Indoor rock climbing
What is indoor rock climbing?
Rock climbing involves climbing up, down or across natural rock formations or special artificial walls if you’re going indoors. Most centres provide all the equipment you need – helmets, ropes, harnesses, climbing chalk – so you don’t have to spend on gear to get started. Climbing is great for all ages, and most places have a range of walls to suit all levels, so it’s a good way to get the family to spend an hour out of the house enjoying a fun, energetic activity.
What I did
I went to Joe’s Basecamp in Brookvale, NSW to road test their bouldering wall. Bouldering doesn’t require ropes or harnesses, so I was glad to see giant crashmats underneath the wall! Joe directed me through a quick warm-up, then I chalked up my hands in preparation for a spot of traversing: that’s going across the wall, rather than up it. I got about halfway across before I felt tired and fell backwards onto the mats. To really challenge my body, Joe got me to do sit ups in between quick sessions on the wall and, to finish, I had a go at climbing upwards, which was exhilarating – and exhausting!
What I loved about it
I normally run or go hiking to keep active, so I loved that bouldering challenged me in a new way; it wasn’t long before I felt totally puffed! Getting on
the wall without a harness pushed me out of my comfort zone – even when I was no more than half a metre off the ground – and although I was wiped out by the time the 30-minute session was over, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
Would I do it again?
Yes! I found working out the ‘puzzle’ of the wall – where to put my feet and hands next – very rewarding. It’s a good way to improve strength and it’s a lot of fun.
What to bring
Wear comfortable clothing. Moisture-wicking fabrics work best – you’re sure to work up a sweat as you challenge your entire body to climb the wall. Bring a bottle of water, too.
Where to do it?
There are plenty of places to climb across Australia and New Zealand – just search for “indoor climbing centres” in your area.