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What Is Wall Climbing?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2014
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Wall climbing, sometimes referred to as indoor rock climbing, is an increasingly popular sport. It is very similar to rock climbing, but since it is done in a controlled environment, it is considered to be much safer. Wall climbing can be done in special fitness centers equipped with indoor rock climbing walls with holds attached to them. Other equipment is often necessary to ensure safety.

Facilities equipped with a wall for wall climbing usually have a number of certified climbing instructors. These instructors often have years of experience climbing and have undergone a rigorous certification program. They are there for the safety of the climbers as well as rock climbing instruction.

The main component of wall climbing is the climbing wall. These can be made from a number of materials, including wood, stone, fiberglass, or metal. Some are permanent fixtures in fitness centers, while others are portable. To simulate natural rock faces, some climbing walls may even have realistic cliffs, overhangs, underhangs, and crevices.

Holds on climbing walls are usually attached to the surface with bolts. These are often color coded, with each set of colors representing a certain path. Each path is then rated by the person who created a route as well as the first few climbers. While attempting to climb a certain route, a climber will usually only use the colored holds of that route. Difficulty levels, or grades, can range from beginner to expert.

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Certain safety equipment, such as a helmet and safety harness, is usually required by many climbing facilities. These harnesses are often worn around a person's hips and pelvic area. It is then attached to a safety rope, which is held by another person that remains on the ground. This person is known as a belayer, and he is partly responsible for the safety of the climber, controlling the tension of the safety rope.

Many climbers also purchase climbing shoes. These rubber-soled shoes grip the holds better than regular shoes, allowing for an easier climb. Rubbing chalk on the hands absorbs extra perspiration, which also makes gripping the surfaces easier.

There are several advantages to wall climbing, aside from physical exercise. This activity also exercises the mind, since climbers must think about and plan their routes ahead of time. Wall climbing can also help a person improve his balance. One of the biggest attractions of indoor climbing, however, is that many people find that it is a fun, exciting hobby.

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