How Cold is Too Cold for Climbing?


I have been dealing with the sloooooooow spring thaw pretty well up until now, but I'm starting to get antsy. It's mid-April! Should be time to climb, right? Many clients have been asking about the weather on the phone, and I have been telling them we follow the "50-50 Rule":

If the daily high will hit 50 degrees and the chance of rain is less than 50%... LET'S GO CLIMBING!

If the daily high won't hit 50 or the chance of rain is 50% or more... maybe we shouldn't.

I know, I know... at least two climbers out there are thinking, "You poor, pathetic excuse for an outdoor professional. Too cold to climb? Impossible!" And there's maybe a thousand folks thinking, "You wouldn't catch me dead spending the day outside when it's only 50 degrees out... that's crazy talk." This is about the ratio I'm looking for.

It might be a little chilly in the low 50s, but well-prepared climbers can have a lot of fun on a cool day. As usual, it's all about the details - finding a place out of the wind, wearing good layers, staying hydrated and well-nourished, bringing along a thermos of hot tea. If the weather is too cold, however, it is just too cold to comfortably hang onto the rock. Even if the air is warm enough, the rock itself will numb your hands and climbing simply won't be fun.

I'm not saying nobody can enjoy climbing in sub-50-degree weather... I'm just saying most people don't. Once you see those daily highs topping 50, give us a call and we'll get you out on the rock.