Indoor climbing is a type of rock climbing where a person ascends a man-made climbing structure. The idea is that the sport gives you the same experience as rock climbing, but in a more controlled and supervised environment.
The indoor climbing walls are usually made by screwing hand holds into wooden boards. These boards vary in their height, and the degree of the angle at which they are placed. If you are a beginner then a low wall with easy to reach hand holds is a good place to start. As you become more experienced, higher and steeper boards with hand holds placed further apart will provide more of a challenge.
Indoor climbing has become especially popular during winter and in colder, wetter climates where adventure climbing in the outdoors is not always a safe or sensible option. Indoor climbing also allows for people to climb after dark, while outdoor adventure rock climbing should only be done when there is plenty of light for you to see by.
Many people find sport climbing an effective alternative to going to a gym. As previously mentioned, indoor climbing is easier to fit around a busy schedule as the climbing centres often stay open later. They will also have equipment for hire. A downside to indoor climbing is that it may not provide aspiring outdoor rock climbers with sufficient experience and knowledge to plot routes and set up anchors, or find suitable hand holds on the side of a mountain.
The sense of security that indoor climbing provides is a big factor as to why it has become so popular. Indoor climbing centres will often have beginner’s training courses, where you will learn how to set up ropes and harnesses, as well as how to climb safely. Indoor climbing is a popular team building exercise, and is a fantastic idea for children’s parties and other functions.
Indoor climbing should not be dismissed as inferior sport climbing when compared to outdoor rock climbing. It is a highly competitive sport that is controlled by many local, national and international organisations, and is quite different to outdoor climbing.
If it’s an evening of energy-packed fun with friends, or just a solitary climb that you are after, indoor climbing is the safest way to go.