There are plenty of things you can do during your climbing to improve your chances of sending hard, but what if we told you there were ways to up your game before you even left for the crag? Preparation goes a long way, so here are a few tips to make sure the odds are in your favor before you even start climbing.

foster falls

1 – Research the climbing area you plan to visit

You may think you know everything there is to know about climbing, but external factors like hunting closures and gate codes can throw a wrench in the plans of even the most seasoned veterans. The SCC website keeps climbers up to date on all seasonal closures (Rocktown, Zahnd, Tennessee Wall) and gate codes (Boat Rock, King’s Bluff, Hospital Boulders, Deep Creek, Jamestown) so you can rest assured that arriving at the area is the least of your worries.

full parking lot

2 – Plan to carpool to the area

In many cases, parking at climbing areas can be limited, and it’s especially important to take as few cars as possible. If you’re going with friends, consider carpooling to the area, which will save space in the lot as well as gas money out of your pocket. An added plus is that you’ll get the good times started early with your friends on the way there, or marvel at how fun your day was on the way back. Be sure to have a backup plan in case the parking lot is full; don’t overcrowd the parking area or you could risk blocking yourself or someone else in.


3 – Take established trails to the climbing area

While many areas have an obvious approach, you may be tempted to take shortcuts to further areas in order to cut down on your approach time for longer walks. Despite this, you should always stay on established trails in order to reach your destination. At best, you’ll be trampling over sensitive vegetation and disrupting natural growth, and at worst, you could find yourself lost in the woods because you thought you knew your way around. Leave trail development to the professionals!

There’s plenty more that can be done once arriving at the crag, but these three tips will certainly help you set the stage for a successful trip into the great outdoors.

Author: Paul Zachos