Top 10 tips for overseas climbing holidays
Essential advice for climbing holidays abroad
An overseas climbing trip can be an exhilarating adventure, as you will often find yourself in remote parts of the world. However, before you set off on a climbing holiday abroad you should make sure you are thoroughly prepared for your trip. To do this, check out the following top 10 tips to help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable climbing trip.
- Familiarise yourself with international climbing grades before you set off. Different countries use different grading systems to classify rock climbing routes — so make sure you have the equivalent international grades for the levels at which you plan to climb.
- In some parts of the world, rock climbing is a relatively new sport, and so climbing guidebooks are often unavailable to buy in certain countries. So, try to buy and read a guidebook before setting off on your trip. And while you may wish to find new and unexplored areas while you’re on your trip, taking a guidebook will ensure you have some useful information about the main climbing areas and routes.
- Be aware that you may be climbing in remote areas. Ensure that you know the locations and contact details for local emergency services — and it is also a good idea to inform the staff where you are staying of where you are climbing and what time to expect you back.
- Learning some basic first aid skills and practising your actions on emergencies is highly advisable before you depart on your trip. Rock climbing can be dangerous and even life-threatening if things go wrong, and so you should make sure you’re prepared for any eventuality.
- As with any other form of travelling, if you’re going to go climbing overseas, make sure you wear a hat, use plenty of sun block and take after-sun cream if you know the climate will be hot. Alternatively, take appropriate warm clothing such as gloves and hats if you know the climate will be colder, in addition to waterproofs — such as a water-resistant lightweight jacket and leggings — for when it rains.
- Check what vaccinations you need to get before travelling to any foreign countries. You can ask your doctor about this. You should also make sure you pack and use any necessary insect repellents, as a large number of diseases can be contracted by being bitten by mosquitoes, Tsetse flies, lice and other insects.
- When rock climbing overseas it is vital that you have adequate medical insurance to cover the costs of any medical treatment, should you need it. Also, you should take out appropriate insurance for your possessions — particularly if you’ll be taking expensive items of climbing equipment.
- Make sure you can stay in contact with other members of your party when you’re out climbing by taking several two-way radios. These types of radio are very affordable, lightweight and compact, and allow members of a climbing party to keep in touch with each other and other people — which will be particularly useful in emergency situations.
- Always make sure you take adequate food provisions when you’re out climbing, as well as plenty of fluids. You should also make sure you can keep a bottle of water attached to you when you’re climbing for long distances. The food you take with you while you’re out climbing should obviously be light in weight and easily edible between climbs — so go for things such as energy bars and dried fruit.
- Check what types of rock you’ll be climbing on and what climbing routes you will be taking, and then make sure you have the appropriate experience to attempt the routes. Knowing in advance what you’ll be climbing on and where you’ll be climbing will influence what gear you will need to take with you and what climbing techniques you will have to employ.
Enjoying your climbing
Climbing can be a dangerous sport if you’re not prepared, but by following our advice you should be well on your way to having a safe — and enjoyable! — overseas climbing holiday. If you always remember to make sure you and other members of your party are safe and are using recommended climbing techniques, then you should all have a great, risk-free trip.