One adventure sport that seems to be gaining in popularity these days is rock climbing. But, in my opinion, rock climbing isn’t for
everyone most people – it requires a lot of physical strength, a lot of courage, and most of the time while you cling for your life, you’re missing the view.
If you think rock climbing would be fun, I wholeheartedly suggest you try it out – a guided climb can be a great confidence builder, a good workout, and certainly a conversation starter when you get home. But if you’re not up for the challenge, here are some scenic backdrops where you can watch from afar and just enjoy the view.
Yosemite National Park – California, USA
Located in the eastern central part of California along the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Yosemite National Park is an immense park full of beautiful scenic views with diverse activities including horse-back riding, golf, seasonal skiing and hiking. The park’s climbs consists of some of the most challenging and highest rock climbs in North America. Travelers can enjoy guided climbing trips, tours of several rock climbs in the park, not to mention some of the most dramatic natural scenery in the entire United States.
Maple Canyon – Utah, USA
One of the most unique and fascinating characteristics of Utah’s Maple Canyon is its rock climbing areas, a hilly terrain with an abundance of aspens and pines, as well as the vast amount of maples present in the entire canyon (hence the name, obviously). Rock climbers from all over the world visit the Maple Canyon to challenge themselves with the canyon’s cobblestone cliffs, although more novice climbing areas are available also.
Canmore – Alberta Rockies, Canada
If you are looking to watch rock climbers and take advantage of beautiful views anywhere in Canada, I would highly encourage a visit to the Alberta Rockies, specifically Canmore town. Due to the immense landmass and mountains that encompass most of the western terrain of Canada, you’ll find great climbs anywhere in British Columbia or Alberta, though Canmore brings in travelers for the quality climbs and the superb scenery.
Whistler – British Columbia, Canada
Considered as one of the most popular skiing and winter destination areas, Whistler is a large province nearby Vancouver that offers tourists the chance to see many rock climbers in over 23 different vertical routes, ranging from moderate to intense levels of difficulty. You’ll find most folks in town for the skiing during winter, then packed hiking trails come summer, but you’ll never find yourself bored on a trip to Whistler.
Kalymnos – Greece
Visiting the European continent to watch rock climbers is an excellent vacation plan, since there are many places to either climb or just enjoy the view. One of these places is Kalymnos, located in Greece. Kalymnos is known for its resplendent sunshine and for its limestone rock climbing cliffs, which climbers from all over Europe and the world visit. Since 2000, Kalymnos has become one of the most visited places in the world to visit to do rock climbing, given its amazing weather, the proximity to the Mediterranean ocean and other sightseeing options in the area.
Durance Valley, Hautes Alps – France
The Durance Valley is located in the southern region of France nearby the Southern Alps. The valley is composed of various types of rocks, including but not limited to limestone, granite, gabbro and gneiss, giving rock climbers the ability to experience different styles of rock climbing – different rock surfaces can create very different climbing experiences.
Arco, Sarca Valley – Italy
Arco offers two distinct styles of rock climbing which consist of “single pitch”routes made of limestone rock and long, big wall routes on steep limestone that expand over 1,400 meters in length, with many routes being between 200 meters and 600 meters long. Many rock climbing competitions, leagues and tournaments take place at Arco, giving visitors the chance to experience and watch these thrilling individuals climb up their way to the top of each route while learning a lot about the sport.
Cochamó Valley – Chile
Located in the Los Andes region of Chile, the Cochamó Valley is a transcending U-shaped valley that offers many rock climbing activities for visitors to watch and take part of many other outdoor sports such as kayaking, mountain climbing and hiking. Due to the rainy climate of the valley, it is very common to see a brilliant rainbow over the top of the mountains – always a nice reward after a climb – along with amazing views of other mountains around the valley.
El Chorro, Spain
Spain’s hilly terrain and breathtaking landscape makes way for a variety of outdoor sports, and climbers will want the chance to enjoy El Chorro, located less than an hour away from the city of Malaga. The atmosphere of El Chorro is very unique and intimidating at the same time, giving many rock climbers several good selections of routes from which to take. Travelers can enjoy authentic Spanish gastronomy topped off by a delicious glass of wine – though you may want to hold off on imbibing until after your climb, except maybe for a quick glass for some Dutch courage.
Mount Arapiles, Australia
The Mount Arapiles in Australia is a premier destination for rock climbers due to the long routes and mostly inexpensive facilities available. The area is host to several leagues, contests and tournaments due to the over 2,000 quality routes all condensed into one large mountain. Given its popularity and reputation in Australia, if you find yourself in Oceania then this is well worth the trip.
Are you a rock climber? What are your favorite places to enjoy a climb as well as the view?
Photo Credit Flickr CC: Brianz, smax, iwona_kellie, 1yen, psychogeographer, Ghusse, omad, mckaysavage, heatheronhertravels, nAok0