I have spent a fair bit of time at our local climbing gym this month, learning how to safely belay so I can support my two girls (6 & 12) in their climbing hobby. It got me thinking about the issues around climbing, medical conditions and medical alert bracelets.
I’m a big believer in going out and challenging yourself, but depending on the situation, you may need to consider changing your approach. So I’ve worked with several experienced climbers / instructors to prepare the following tips.
You’ll find information on how to climb more safely if you have particular medical conditions, as well as advice on what sort of medical alert jewellery to choose. And you need to think about whether you will most likely be crack climbing outdoors, or down at the local climbing gym – because the risks are different.
But one common thread is that climbers are generally supportive people who take positive steps about their health. Massive generalisation, I know, but I have spoken with experienced climbers and instructors on both sides of the pond this month, and was heartened to see that their attitude focused around “how to make this possible.” It is critical to think through the safety issues, but I’m sure you’ll find the help and support you need if you want to give it a try.
So what was the outcome of my climbing test? Well, I’m pleased to say that I passed! I haven’t had a lot of strength in my knees after an injury in Italy last summer, but have learned a few moves to keep the load on strong muscle groups, and still give my arms a rest. Can’t wait to help my girls get to the top. And if you’re thinking of doing the same, just check out or page of advice for climbers with a medical condition, to make sure you can do it safely. Hope to see you down at the climbing gym!
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