The urge to climb is something that we all feel from the very first time we see a tree with a few limbs sticking out in just the right way. This love for climbing drives us into climbing higher and higher stuff until we end up taking on the challenge of climbing rock, mountains, and buildings. But this love for climbing can drive us to think of doing some strange stuff. Usually, we ask whether or not we can go rock climbing after it has rained.
You cannot go rock climbing just after it has rained. No matter which type of rock face it is, the rocks will be too slippery for you to get a grip, even if you are wearing gloves. There are many types of rocks and cliff faces that you can climb after only a few hours. These are the rocks that will be either in sunny locations or are made of sturdier rocks.
Learning how long you have to wait before going rock climbing is important. Not only can you hurt yourself by slipping, but there is also a big chance that you may cause damage to the environment if climbing at the wrong time. Understanding when to go climbing, the dangers of climbing when it is wet, and the overall effect your climbing will have on the world around you is important.
How long after rain can you climb?
You should preferably wait at least 24 hours after it has rained before you go rock climbing, especially if you live in a part of the world where it is extremely humid. If you know the area, you can wait only a few hours if it is daylight before going climbing; however, this can still pose several threats.
You will often experience rain in a way that you may not expect when out climbing, with most people not aware of the sudden danger that rain that has passed by several days ago can present. The most dangerous rains are not in areas where it constantly rains. These are rains that you can actively predict and be aware of the dangers that the rain causes.
When it rains after a dry winter or in areas where the humidity is usually pretty low, the danger of flash flooding is what you should be aware of. A lot of people assume that because the ground is dry, the water will easily evaporate. However, this is not true, and drier areas will have more water flowing across rocks and cliffs than those in forests.
What stones can you climb after rain?
While it is possible to climb almost any type of rock, it becomes almost impossible to climb some specific ones after even a quick shower. With many not always aware that climbing rocks after it has rained might be possible because of their grip strength, it will damage the rocks and the ecosystem if you climb at the wrong time. Understanding which rocks you can climb and when they are ready will greatly improve the impact you have on the world around us.
There are three types of rock that you will easily encounter in areas where it may rain regularly, with the rock faces made by these rocks easily being the most exciting. Knowing when and how to climb these rocks will allow you to easily judge when it is safe. Rocks can be extremely tricky to judge; even when the entire mountain looks as dry as a desert, there may still be a few rocks you cannot see that are near impossibly slippery.
Unique in the world of rocks that you can climb pretty quickly after a good rain is limestone, not because this rock is particularly good at resisting water. Limestone is one of the stone types you will most often find around the world, it is the most likely rock you will want to climb, and because of its unique properties, it is the one you should feel safe about climbing.
Limestone does not absorb or become soft when it rains. However, it does go through thermal changes, being eroded by rain and cracked by heat. This means that when you have a large piece of limestone rock or cliff, and it is raining, most of the rain will flow away. With little to no plants growing on the limestone, if it is sunny after the rain, the stones will be dry enough to climb.
Granite & Metamorphic
Both granite and metamorphic rock are some of the hardest rocks you can find to climb anywhere in the world. Usually, people will find large rock faces or just large rocks made from these two types of rock. They are some of the hardest in the world on top, making them resistant to the erosion that could take place with most other rocks. This means that when it does rain, the water will flow away from the rocks, making them a lot drier even during the rain than most other rocks.
It should be noted that in the more humid areas of the world, these rocks will have growths on them, as they do not erode almost at all during natural processes. Moss, dirt, plants, and leaves gather on any flat surface. This can create slippery crevices that you could never expect, as they will have hidden pockets of slippery wet moss. However, this is usually a problem that will be there even when it’s not raining.
Why should you wait for the rocks to dry before climbing?
Two reasons will affect your climbing when it has recently rained, and both should be remembered and never ignored. You can seriously damage the world around us or even fall while you are at the top, which can cause death or serious injury. Keeping the dangers of climbing wet rock at the front of your mind will mean that you don’t take chances.
While most rock climbing is about taking chances, you need to know which ones are worth taking, and any veteran rock climber will tell you it is never worth it to go climbing in the rain. It’s fun and adrenaline-pushing when you climb a rock and try your best to do your best. However, knowing when you are sure to lose will make a difference, as failing and making the wrong decisions can drastically affect the lives of those around you.
Slippery When Climbing
This is the obvious reason that you should not be climbing when it is currently raining or when it has rained recently. Slippery rocks cannot be predicted and will cause you to hurt yourself or hurt others. Having a good grip is the beginning and end of rock climbing. When you try to grip something that instinctively slips out of your hands, it becomes next to impossible to do properly.
Damage to the Rocks
This is the part that no one ever thinks about, especially new rock climbers that have never had to think about what they are doing. When you are climbing rocks out in the wilds of the world, you are inherently causing some damage. Many rock types get a lot softer after it rains, which means that you can damage cliff faces, large rocks, and everything that lives on the rocks.
Rock climbing when it is threatening to rain is one of the most dangerous things you can do as someone who loves to climb. Knowing how long to wait and what to do is one of the most important everyday skills you should be learning. The risks of falling or damaging the environment are not worth the rewards you could get.
It’s always better to go and climb an indoor rock climbing wall at the gym than it is to risk falling from a rock that could leave you crippled for life!