As the nights draw in, and the temperature slowly creeps towards zero, we settle in for another traditional British winter.
Some of us withdraw to the comfort of our homes, staying warm in front of the fire, and others fly off to tropical climates to escape the big freeze.
But for a growing number of like minded individuals, it’s time to put in some winter training and hang out in what can only be described as an indoor adult playground.
Hanging high off the ground from their chalky fingertips, showing gravity defying physical prowess and possible feats of super human strength – we step into the world of indoor climbing.
Indoor climbing walls, and specifically rope-free bouldering walls, are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. For some, they are a regular training ground to stay strong and hone the outdoor climbing skills and for others they’re a more fun, sociable alternative to other forms of keeping fit.
Whichever it may be, it’s having a huge effect on the country as statistics released by Sport England say it is set to overtake more traditional outdoor climbing as the country’s most popular mountaineering activity.
It’s easy to get involved! With hundreds of climbing/bouldering centres going up around the country there is likely to be one right on your doorstep. The atmosphere in these multicoloured playgrounds can only be describe as having amazing camaraderie, don’t be surprised if a stranger tries to help you conquer your route on your first day.
For the budding boulderers out there all you need is a pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag. Sign up at your local wall and complete a brief induction for safety and you’ll be hanging from the ceiling in no time.
For the height junkies out there, indoor climbing is pretty much the same deal but with a bit more risk involved and a lot more height, so you will need a harness and a bit more of an induction into safety, belaying and tying knots.
So if your spider-like tendencies are starting to flare up, be sure to go and check it out, you won’t regret it!