Vertical Explorations

So it’s winter in San Diego. Even though the days are shorter and the temperatures are lower, we still have a great opportunity to enjoy what our beautiful city has to offer. Winter in San Diego is actually one of the best times of year to explore the areas mountains…vertically! Yes, I’m talking about rock climbing!

Maybe rock climbing has always seemed a little out of your reach for various reasons. Well, it doesn’t have to be anymore. If climbing is something you’ve always wanted to experience, but just never had the gear/partners/know-how, there are many ways to immerse yourself in this exciting world, even without knowing the lingo.

One of my favorite places to go, as a beginner, to train is an indoor gym like Solid Rock or Vertical Hold. And, what’s great about gyms is you can go even if it’s pouring rain! There are many to choose from here in San Diego. And many have sign-up sheets for people who need climbing partners. There are even gyms that combine climbing with other forms of exercise like yoga and Pilates! Check out Mesa Rim. You don’t need a lot of your own gear to climb in a gym because you can rent gear there. Once you figure out what you like, you can start to collect your own gear. (I would start with a pair of climbing shoes – Go to REI.) You can also strengthen your climbing muscles and learn technique quickly by bouldering, which is climbing low to the ground and without a rope. Almost all gyms have areas for bouldering, but you can also go outside once you get your own pair of shoes and a crash pad. There are excellent bouldering rocks near Santee!

If you are ready to move on to more vertical, you can climb with a rope outside. One of my favorite places to go in San Diego is Mission Trails Regional Park. It’s so close to the heart of the city and it has beautiful views even for the leisurely hiker! You can also check out an awesome local watershed and your very own San Diego River. There are many organizations that offer the opportunity to explore outdoor rock climbing even if you have never done it before. The Southern Terrain also has frequent groupons for climbing experiences.

Once you learn the ropes, you can go anywhere. And it’s easy to start out!

While many people in the US are bundling up for the winter, here in San Diego, we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy our mild climate year-round! So whether you chose to start in a gym, get into outdoor bouldering or try other exciting climbing options, know that you live in a city that allows you to explore many vertical possibilities.