The sport of rock climbing began as a component of the Victorian craze for mountaineering. In the process of climbing a mountain, there was inevitably a few rough spots to get over that required more than a boost from your climbing mate. Various techniques developed to handle these vertical obstacles and for some climbers, the rough bits became the main objective of a climb.
It’s a unique sport which combines physical prowess, strategic thinking, and high risk with serious consequences for mistakes. Consequently, there aren’t too many bad rock climbers. Mistakes are not trivial when you are clinging to a rock high above the horizontal Earth with gravity trying to pull you back down.
I like sports that involve strategy, so rock climbing is something I have always wanted to check out. And I certainly could have easily booked some time on an indoor wall. But the outdoor aspect of the sport is part of the charm for me, and not being in proximity of any of the major climbing areas (like the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, Acadia National Park in Maine or Grand Teton National park in Wyoming) has kept me from getting introduced to the sport.
Adding to my list of excuses, I suffer a bit from vertigo. Not as severe as some, but still enough to require some additional help in transitioning from the horizontal world to the vertical.