Athletic climbing for endurance and family fun
Higher, further – that's the motto of those enthusiastically following the call of the mountains. That one must not necessarily go all the way to the Alps, is proven by the numerous athletic climbers regularly practicing mountain climbing on Germany's climbing walls. Even if it's stormy and snowy outside.
Beside running, climbing may just be the oldest and most natural type of locomotion. Originally it was only possible in the mountains, but the popularity of climbing steep walls increases. Climbing enthusiasts aim high on artificial rock walls, independent of wind, weather, or time of day. It’s not rare to see beginners climbing side-by-side with professionals. What would be highly perilous in nature is effortless in climbing wall facilities between five and twenty metres in height. Yet the routes themselves might be significantly longer, because the level of difficulty and the length depend on shape, size, and position of the colourful handles attached to these walls. The colour code of the individual course provides information on the route's level of difficulty.
In general, indoor climbing is deemed to be a very safe type of sport. Tools and equipment are regularly inspected by expert staff, which is also happy to assist climbers. After all, falling rocks and the stability of safety points are the number one risk factors in outdoor climbing.
There are different safety types, for example "top rope", the simplest type with the lowest risk. Here, the rope hangs in an anchor system at the top. The partner secures the climber from the floor. This method is used only in sports climbing, as the rope must first be attached to the target location.
Introductory classes, in which the most important elements are taught, are offered for beginners. The equipment is usually taken along but can, for the time being, also be rented in many indoor facilities. A climbing harness, climbing shoes, security device, karabiner, bag of magnesia, and – depending on the facility – a climbing rope and the so-called express set (two karabiner hooks connected with a runner, used as a connection between the rope and the safety point) are part of the basic equipment.
Care must be taken already when putting the equipment on. Checking the partner is an important element in order to recognize whether everything has been attached correctly. Safety is a top priority in this type of sport.
Indoor climbing is deemed to be an excellent muscle and endurance exercise; it exercises one's sense of balance, coordination, and body awareness. The most important thing: it's a lot of fun and is also a very suitable family sport that can be done from childhood to old age.
By the way, the largest indoor climbing facility in the world is located in Thalkirchen, a district of Munich. It offers nearly 8,000 square metres of climbing area.