Climbing Tips

While you are scaling a wall or boulder, keep your center of gravity over your heels. Simply put, this means stick your rear end out at an angle. Form a triangle with your arms, legs and the climbing wall as the sides. Do not stretch your body across the wall to reach for holds that are out of your range [source: Cahall].

Joining USA Climbing

Joining USA Climbing allows you the opportunity to put your bouldering, sport or speed climbing skills to the test by participating in organized competitions. Climbing competitions are grouped into divisions by age. Generally, youth divisions cover age groups that span two years, starting at age 10 or 11. Adult divisions span about 20 years of age and are subdivided into different levels of difficulty. Adults can also compete in an open category. However, there are 15 regional distinctions within USA Climbing, and the competitive divisions may vary slightly depending on what part of the country you live in [source: USA Climbing].

If you decide to become a member of USA Climbing, you can become a member of the American Bouldering Series, the Sport Climbing Series or both. If you are interested in both, the joint membership is a slightly better deal at $70 for one year. Otherwise, an American Bouldering Series one-year membership is $30, and a Sport Climbing Series membership is $50 [source: USA Climbing].

Nonmembers must also pay a $5 fee per USA Climbing competition. So, if you're serious about climbing, a USA Climbing membership may be a good option. No matter what you decide, you must register through the USA Climbing Web site [source: USA Climbing].

The potential benefits of USA Climbing go beyond the money you save by joining the organization. To learn more about what you can get out of climbing, read on.