View Full Version : Indoor Climbing

12-16-2008, 10:41 PM
I'm thinking about trying an indoor climbing gym. We have a local-ish (within 20 minutes) gym that has a womens night with an hour of instruction (topic of the week sort of thing) and 2-hour newb class (I think there's a co-ed and womens version). They do provide equipment for the first class. I'll probably try to find a buddy, but my buddies are kind of limited these days... :)

I'm not so set on outdoor climbing. I'm afraid of heights, for one, and it's proportional to my amount of control over the situation. Thankfully, indoor climbing is pretty well controlled, and obviously somewhat limited.

Anyone else out there climb? Anything I should look for or look out for?

12-17-2008, 02:51 AM
Climbing used to be my primary sport, so I climbed indoors all winter. No advice except have fun! There is, at least in my opinion, a high risk of tendon related issues with indoor climbing, but as a beginner, you should not have a problem.

Post up after you have gone. I would love to hear about it. You will probably love it.


12-17-2008, 04:53 AM
(TPL?? :rolleyes:)

Indoor climbing is a blast. I recommend taking a women's only course to begin with, women often have a different approach to technique. And they can often outclimb men, at least to start with, since they're forced to develop better technique to compensate for less brute strength.

Hope you have fun playing on the wall! :)

12-17-2008, 10:21 AM
Hey, I have climbed for the past 5 or so years and currently climb 2-3 days/week. RIght now it's winter so thats at the gym.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me! FWIW outdoor toproping is no different from indoor toproping, safety wise. THe only difference might be that it feels more scary because you have more of a sense of exposure.

There are lots of climbers that are afraid of heights (rather- afraid of falling, which is what most people, including me, are really afraid of), so you're not alone.

Have fun!


12-17-2008, 10:32 AM
I climbed obsessively for 4 years (now I train obsessively for triathlon :p). Indoor climbing is a great way to get introduced to the sport. Climbing will work your upper body hard (after my first ever climbing evening I had to drive home with my arms laying in my lap, steering from the bottom of the wheel, because I couldn't lift my arms! :eek:) Climbing can be great fun and I'm feeling the need to get back on the wall.

12-17-2008, 10:07 PM
Wow, thanks for all the comments!! I'm really going to have to make time for it, now. I might have to get over the "going by myself" factor just to give it a shot. Reading your gals' comments was pretty motivating. ;) I like the idea of having something different, and building strength in my upper body.

12-18-2008, 09:08 AM
colby, there is a thing called 'bouldering' which your gym probably has a section for. It's basically unroped climbing, but the routes only go up maybe 10 -15 feet so the fall is safe. And you only have to go as high as you want. I did alot of bouldering when I was just starting when I didn't know many people. That is a good place to climb by yourself and meet people by asking for a spot, etc. Also check out and see if your gym has programs like a women's climb, a meet n greet or anything like that. They might have a bulletin board you can post a note on looking for a partner, or even posting something on craigslist in your area looking for a climbing partner might work out.

Good luck!

12-18-2008, 10:17 AM
I've started off a lot of beginners, and often they're self-conscious about two things: not being "good enough" (to climb with somebody more experienced), and looking stupid or clumsy when climbing (usually the guys :p)

I usually tell them these two things:
1. any climber, no matter what climbing level, needs somebody to belay him or her, and it makes no difference whatsoever if the belayer is a total beginner as long as he/she can handle the rope. So just learn that well, and you'll be needed and useful. It's more fun to climb with someone at your own level because you can talk about the routes and exchange tips, but it's not necessary and any belayer is better than no belayer. And a good belayer is worth her weight in gold.

2. Climbing is fun, watching people climb is pretty boring. And you get a crick in your neck. Nine times out of ten your belayer, and everybody else, is paying just enough attention to keep the rope taut enough, but otherwise could care less about how you look on the wall. (Well, unless you're a real hottie, and in that case you probably don't worry about how you look :p )

Just in case these two thoughts had crossed your mind ;)

And yes, you'll build upper body strength, but your mantra should be "conserve energy". All the time! No-one is strong enough to just pull themselves up any which way, so the faster you learn to climb smart, the faster you'll see an improvement. It's all about planning your moves and focusing :)

12-18-2008, 02:17 PM
And yes, you'll build upper body strength, but your mantra should be "conserve energy". All the time! No-one is strong enough to just pull themselves up any which way, so the faster you learn to climb smart, the faster you'll see an improvement. It's all about planning your moves and focusing :)

Yes, you need upper body strength but the drive really comes from your legs. Biker or not, out legs are much stronger than our arms and are capable of higher endurance. So, good technique involves learning how to conserve your arms and maximize your legs. Climbing is a real high!

12-18-2008, 03:39 PM
I did a lot of climbing a few years back. Climbed indoors 3-4xweek during the winter for training for summer outdoor climbs. It was so fun and always challenging both physically and mentally. Make sure you stretch before and after and yes, your forearms will be sore for a little while. There are so many levels of climbing. At first you will be what is called " top roping" which is fun and a "safe" way to climb. Once you get the skill set and experience you may eventually be able to lead climb which puts you more at risk for falls, but in the gym it is not too bad/dangerous to take a lead fall. Just find a partner you can trust that will be paying attention.

And of course have FUN!!!

12-18-2008, 03:41 PM
oh and another suggestion, when climbing focus on your feet/legs. Don't try to pull your way up the wall. That is where a lot of people get burned out.