are you addicted to climbing

Are you addicted to climbing – 10 signs to look out for

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10 signs to indicate that you are addicted to climbing

So you’ve just started climbing and you are loving it. A few months in and you notice something different about yourself. Things you normally won’t do or think about before you start climbing. You start to worry that there is something wrong with you and you should be. These “things” you are experiencing are signs that you are addicted to climbing. And here are the 10 signs that indicate you are addicted to climbing.

Feeling textured surfaces

As a climber, the texture of a surface makes a huge difference between sending or falling. Climbers will look and feel the texture of the climbing wall to find any type of grip available. We’ll look for tiny incut groves or cracks in the wall that are possible to fit half a finger pad for a gaston, side pull or a finger jam. It is not unusual to see a couple of climbers touching and feeling a wall in the mall and discussing if it can be climbed.

Actively looking for lines and thinking you can climb that

climbing building

Climbers are always looking for ways to climb up a vertical wall. And we are not just talking about walls in a climbing gym. A sign that you are addicted to climbing is. When you start looking at any wall for a possible line up to the top by linking up features such as a window sill, water pipe and ledges thinking hell yeah I can climb that.

Reducing shoe size

Climbers have an amazing tolerance for squeezing their feet into tiny shoes. It is not unusual for climbers to wear climbing shoes that are a few sizes smaller than their normal shoes. Beginner climbers will find that hard to believe or that it is even physically possible. So when you start trying on smaller and smaller climbing shoes and feel little to no discomfort, that is a clear sign that you are turning hardcore. You may start off with half a size smaller, then 1 then 2 sizes smaller. That may not be enough. You’ll want shoes that are downturn to keep your toes pointed downwards for maximum strength on overhanging routes.

Ugly toes

Climber ugly toes

No respectable climbers have beautiful toes. If your toes look smooth with a normal shape you are not one of us. Your toes, especially your big toes need to look like it has another toe growing out of them and if you don’t give an F about how ugly your toes look that is the mark of someone who loves climbing.

Trimmed fingernails

Ladies a clear sign that you are addicted to climbing is when you find yourself no longer bothered with keeping long beautiful polished fingernails. All climbers have a habit of trimming their fingernails, especially a day before a climbing session and we will have a nail clipper in our gear bag just in case.

Air climbing

Have you heard of air guitar? For climbers, we have our very own air climbing. It may not make sense to the non-climbing bystanders. But to be a climber you’ll need to master the art of air climbing. Air climbing is when a climber is visualizing the climbing moves while standing on the ground. This is done by moving their hands and sometimes legs to mimic the sequence of moves they need to perform when up on the wall. It gives the climber a mental image as well as muscle memories to execute the moves. 99% of climbers will do air climbing before attempting a hard route.

Climbers’ fashion


Fashion is part of sports. And depending on how much you love the sport and how often you do it your fashion style can be heavily influenced by it. For men, climbing fashion is pretty much the following; a pair of knee-length shorts, and a comfortable T-shirt or singlet and that’s all you’ll need. However, for ladies the options are plentiful. Yoga pants, leggings, sports bra, T-shirt, cropped top, tank top and many many more.

When you find yourself going out dressed in typical climbing attire even though you are not heading to the gym. That is a clear sign that you feel more comfortable in climbing clothes than normal clothes.

Self paparazzi

Climbing shoes? Checked. Chalk bag? Checked. And of course, a mobile phone tripod for filming your next big viral boulder video? Checked and double-checked. These days going into a bouldering gym can feel like you are in the presence of paparazzi. Climbers are filming each other and filming themselves bouldering. Apart from climbing, videoing yourself climbing is also a core skill to have.

Posting nothing but climbing videos on social media

Social media is now the place for watching climbing videos and these days there isn’t a lack of supply. A sign of climbing addiction is when you find your social media account has nothing other than photos and videos of you climbing.

Polished fingertips

fingertips rock climbing

One major issue with climbing is losing skin on your fingers after a hard session. Climbing on crimps, slopers and pinches is a sure way to polish those digits. This can be a problem in a climber’s everyday life. Using fingerprints to unlock your phone and mobile apps will be a nightmare. You can also find yourself in a difficult situation when your fingerprints are not recognised at the customs checkpoint. So congratulations, if you are detained at the airport because your prints don’t work. You are now a climbing addict.

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