How to get the most out of summer climbing
Avoid the Sun
This sounds pretty obvious, but is often forgotten. If you are climbing outdoors, choose a crag that will be facing away from the sun when you’ll be there. Most climbing guidebooks will give you this information, or you can look at the crag on Google earth and figure out whether it’ll be in the sun. If there’s a particular crag you really want to climb, choose your times to avoid the sun as much as possible. Make use of early mornings and late afternoons.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
Again, this sounds obvious, but it needs to be said! Make sure you pack enough water to last you through your climb. Frequently drinking small amounts makes it easier for your body to absorb the water that guzzling a litre in one go.
Avoiding or reducing caffeine and alcohol will also make it easier for you to stay hydrated.
It is harder to climb in the heat. Have realistic expectations about what you can achieve, so that you don’t feel down about what is quite likely a pretty good effort for the conditions.
Keep your climbing shoes out of the sun and out of hot cars! Hot shoes will make you feel gross and won’t preform as they should.
A spray bottle or a shirt or hat that you’ve wet will act as your own personal cooling system. Or plan your climb for somewhere near a dam or the ocean so you can cool down when you need to. Think Dam Cliffs, Nelson Bay or a swim in Merewether Baths before heading into Pulse Climbing Adamstown for a climb.
Plan your summer
Have a training plan! Let your climbing buddies know what it is so they keep you accountable. Ensure your plan focuses on the things you can realistically improve on over the summer – technique, core work, endurance, flexibility.