All You Need To Know About A Rock Climbing Wall

By: Kris Koonar

A rock climbing wall is a manufactured wall that can be found in gyms and amusement/theme parks. This wall provides a safe alternative to beginners interested in climbing. Instead of starting to learn the tricks and intricacies of rock climbing on a natural mountain, that can be extremely dangerous, the learner can hone his skills under the guidance of experienced trainers and gradually progress towards climbing natural cliffs and rock faces. Even non-serious climbers can have fun climbing these walls during their leisure time.

Rock climbing is an excellent sport that not only offers fun, but also provides a full body workout. It is a superb way to get into a great shape. However, it may not be everyone's cup of tea. Apart from the physical stress and strain involved, special equipment used for rock climbing needs to be hired for testing and improving your skills on a climbing wall. The gym or park lets you hire this equipment on payment of charges on a 'by the hour' basis. Some times other charges like entry or membership fees etc also need to be paid. This makes it an expensive hobby to indulge in. Even if you buy your own equipment, it will cost you a tidy sum, as climbing equipment is fairly expensive. If you are a serious climber, you might save a bit in the long run.

Rock climbing walls are specially built structures that have adequate hand and footholds that allow a climber to scale the wall. Without exposure to such holds that simulate those offered by natural rocks and crevices, it would be impossible for any climber to learn advancing up a mountain face. Different rock climbing walls are manufactured to offer varying degrees of difficulties in climbing. A small wall in a theme park may not be all that grand and a gym would be a much better option.

You can start by training to overcome easy obstacles in climbing during the initial stages of learning and as you gain experience, you can gradually learn to tackle progressively higher and varied difficulties. A gym has the facilities to let you learn the basics at your own pace and progress towards learning new styles and techniques of rock climbing, using the climbing wall.

Rock climbing walls are artificially constructed using brick or wood. More modern constructions use manufactured steel and aluminum. Other types of climbing walls are of premade fiberglass panels, granite slabs and concrete sprayed on wire mesh. One of the most popular materials used to manufacture climbing walls are thick multiplex boards with drilled holes. Every hole houses a special arrangement allowing modular hand holds to be fixed on the wall.

The whole face of the climbing surface of the multiplex board is covered with textured products. Concrete, paint and polyurethane loaded with sand are also used. Apart from the textured surface, the wall can have many surface structures that can be in the form of overhangs, underhangs, indentations, cracks, and protrusion. Grips to resemble outdoor rock face are also formed on the walls. Some oversized grips may have smaller grips bolted on to them.

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