My First Time Climbing Outside

For the past year and a half or more I have been rock climbing in all of my spare time, and recently I have really gotten heavy into it. I started climbing at a local gym by my house at a place called Blackrock Bouldering Gym and its a great place to learn the fundamentals and technique of climbing.

I decided I wanted to climb bigger walls and I started going to a gym that isn’t too far from my house called AZ on the Rocks so I could learn the “ropes.”

It wasn’t long before I bought the gear I needed. Heres a list of a few items to get you started.

It was all uphill from there. I have made a lot of friends climbing at this gym and they all asked if I have climbed outside and I kept saying no, but I really want to. My chance came when my friend Mickey invited me to go climbing outside and I couldn’t be more stoked! We decided to go to Pinnacle Peak!

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Pinnacle Peak from the parking lot.
We are exploring trying to find some good routes to learn on.
The rock at the top is Pinnacle Peak, we did not climb here, but next time it will happen.

We picked Pinnacle Peak because I am a new outdoor climber and it said on Mountain Project that there were plenty of beginner routes to practice and learn on. I had a lot to learn about climbing outdoors, with setting up anchors, setting up pro, top rope set ups, cleaning routes, and rappelling. This was all new to me but I was ecstatic to learn it all and it came quite easily once I saw and did it all.

This is Mickey!
Mickey and I having a good time.

Mickey is an extremely experienced and great climber. I have a lot to learn from him and have learned so much already. This day was just a big teaching and learning day, so we didn’t do any big tall climbs, most of the routes were only about 40 feet tall. I mostly got familiar with all the tech stuff, but we did get some good climbing in. The routes were supposed to be on the easier side, but they proved to more difficult than what they were rated online.

Mickey giving me some tips on the climbing.

We found a good place to start climbing, and the spot we settled on was called Cactus Flower East. There were some bolted sport routes and some trad, but we just hiked to the top of the two tiered area, set up some top rope, and rappelled down to the bottom and then climbed back up, and moved over to the next once we had figured out each route.

Getting tied in, and doin our safety checks.
Let the climbing commence!

The climbing here was fun, the rock was very sharp, and the starts of every route proved to be the difficult parts, once we got past the beginning the rest of the climbing seemed to be pretty easy. My fingers were shredded at the end of the day, but it was so worth it!

The good stuff!
Had to sit back and think through the routes a few times.

Climbing outside is so much different that climbing inside. Indoor gym climbing has a lot of routes, and they are marked or colored, so it is much easier to see where to put your feet, and where to hold on with your hands. Outdoors, there is no guided way up so you have to look all around and figure it out and use any available spots that look solid.

Hiking back out mid day since we got such an early start.
So stoked!

It was a great day, perfect weather, good climbing, and a awesome friend. I learned so much on this day that I will be able to apply to climbing now and in the future, indoor and outdoor. I can’t wait to get out and go climbing outside again. Our next plans are to get out to the pond out toward Globe, AZ. We haven’t set a date yet, but I’m looking forward to it! Off to the climbing gym now to get some more practice and training!

“Turn your brain off and send.” – Chris Sharma


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