I’ll address this first post to my friends and family who, seeing this for the first time, ask themselves “Why rock climbing? Can’t he do something safer?”

I know, I know, it’s not the safest activity. But climbing is safer than you think. Furthermore, I’m committed to staying safe because that’s the only way I can keep this dream alive. So without further ado, this is why I climb:

Rock climbing is healthy, challenging, and above all fun. Keeping a cool head, moving with precise technique, and staying strong are all vital components to success. It’s the ultimate challenge. Communities exist all over the world to support you, but when you’re clinging to the wall it’s up to you to reach the top. Climbing brings you into nature, into unique social circles, and into a new sense of accomplishment. We call that the stoke. When I plan a new trip my head immediately goes to climbing.

In my travels, a lot of people tell me “I would try it but I’m afraid of heights”. All the more reason to get out there and conquer your fear. We all psyche ourselves out, shaking out both arms for minutes on end only to yell “take” in hopes of a clean fall. That’s part of the process.

In the process of improving ourselves we learn to empathize with each other. I love conversations with other climbers about routes we’ve both been on because we have been in exactly the same place before. We’ve held the same position and pushed the fear down, the pump out, and the drive forward to continue the same magical sequence called beta. No other activity has quite the same connection.

Rock climbing also makes one more aware of their environment. Many climbers travel from the city or suburbs, through the countryside, and into the wild in search of that perfect line. We love the air, the sights, the smells. We pick up trash on the trails and get nervous about new developments in our favorite sanctuaries. On a broader note, the current anti-environmental political environment means that it’s more important than ever to stand up and protect what we love.

In the spirit of self development, community building, and environmental protection I chose rock climbing.