Climbing With No Harness – Is That Safe?

October 29, 2019

You’re probably familiar with indoor rock climbing. It’s likely you’ve either done it before or know someone who has. Bouldering – the main activity on offer at Alpine – differs to standard indoor climbing in a few key ways; namely, it’s done entirely without a harness.

Read on to learn about this adrenaline-fuelled sport, and how the learning curve may not be as steep as you think.

Climbing & falling

Bouldering is functionally very similar to standard indoor rock climbing, with the main difference being the height of the walls. Bouldering involves routes that are restricted in height – in this case, our walls cap out at 4.8 meters high. As you complete your climb, you’ll simply let go and fall softly onto the thick cushioned mat. This ultra-comfortable cushioning runs throughout the whole gym, meaning that regardless of the route you’re climbing or where you fall from, you’re ensured a safe landing. After that, you’ll be on your feet and seeking out your next challenge.

 

Landing safely

Speaking of landing, you’ll be taken through an induction session before your first climb, instructing you on how to fall properly and minimise impact on your knees and back. Even if you’ve climbed before, a qualified instructor will take you through this short tutorial, making sure you’re fully prepared to start bouldering. The high quality, super cushioned mats around you provide the highest levels of safety, so once you get started, there’s no need to hold back!

climbing without a harness

So no equipment?

All of this conveniently removes the need for any climbing tools or equipment. That’s right – no ropes; no harnesses; no carabiners, clasps, hooks, pulleys or any other complex equipment – just you and a pair of climbing shoes (available for hire for a nominal fee).

The lack of traditional climbing equipment allows for some interesting advantages, too. For starters, you’ll quickly notice the speed and fluidity that bouldering affords: when you’re not spending time attaching and detaching ropes and harnesses, you’re spending more time up on the wall and plotting your course up the next climbing route.

 

Why This Makes It Better Than Traditional Climbing

Overall, compared with traditional indoor climbing, the shorter height of the walls means shorter, more challenging climbs, and the lack of traditional equipment means you’re free of any cumbersome accessories holding you back – it’s just you and the wall! When you’re able to move freely throughout the whole gym (without the need to detach, unbuckle and loosen ropes and carabiners), climbing becomes more fun, more intuitive and faster-paced.

Keen to get started, or get back into climbing after a hiatus? We’d love to meet you and welcome you to the gym. Get in touch if you have any questions, and we’ll see you soon!

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