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Rock Climbing: Joshua Tree National Park

June 7, 2012

On the latest edition of “How Tough Are You?,” David Whiting conquers the higher boulders of Joshua Tree National Park.  Guided by Dennis George, wellness instructor and expert mountain climber, Whiting shares correct equipment use, rules to climb by, and how to dominate in an extreme sport.

An important reminder is to be aware that rock climbing can be extremely dangerous. Rock climbers have been stranded and deaths have been reported.  Even the more seasoned rock climbers have found themselves in need of rescues, endangering the lives of those conducting the rescues as well.

Some of the best rock-climbing areas in the U.S. are located right in our backyard of Greater Orange County, specifically Joshua National Tree Park.  Indoor rock-climbing gyms are also available. The nearest one near you can be found online.  Anyone can rock-climb too! Find suitable routes that fit your abilities and have an expert join you.

Basic equipment needed includes a harness, rock climbing shoes, (the tighter, the better), and a helmet.  Chalk and chalk bags can make a huge difference when rock climbing as well.  A locking carabiner is used to fasten the rope to your harness.  A crash pad absorbs your jumps when bouldering and a belay devices is used for belaying other and rappelling down.

Remember, it’s not about racing to the top. Pace yourself and don’t push your limits.  Safety first helps ensure you’ll at least make it out in one piece!

Story by David Whiting, The Orange County Register

Download iPad App Edition Date: 6/01/2012 for full coverage of this story and bonus tips on how to reach the top of that boulder peak!

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