Tips for Summer Rock Climbing
If you can’t already tell, we are right in the middle of summer. This summer has been especially warm. It’s almost so hot, that’s it not worth going climbing. ALMOST. Here are some tips we took from our guides to beat the heat.
1. Wear light, breathable, UV reflective clothing
Since climbing inherently makes you look cool, the next step is feeling cool. The more breathable the clothing, the faster you’re sweat will evaporate. Thus, making you feel cooler. In addition to being wicking, some clothes are made with UV protectant material. Check the label. Sunglasses and a hat can help when you are not wearing a helmet.
2. Wear sunscreen.
While we all think we look good in a tan, especially one earned on the rock, skin cancer is no joke. There are several sports varieties that spray on dry. Spray application will help keep the lotion off the hands and keep your grip. You will have to reapply the sunscreen as the day goes by.
3. Bring more water than you normally do
Staying hydrated is the name of the game when rock climbing in the summer. You should drink a half-quart in the parking lot before the approach. At the climbsite, you should keep a quart/hour hydration schedule (this is how fast your body can lose water). Some guides like to keep one bottle in the fridge and one in the freezer (just make sure to leave room for expansion) before their trips. This keeps your water at a more reasonable drinking temperature once you make it to the rock.
4. Leave some water bottles in your vehicle
Once you get back to your vehicle, start rehydrating. This will help you once you get home as well as the next day out on the rock. A small cooler left in the car will help keep the extra water drinkable. You can also freeze a bottle (leave some air space in the bottle before freezing).
Remember, dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue. Combat this by hydrating as soon as you can.
5. Pick climbing sites with shade
Not only will your skin thank you, but your belayer as well. Generally routes that are south facing will get the most sun. North-facing routes will have the most shade. Climbing areas with good shade around Brevard/Asheville are:
- North Side of Looking Glass
- Table Rock
- Ship Rock
We hope that these tips help in your warm weather climbing endeavors. Do realize that while you probably won’t be climbing as hard of routes as you would be in the spring or fall, there’s no reason to not enjoy the climbs available. At least until it gets to be about 140 degrees, that’s when climbing shoe glue starts to come apart.