We’re going back to basics after all of our worlds were interrupted by COVID-19. Now is the time to get outside and reinvigorate a vital love of the outdoors. There’s no better way to reboot and get back outdoors than to join one of America’s fastest growing sports, rock climbing!
You’re probably thinking “no way, too dangerous”, right? Well, rock climbing certainly has a reputation for being a risky and daredevil sport. A lesser known fact is that technical climbing is enjoyable and a safe outdoor adventure for people of all ages and fitness levels. Beginners can be safely driven over a cliff the first time. Here’s how: 1. There’s always a rope tied to you and an anchor above you. 2. This anchor and rope can withstand nearly 4,000 pounds. 3. Once you reach the top or decide to stop, you simply sit in your harness, which is attached to the rope, and slowly lower yourself back down to the ground. Accidents in technical climbing can happen, but they are rare and are almost always the result of negligence, ignorance or lack of training, which, with quality instruction and professional advice, are easily avoided. . Luckily, you’re in Taos and can find expert guides and safe beginner trips here (more on that later).
The sport of rock climbing is actually not new. It has been a recreational sport in Europe since the 1800s, and even has a few formations in Yosemite, Cali. were climbed by John Muir as early as 1869. Despite these early ascents, technical climbing in America dates back only to the 1950s, when Yosemite and the Shawangunk Mountains in New York City saw America’s first incursion in this sport. In the 1960s these areas began to see new pioneer routes and by the late 70s they became rock climbing hotspots with international appeal. In Taos, climbers were just beginning to tap into the climbing potential of this northern New Mexico paradise at that time, but continue to find exciting new terrain today. After the great movie “Free Solo” won the Best Documentary Oscar in 2019, climbing awareness and climbing lingo seem to be spreading rapidly among Americans. The movie does not represent how 99.9% of climbers climb safely with a rope. For more rock climbing, check out the grittier, grittier documentary “Dawn Wall,” released the same year, or “Valley Uprising,” released in 2014, both available on Netflix.
Taos County contains miles of stunning rock climbing in all shapes and sizes, and there is enough varied rock climbing to satisfy a beginner or veteran climber for a lifetime. The Rio Grande Gorge National Monument has several rock climbing spots with vast panoramic views of the desert. The Sangre de Cristo mountain range features vast, thousand-foot high granite walls and small, cozy cliffs nestled in a pine forest amidst rivers and streams. Tres Piedras has some of the most pristine, yet easily accessible (a flat one-minute walk from the car) climbing spots in the country.
It’s time to get out and explore. There is no better place to enjoy rock climbing than to be immersed in the spectacular scenery and beauty of this unique region and to fully experience the vital spirit of Taos.
Nervous about trying this potentially dangerous new activity? You’re in luck, in Taos you can learn to climb with safe professional guides on perfect beginner cliffs that start as easy as a flight of stairs. In fact, there’s no better place to learn to climb than Taos. If you have the gear and the experience, you can venture out on your own to discover one of the hundreds of rock climbing routes developed in the Taos area, or hire a guide to learn new skills or find hidden gems. The nationally renowned Mountain Skills outfit has certified, friendly and enthusiastic climbing guides who provide all the equipment, teach the basics and can take your group or family out for a unique outdoor adventure or guide the mountaineer the more experienced. the longest and most difficult climbs in the region.