Do you remember that rock climbing and abseiling trip you took when you were a schoolboy? Or maybe you’ve tried your hand at a rock climbing wall at an amusement park or arcade. If these experiences have intrigued you and you’ve wanted to develop this skill over the years, but didn’t know how or where, this article is for you. If you’ve never tried rock climbing, but generally enjoy fitness, adventure, and trying new things, this article is also for you.
Even though sport climbing is an official Olympic sport (unlike fan favorites like cricket), its popularity in our country is greatly lacking. However, big cities like Delhi and Mumbai now have a thriving community of rock climbers and plenty of indoor climbing gyms, where they can train regularly. “I have been climbing for a decade now and have been on the podium for seven consecutive years in national climbing competitions. Now I spend most of my time coaching and guiding young athletes,” explains Adarsh Singh, professional sport climber and member of the Indian Climbing Team.
If you’re eager to try rock climbing but aren’t sure what to expect, here’s what rock climbing enthusiast Ajay Kumar has to say: “Contrary to popular belief, rock climbing is not just about upper body strength. You need finger strength, technique and good footwork to excel in this area.
With expert help, we’ve broken down the different indoor climbing styles for you below.
What are the different types of indoor climbing?
When climbing in an indoor gym, you will come across three main styles: rope climbing, bouldering, and lead sport climbing. In top roping, you are secured via a harness to which a rope is attached from an anchor point above, which is then secured by a belayer, who may be a gym professional or partner in seasoned climber. In bouldering, instead of wearing a harness and using a rope, a climber relies on thick pads or bouldering pads to cushion their fall. Block walls are typically less than 20 feet high and can be steeply angled to mimic actual boulders. Lead sport climbing requires greater skill and is therefore a less common entry point for beginners. In it, a climber follows a predetermined route, clipping into new bolts to secure their harness against falls.
What equipment do you need to climb indoors?
Like any sport, rock climbing also requires certain gear and equipment. The first thing you will need are climbing shoes, which hug your feet perfectly and allow you to grab the smallest holds. Most gyms have a shoe rental policy for beginners, but if you want to buy your own pair, you can do that too.