Steph Davis gets this question from one of her readers:
“We love climbing indoors but we both really want to start sport or trad climbing outdoors as soon as possible. ... I have spoken with multiple climbers in the gym about this and have gotten mixed results. Some say go out asap and have even offered to take us with them, others have said don’t go outside until you can climb every 5.10 in the gym with no problems. I was wondering if you had any advice as to what we should do????”
I wonder if there are a lot of regular gym climbers who are concerned that until you climb at a high grade, you shouldn’t climb outside. I never even thought this would be an issue. There are surely some climbing areas where there are very few easy to moderate grades so a beginner might not have many choices. And, of course, it’s always safer in the gym than outdoors, so that might be some of their hesitation. (Not to mention, heat, cold, wind, biting insects, rain, snow, mud, rock fall, and lack of good toilets.)
In the same article she also answers a question about climbing with a boyfriend/spouse, S/O.