Technical issues- training
The staff at an indoor wall should be able to offer advice on equipment, but more importantly they can offer advice on movement techniques. The routes on walls are normally marked in colours, red, green, blue, etc with a numerical grade given at the bottom. The higher the number, the harder the route. Normally there a few routes of 3,4 and 5 that are ideal grades to begin on, but if these are still a little challenging to begin with, consider using all the holds available and eliminate certain ones as you improve. It is of great training value to 'down climb' from the top rather than be lowered by the rope, as this is a much-neglected skill that will be needed if ever you get into a situation and have no rope to retreat.
'Down climb' the wall after reaching the top - this is a much-neglected skill that will be needed if ever you get into a situation and have no rope to retreat
Visiting a local wall once a week as the scrambling season approaches will greatly assist your skills and provide you with a new-found confidence. I guarantee that soon you will be attempting much harder scrambles and even low-graded rock climbs.
Indoor walls can be a little intimidating at first and you might prefer to book an intro session during the day when there are few other people around. Within a few days you will be moving and operating as well as anyone else in the wall. Once your inhibitions have subsided you'll find that walls can be great fun and very sociable places. Many people now only ever climb indoors which just highlights the huge diversification that has happened in climbing and mountaineering over the last few years.
Scott is a professional Scottish climbing athlete with a wealth of trekking and climbing experience exploring and guiding routes and peaks around the globe. He is a fully qualified mountain instructor, full time athlete and Scottish Youth Team coach. Scott has climbed with some of the world’s best known climbers including Bonington, Saunders and Zak. Visit Scott's website
for more details. Photo courtesy of Laura Lawrence.
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