which scales the difficulty of climbing from 5.0 to 5.15).
This implies that beginners have a fair chance to climb diverse locations ranging from Colorado’s hills to Thailand’s cliffs.
So, if you’re not on your way already, then get ready! Get your harness, buy yourself the best climbing gear, pack what’s necessary and head out! Because those mountains are waiting for you!
Keep reading, and by the end of this article, you’ll know the options for your adventurous climbing vaganza. So, let’s dive in, shall we?
1. JOSHUA TREE, CA
All national parks are a must-visit for climbing. But Joshua Tree (between Mojave & Colorado deserts) with its 8000 climbing routes is a unique experience. The Park may appear somewhat flat compared to others of its kind, say Yosemite, the Grand Tetons, or Acadia.
But the rocks are different and make the climb a high-octane experience of its own. One thousand of the rock formations in the park are graded 5.8 (or below).
And 100 of them are set up for something they mainly teach in those climbing gyms, i.e., rope climbing.
You may want to start with an accessible cliff, say Goeb’s Goes Gecko, which is merely a 5.2. The climb would take you to the top of Lizard, and gosh! The view you’d get would be breathtaking.
2. BOULDER, CO
Some of the experts of rock climbing, like Sasha DiGiulian, seem to like Colorado a lot. The reason is quite apparent. The place is beaming with a lot of climbing opportunities for beginners as well as experts.
And that is why climbers like DiGiulian consider the state as a second home. Boulder Canyon homes almost 300 climbing routes.
All these have a grading of 5.8 or below, and nearly 20% of these are for top-rope climbers. So, we recommend going for an easy 105-feet Pine Tree Route.
After you cross this 5.5 route, you can head for a 5.6’s Chimney or a 5.7’s East Slab East.
3. RAILAY & TONSAI, THAILAND
Thailand’s beaches are a significant attraction for climbing experts and may appear to be a bit of a daunting task for beginners.
But it’s not as hard as it seems. So, don’t worry. Laem Phra Nang is a top-rope route having a grade of 5.8. Other than that, there are almost 18 trad & sports climbs. You may have to place your bolts in there or clip the bolts already there.
But most of these rocks are already bolted, so go for it. It’s an adventure. And if you’re having difficulties, climbing companies near Krabi would be more than happy to not only guide you but give you climbing lessons too.
4. FRANKENJURA, GERMANY
Fan of sport-climbing? Go to one of Europe’s top-rated sport-climbing places. Although only one route for top-rope climbing, this northern part of Bavaria has almost 400 of its total (i.e., 8000+ limestone crags) graded 5.8 or below.
So, you better be a good sport or trad climber. You may also find some experts challenging routes of 5.14 grading or higher, so after you climb yours, watch them get inspiration while you sip on your cold beer.
5. RED RIVER GORGE, KENTUCKY
Are you looking for a rock-climbing destination in the South? Don’t lurk around and make haste to Red River Gorge – the best you could come across with its sandstone cliffs.
Almost 370 routes are 5.8 or lower grade, 12 of which are for top-rope climbers. After you’re done with the 5.5-graded Forgive Me, Amy, For I Have Sent (50′) and the 5.6-graded Warm-Up (60′), grab a slice of pizza at Kentucky’s most popular staple Miguel’s Pizza.
6. SMITH ROCK
One thousand five hundred routes with 170 having a 5.8 or below grading, with 16 routes dedicated to top-rope climbing, yes, we’re talking about Smith Rock – the best destination for sport climbing.
The top-view of Crooked River under the volcanic rock cliffs is simply fantastic. You may find here routes like Kindergarten Crack for beginners as well as Double Time for pros.
7. THE SHAWANGUNKS, NY
Here’s an idea! If you’re a climber living in NYC, get in your car and travel for 90 minutes, and BOOM, you’re at the Gunks. This destination houses around 400 routes (5.0-5.8) with almost 100 trails for top-rope climbing.
No sports climb here, though, but an easy 5.6-graded High Exposure trad climb would compensate. Try coming here in the fall; you won’t regret the sightseeing!
8. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA
You’re talking about rock climbing, and you don’t mention Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan! How’s that going to happen!?! There are many routes available here for all sorts of climbing, but El Capitan needs a special mention.
It’s not for beginners, TBH, but one should get inspired by looking at those who try to climb this 3000-feet granite cliff.
9. TODRA GORGE, MOROCCO
Located in the heart of the Atlas Mountains, this serene place is one of the most beautiful locations in the world for rock climbing.
This location has over 400 climbing routes made in limestone cliffs. It’s the largest developed climbing area in the Atlas Mountains.
So, these are nine of the best locations in the world where you can go rock-climbing, and you’d enjoy the experience!