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Rock Climbing Adventure in Croatia!

Despite its image as an athletic sport, you do not need to be super-fit to rock climb. Good technique is more important than physical strength, although the more you climb the stronger and fitter you will become. Good footwork, body positioning and problem solving will get you up many more climbs than just brute strength. Climbing uses many muscle groups, both in the upper and lower body. Your back, abdominal and leg muscles all are exercised as well as your fingers, shoulders and arms. Regular climbing can improve stamina as well as muscle strength. In addition, all the reaching and stretching for holds improves flexibility and agility. Each climbing route is like a puzzle, which requires patience, planning and analysis to complete. Beginners will typically work out their ascent as they go up, but with experience, they learn to visualise their climb and spot tricky sections before reaching for their first hold.
Over time, regular rock climbing can help develop concentration, determination and problem-solving skills. As you improve, you will naturally want to push yourself further and try harder climbs. The amount of goals you can set yourself is limitless. Setting yourself goals and meeting them gives you a great sense of achievement, which in turn can help build everyday self-confidence.
While on one level rock climbing is an individual pursuit, it also has a very social component because you’re never alone. You will either be climbing with a group of friends, schoolmates, colleagues or family. You tend to develop strong friendships with your climbing partners due to the level of trust involved and through sharing challenges and experiences!

I see rocks, great grey and solid, with wonderful cracks, holes, gapes and handles to grab; small and even smaller, sometimes invisible steps (but holding) or big shelves to stand on! At that moment, it is just the rock, and me. I climb, higher I go more powerful I feel, I have conquered one more meter! I search high above myself what to grab, and then I find it, and keep going happy that I am climbing, that I CAN do it! With only wind in my hair, above small people on the ground. And then I reach top, I clip-in to the last spit, clip-into the stand and yell that final “take” to my partner! Winner again! At the top of the world! As my partner is lowering me slowly to the ground, I just want to do it again, and again, until my hands cannot grab anymore and they hurt, but the feeling of ascent and feeling of being braver than any fear, feeling of being better keeps me moving. Usually until it is too dark or too cold to climb…That is how I feel when climbing. It is a passion. You either like it or not. There is always fear. It is normal; our body tells us that being high above the ground is not safe. However, we manage the fear, and we get stronger! This feeling I would like to share with you on one of rock climbing tours in Croatia!

Petra Ban, the owner of Natural Croatia My experience of climbing

We climb OUTDOOR and sport routes only, which means approximately up to 30 m high, with all security bolts already in place fixed in stone and ready for climbers to clip into. Check out a video of one of our instructors climbing, see how it looks like from climber’s perspective!

Rock Climbing Croatia We climb outdoor

Is climbing safe?
Climbing can be as safe or risky as you like. There are different styles and levels – it is all about choice and experience. German researchers found that climbing had a lower injury incidence than many mainstream sports such as basketball, sailing or football. Important is always keep in mind the security measures! Use equipment in good condition, double-checking between partners - if knot is tied correctly, if belay device and karabiner are well set. Moreover, concentrate! Communication between climber and belaying partner is of huge importance. Do not yell just for fun, as on climbing area, there are other climbers and for smooth communication, there should be silence. Enjoy!

ACTIVITY LEVELS

Sport climbing routes in Croatia have length up to approximately 30m and are graded by Free climbing French grading system, from 3 or 4a being the easiest and till 9b+ being the hardest. Free climbing comparison table gives you understanding of French grades if you are using other grading system. 

Climbing trips rated EASY typically have route grades from 3 to 4a, 4b, 4c (YDS - USA grades: from 5.3 to 5.4, 5.5, 5.6). Usually newcomers that didn't try climbing or didn't try outdoor climbing start with EASY level, and if climbing guide evaluates that they are capable of climbing harder routes, they can agree to try at the given moment. Climbing guide leads the route and climber climbs top-rope. Meaning only short distance fall is possible, as climber is secured all the time with the rope from the top of the route. EASY trips usually include up to 4 hours of active climbing, with rests between, depending on the capability of a climber. Suitable to try out climbing if you have never tried before.
Trips rated EASY to MODERATE are designed for travellers seeking both EASY and MODERATE trip activity levels. Climbing trips rated EASY to MODERATE typically have easier rated climbing routes such as 4b, 4c (YDS - USA grades: 5.5, 5.6) with options for some MODERATE route levels (5a, 5b, 5c / YDS - USA grades: 5.7, 5.8, 5.9). In trips rated as EASY to MODERATE climbing guide leads the route and climber climbs top-rope. Typically, a person in better physical shape, or more talented in climbing techniques will be soon climbing this level of routes. Trips rated EASY to MODERATE typically last from 4 to 6 hours of climbing, including rest time and depending on a climbers capabilities. Suitable for newcomers in good shape.
Trips rated MODERATE typically have climbing route grades from 5a, 5b, 5c to 6a (YDS - USA grades: 5.7, 5.8, 5.9 to 5.10a). In trips rated MODERATE climbing guide leads the route, and climber climbs top-rope. Climbing can last up to whole day, and there is a possibility for a climber to lead the route if he or she is an experienced climber and has suitable level of climbing security education. Climbing guide will evaluate this option on-site.
 
Trips rated as MODERATE to STRENUOUS are designed for travellers seeking both MODERATE and STRENUOUS trip activity levels. Trips rated MODERATE to STRENUOUS typically have moderate rated routes with options for more strenuous activity levels. This would include routes graded from 6a, 6b, 6c, 7a up to 7b, 7c (YDS - USA grades: 5.10a, 5.10c, 5.11b, 5.11d up to 5.12b, 5.12d). Climbers should be experienced ones with knowledge of climbing security, belaying and climbing techniques. Guide will not lead the route; climbers are leading themselves. Typically climbing lasts whole day.
Trips rated STRENUOUS typically have climbing route grades from 7b, 7c, 8a to 9b+ (YDS - USA grades: 5.12b, 5.12d, 5.13b to 5.15c). These routes are only for extremely experienced and capable climbers, with extensive knowledge and experience in rock climbing outdoors. Climbers lead the routes on they own. Trips typically last whole day.

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