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The Thrill of Indoor Climbing

Jun 19, 2008
Indoor climbing is a sport that deals with both the body and mind. It takes a lot of will power to be able to withstand the challenges it gives and the mere determination to reach the goal of reaching the top. Yet, there is a lot to learn with regards to the art of indoor climbing.Indoor climbing is an increasingly famous type of rock climbing that is done by the use of artificial structures that imitate the feeling of climbing a rocky mountain. Yet, this is in a controlled surrounding as compared to the dangerous but adventurous sport of outdoor rock climbing.

The idea of the artificial indoor climbing wall originated in United Kingdom, where Don Robinson, a professor of Physical Education of The Leeds University created DR Climbing Walls in 1964. He made this possible by inserting rocks into a wall on a corridor. It was commercially introduced and constructed in Sheffield which is now considered as the heart of Indoor Climbing.

The first indoor walls were made of bricks, giving a smaller choice of routes. This is since the steepness of the wall and variety of the hand holds was limited. It was later on changed to wooden walls. It was constructed by screwing the resin hand holds which acts as the artificial rocks. The boards vary in steepness and in height where the different sizes of resin holds are attached, making it more like the sport that it was derived from.

The climbing walls are made out of wood or bricks. This is although recently, multiplex boards became the material used. It is thick and safe to climb. Aside from this, it is where resin rocks are attached. Nowadays; aluminum and steel are also used.

These climbing walls have various types and this would include the following: Plywood is one type, which is said to be the simplest type used in the structure of climbing walls. The other forms of climbing walls aside from the ones mentioned above are made of concrete sprayed into a wire mesh, slabs of granite, pre-made fiberglass panels and fiberglass walls. The rocks attached to the climbing walls also vary and may be made out of limestone, granite or artificial rocks. Hence, whatever type of climbing wall or rocks is used, belay ropes should be attached to the climber for protection. Aside from this, it is also used for bouldering and lead climbing.

Indoor climbing has also become popular in areas with rainy climates, where in, it is much safer as compared to outdoor rock climbing. This is due to the fact that this kind of weather makes it very difficult to climb a rocky mountain. It will just make it slippery and dangerous, unlike indoor climbing where anyone could go to the gym despite their busy schedules. This can also be for any season and anytime of the day, giving the climbers the chance to enjoy their sport, even at night.

Moreover, indoor wall climbing is less dangerous for it is within controlled vicinity and it is manmade and created to be environmentally safe. In fact, people can celebrate parties inside a wall climbing area. Aside from being evidently fun, it is also definitely hassle free. It is also easier than outdoor rock climbing. Even so, it is almost the same in such a way that gears and skills that should be combined with analytical thinking are still necessary in this kind of sport. This makes it as difficult as outdoor rock climbing. Plus, it is the reason why indoor climbing is considered as a type of sport, just like outdoor rock climbing.

What are the benefits of Indoor climbing? Aside from the fact that it is safer than outdoor rock climbing, it is also like a training ground for outdoor rock climbing. You can also lose a lot of weight with this sport, without even noticing it. It is simply a fun environment and an amazing outlet to burn fats in the process. This is since it involves intense muscular activity just by climbing up and down the walls, especially if you are carrying the gears as well. Thus, some indoor climbers who have recently tried the sport later found themselves loving it.

Although indoor climbing gears are expensive, beginners of this kind of sport can always rent one in the gym itself. Then, you can save and buy the gears when you get hooked up on the sport. This is better than buying all the pricey equipment and realizing it's not for you. Yet, even if these gears cost a lot, it will keep you protected; prevent you from falling or getting injured.

Here are the gears needed in this kind of sport:

* Rock Climbing shoes - This is an essential climbing gear for a climber. It is chosen depending on the kind of rocks that are being used in climbing walls, as well as the type of climbing walls and climbing typ. This is if you are climbing: for a competition, in a gym, for bouldering, as a sport or for mountaineering practice. Thus, the types of rubber, lacing material and curvature, shape and heel construction should also be considered.

* Belay Devices - These equipments are used for the safety of climbers. Nowadays, manufacturers have been continuously doing everything to improve repelling and belaying equipments.

* Climbing Ropes - Ropes are important to the climbers for it is used to protect them from falling and are tested to meet the standards of the UIAA. The quality of these ropes should be the best so as not to comprise the climber's safety.

* Climbing Harness - A harness is used as a diaper sling attached to the climbing ropes. It is also called a diaper sling because it is worn just like a diaper.

* Climbing Holds -These climbing holds are made of fiberglass, silica sand and epoxy. Climbing holds have various types and this would include handles, slopes, side pulls, edges, jugs, jibs, crimpers and many more.

* Quickdraws - This gear is a newly added gear for climbing. Quickdraws consist of two carabiners that adjoin a runner. It also has a webbing sling attached to a carabiner. It has a measurement of 4 to 10 inches when it comes to the distance. The other carabiner is in a bending position while the other carabiner is straight.

* Crash Pads - This is similar to the gymnastics mats that are used in outdoor bouldering. Aside from this, it is used as a protection from falling. Crash pads have certain features such as: hiking shoulder straps, pockets, like straps, launch pads and many more.

* Fingerboard - This training device can be placed where there is limited space and can be mounted on top of a doorway. It is a training device for finger strength training.

* Child's Harness - An adult's harness is very much different from a child's harness. This is due to the fact that it is smaller as compared to the adults. It also has smaller leg sizes and waists. They are also divided into 2 distinct types which would be the child's waist harness and the full body harness.

* Chalk Bags - A chalk bag is needed and is definitely considered as one of the needed climbing gears a climber must have handy. It serves as a type of protection or prevention against dangerously falling while climbing. This is worn by strapping it around a climber's waist and attaching it to the middle part of the back, particularly the butt part. It is used by both outdoor and indoor climbers, as well as mountaineers and big wall climbers.

* Climbing Helmets - This gear is the most essential part of a climbing gear. It is used in rappelling, mountaineering, caving and outdoor climbing. It protects your head from falling rocks that has a tendency to fall really fast. Due to gravity even the smallest rocks can cause a tremendous blow if you don't wear a helmet. This should go with wearing something for your eyes as well.

* Rope Bags - Ropes are noted to lose it strength when it is mixed with dirt and water. Plus, if it gets exposed to UV light. Thus, this gear can protect your rope gear.

* Extreme Sports Clothes - Climbing clothing is durable and functional at the same time. This extreme sports clothing are flexible and strong unlike other sport clothing that are not as flexible as it is.

An example of a gym that offers Indoor Climbing is: The Banffe Centre, Sally Borden Gym. Their Climbing Gym Equipment Rental is as follows:

* Harness-$5.00
* Carabiner/Belay Device-$2.00
* Shoes-$5.00
* Complete package is $10.00
* Chalk Bag-$2.00
* Climbing Gym Rates for Adults: $10
* Belay Test: $5
* Youth (4 years old up to 15 years old)-$4.00

This Climbing Gym's hours of operation are from Mondays up to Fridays from 4:00 PM up to 11 PM. On weekends, their hours of operation are from Saturdays up to Sundays from 2:00 PM up to 10:00 PM.

Indoor Climbing is fun and it is a good form of exercise, many were reluctant to try this sport but once they have, it de a real difference in their lives.
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