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Rock Climbing with Style - Bouldering and Indoor Climbing Gyms

by John Grimes [January 29, 2007]

If you are looking for an addictive outdoor sport, it is hard to top rock climbing. Once you try it, you will be hooked and looking for opportunities to go high.

Rock climbing may sound like the most basic of sports. Find something to climb. Climb it. How hard could it be? Well, there is more to it as tends to be true for most things that seem simple at first. When it comes to rock climbing, there are different styles for different folks. Let's take a look at a couple.
Bouldering - Bouldering is perhaps the most popular form of rock climbing, although many would argue with that. The reason I suggest it is has to do with availability. Simply put, most people can find boulders somewhere relatively close to their home, which makes it a readily accessible option.
Bouldering is exactly what it sounds like. You look for ten to 15 foot boulders that you can climb. Once you are ready, you just climb them but you should do more. Since falling from a boulder is less dangerous than a cliff, a host of opportunities are presented to you. You can practice the basics to build up your technique and strength. You can also try new techniques since the risk of injury is minimized. All and all, bouldering is a great way to get your technique in order or try rock climbing for the first time. To prevent scrapes, it often helps to throw a mat down on the ground to cushion you when you fall.
Indoor Climbing - Indoor climbing represents another good way to practice your technique, learn new skills or just start out as a beginner. As mentioned above, it can be hard to find good climbing locations close to where you live. With indoor climbing, you have no such problem. In most major cities, there are now indoor climbing gyms. The gyms are all different, but many have fixed walls while others have rotating walls that change the terrain you climb. All are usually set with ropes to cut out some of the work. As a beginner, you can almost always get climbing lessons at the gyms, which makes them another great place to get started.

If you are looking for climbing options that don't require you to travel, bouldering and indoor climbing gyms represent great options. Beginners can get the basic downs and old pros can work on technique and try new things.

About the Author
John Grimes is with All Terrain - makers of natural products for the outdoors.