I’ve been over six feet tall since I was 15, but I have always been afraid of of heights. It was probably James Earl Jones’s death in the Lion King that did it. And even though I had occasionally tested it by climbing up fire towers, standing near low railings, and watching copious wing suit videos, I recently decided it was time to outgrow this fear and start rock climbing.
Owing to the fact that New York City doesn’t compete much in the outdoor climbable terrain arena (other than a sprinkling of boulders in Central Park), I joined a bouldering gym. This initially had me wishing I had worn brown shorts. You want me to jump off of what? But...I did it, and it was awful, but I survived. I did it again. And countless times later, well, I'm still alive and I can say my fear of heights is much assuaged.
And I'm here to help. I want you to also curb and eventually eliminate your fear of heights. And if you're going to do this by way of climbing, here are nine items of gear to help get you started.