Indoor rock climbing is based on artificial rock walls that are constructed inside buildings like gyms and play areas in shopping malls. Climbers are supposed to reach the top without falling, and they use different protective gear during the climb. The activity creates options for exciting competition games among kids and adults both, and – unlike outdoor rock climbing – people can enjoy this sport regardless of the weather conditions outside. Not only does indoor rock climbing improve your balance and agility, but it also makes an excellent sports workout. Since you are always tethered to harnesses and climbing ropes, they help you actually learn the ropes to this indoor activity without worrying about hurting yourself.
To imitate the outdoor rock-climbing adventure, gyms use various handholds and footholds at strategic points throughout the plastic wall. Color-coded routes are marked at increasing levels of difficulty with numbered cards to indicate the level. Indoor rock climbing is comprised of various disciplines that allow you to climb the learning curve by testing your comfort zones.
Different Types of Indoor Rock Climbing
Bouldering is a type of freestyle rock climbing on smaller rock formations and artificial walls. Harnesses and guiding ropes are not used in bouldering, and you need to navigate using balancing as well as fast decision-making skills. Without the safety equipment to hinder your climb, you can focus on your techniques easily. All you need is your pair of shoes and some chalk to create friction. Bouldering works at sufficient heights to make the climb an adrenaline-charged activity, but these heights are also safe enough to keep you comfortable. There are safety mats on the gym floor to cushion any falls as you maneuver around the structures.
Indoor bouldering uses color-coded circuits that can be changed into new orientations for each climb. This adds a problem-solving element where you try to figure out the route setting. The absence of harnesses allows more people to climb simultaneously, making indoor bouldering a very social activity with like-minded climbers.
Top-rope climbing is the perfect representation of the phrase “learning the ropes”. It is an ideal starting point for novice climbers who feel that they struggle with the uphill battle of rock climbing. The tall walls in gyms with wall-length ropes are the ones used for top roping. This climbing style employs an anchor system in which the rope that secures a climber is anchored to the top of the wall and then lowered to a belayer at the foot of the structure. So, one end of the rope is tied around you, and the other end is held by the belayer while an overhead anchor supports the middle of the rope.
A belayer is a person who secures your climb from ground level by holding the other end of the rope. This makes top roping a safe indoor climbing technique because in case you lose your grip and fall, your belayer partner will help you down securely – just like a pulley system. Belayers need to be trained personnel or anyone who has a belay certification in order to control and manage your climb. There are also automatic belay devices that replace human belayers for a more independent indoor rock-climbing experience.
Lead climbing is carried out on tall wall structures that have no ropes on them. A single rope directly connects the belayer and climber. One climber takes the lead for the others to follow by climbing up and clipping the rope to various bolts along the rock structure. Unlike the top-roping system in which the rope already runs through the overhead anchor and down to a belayer, lead climbing is about gradually moving the rope upwards to anchor your climb side by side.
Climbers require excessive training and skills to accomplish their lead climbing goals, as the inherent risks are far greater than other climbing styles. You begin “leading” with the rope on the ground instead of an overhead anchor, which means that you are at constant risk of falling twice the distance you have climbed. Extreme climbers tend to enjoy their chronic obsession with unpredictable falls; however, beginners need to train closely with certified mentors.
Indoor Rock-Climbing Clothes
Comfortable and Easy-Going
Indoor rock climbing requires a lot of physical movement, so always wear comfortable and flexible clothes that will help you climb freely. Any gym clothes will work, as long as they are made of breathable fabrics and do not restrict your movements.
Tops, Trousers, and Shoes
Your T-shirts should be stretchable and loose enough for comfort, but avoid wearing baggy shirts as they can hinder your climb. Long-sleeved shirts are useful for beginners as they protect against scratches from frequent misses and falls. Light and moisture-wicking material is the best choice.
You can wear shorts or yoga pants to the gym. There are also climbing pants that are specially designed for rock climbing contexts. These climbing pants are stretchable and ideally loose-fitting to protect your knees and legs.
Indoor climbing shoes have rubbered soles to provide better friction and grip on the footholds. They are often available as rentals in gyms, and you can always purchase your own pair from online stores.
Products in Virtual Shopping Aisles
Ucraft “Xlite Rock Climbing Bouldering and Yoga Knickers ¾ Men’s and Women’s Capri Pants. Lightweight, Stretchy, Breathable
These gender-neutral capri pants are stretchable and lightweight, made of polyester and spandex materials. They have pockets and chalk bag loops to support your main rock-climbing ammunition – the chalk powder. The breathable and long-lasting fabric allows these pants to be used for various martial arts, slacklining, indoor/outdoor rock climbing, and bouldering activities. Different colors are available, including graphite, yellow, mustard, and pale green. The pants come in varying lengths and have elastic waistbands as well as articulated knee comforts to assist climbing movements.
Ucraft – Anti-Gravity Climbing and Bouldering Unisex Pants, 5 Pockets, 5 Fabrics
These climbing and bouldering pants are equipped with a 5-type-fabric feature that makes them comfortable, tear-resistant, and stretchy. The multi-functional pockets and chalk bag loops deliver ergonomic comfort to carry rock-climbing essentials easily. These chalk bag loops are doubled to prevent the bag from twisting along your climb. By using extra fabric to reinforce the articulated knees, the pants offer knee protection as well as streamlined movements up the rock. The designs are available in graphite and yellow colors and include black inners. Coolmax inner material inserts along with mesh linings help to remove moisture. Both men and women can wear Ucraft Anti-Gravity climbing pants for outdoor bouldering and indoor gym climbing.
Wall Climbing Indoor Rock Climbers Action Sports Alpinism T-Shirt
This rock-climbing graphic art T-shirt comes in different color varieties of black, white, cranberry, lemon, and purple. It makes a remarkable gift for all indoor and outdoor rock/wall climbers. It is simple, lightweight, comfortable, and a great motivation present for your beginner friends. People who enjoy action sports, hiking, climbing, and mountaineering activities will easily warm up to this T-shirt as their new go-to gym shirt.
La Sportiva Women’s Solution Performance Rock Climbing Shoe
Women’s rock-climbing shoes from La Sportiva have a Vibram sole and leather upper material. Their rubber grip and downturned layout facilitate rock climbing for both indoor and outdoor styles. A molded 3D heel cup and a patented platform maintain this downturned structure of the shoes. The contoured and tight-fitting design combined with its efficient lacing system creates a more customized fit to secure footholds. The extra toe grip of these sturdy shoes really helps you find your balance as you climb against gravity.
“The best view comes after the hardest climb”
The Yosemite Decimal System
The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) determines the difficulty level of both indoor and outdoor rock-climbing sports, in addition to basic hiking levels. Rock climb route classifications are rated from Class 5.0 to Class 5.15 in increasing order of difficulty.
Class 5 itself starts at expert training and ranks the technical climbing and belayed roping skills. This makes it unsuitable for beginner climbers, as falling from a Class 5 difficulty level is considered to be life-threatening. The sub-categories from 5.1 to 5.15 are classified into easy, intermediate, hard, hard to difficult, and very difficult levels of rock climbing. Bearing in mind these difficulty levels, rock climbers work with certified mentors to make sure that they understand their limits and optimize their potential.
A preferred Form of Gym Workout
Rock climbing is a great sport for building endurance and muscle strength, and it offers a dynamic alternative to traditional gym practices. People enjoy the exhilarating highs and lows of their climbs. The challenging circuits along the walls introduce a problem-solving aspect into the game, thereby encouraging people to be physically and mentally active while moving.
Recreational Pursuits and Home-Based Adventures
Indoor rock climbing can be pursued for more recreational purposes that focus on obstacle games and team competitions. These creative activities make the sport a popular hobby among all age groups, particularly the youth, with diverse opportunities to work in teams.
Moreover, rock climbing walls are increasingly becoming a part of interior house designs, serving as monumental aesthetics apart from being a fun play area for children. Activities like this have seen a spectacular rise during the coronavirus pandemic, inspiring people to build their custom indoor rock-climbing spaces. With DIY climbing walls that lead to the loft and end with a slide, the possibilities for home-based excursions are endless!