A bouldering wall is a type of rock climbing wall designed specifically for the practice of bouldering. Like a conventional climbing wall, a bouldering wall is constructed with a sturdy wooden backing, and is designed to accommodate climbing holds of various shapes and sizes. Both indoor and outdoor versions can be found around the world for practice, fitness, and recreation, and it is also possible to build your own bouldering wall. If you are new to the sport, an orientation session with an experienced climber may be beneficial for you.
Bouldering is a branch of rock climbing which involves climbing low rocks and boulders. It is often designed to be highly technically challenging, so that while the climber may not go very high, he or she will have to be physically fit and very skilled. Bouldering is usually practiced with a large mat, so that if the climber falls, he or she will not be injured. It is also generally done in pairs, in case an emergency arises.
When a rock climbing wall is built, the primary objective is height. The wall may include a few angles or turns designed to provide complexity. A bouldering wall is usually designed with more angles, overhangs, and other features which will make climbing it more difficult. Holds are bolted onto the bouldering wall, and many climbers map out challenges on the wall of varying difficulties. An easy route will integrate well spaced large holds which are easy to grip, while a difficult one will force the climber into physically demanding positions with smaller, less easily accessible holds.
In severe climates, an indoor bouldering wall allows people to practice the sport even in bad weather. Indoor climbing gyms with bouldering walls may also offer rock climbing walls and fitness equipment. An outdoor bouldering wall can be installed in an urban area, or a location where there are no good natural bouldering spots. Outdoor walls require more careful construction and maintenance, to ensure that they are not degraded by the elements.
A simple bouldering wall can be built by bolting sturdy sheets of wood onto a strong framework. Holes can be drilled into the wood for climbing holds, which can be ordered from a supply company. A mat should be installed under the bouldering wall for safety. To locate a gym with a bouldering wall near you, you can search for a climbing gym in your area with your favorite search engine.