How a practice item can get converted into one of the most popular sports is illustrated by rock bouldering which has turned out to be one of the biggest indoor sports in the United Kingdom. Those not very familiar with this sport would be glad to know that it is a variant of traditional rock climbing that has been a favourite among mountaineers for centuries. This method was introduced to facilitate mountaineers practice specific movements at a height not very far above the ground. The use of mountaineering gears like harness and ropes are put away in the practice module that has to be carried out without any equipment. The act is usually performed at a maximum height of 20 feet from the ground and mats are laid underneath to prevent injuries from any likely fall. Climbers use chalk to keep their hands dry and climbing shoes help to get better foothold on the surface.
The spread of indoor facilities
To facilitate climbers and the lovers of adventure sports engage in the activity more frequently, indoor rock climbing centres have spread across UK. Artificial climbing walls that mimic the actual climbing environment have been set up across the length and breadth of the country and as per latest count there are at least 250 indoor rock climbing schools. There are high chances that there is a school somewhere near your home. There have been complaints of environmental abuse when the sport is practiced outside as it can lead to trampled vegetation and soil erosion and this has added to the popularity of the indoor format.
“Problems” of bouldering
Every sport has its own terminologies and the sport of rock bouldering is no exception. If you hear about problems in bouldering then please do not take it in the true sense of the word. In rock climbing parlance, it means the path or route that the climber has to traverse in reaching to the top of the boulder after taking off from a designated starting point. Similarly “Traverses” would mean the horizontal path that has to be covered by the climber to change positions.
The indoor set up
The outdoor climbing environment is replicated in an indoor set up that allows climbers to enjoy the sport in a controlled environment. The availability of the indoor facility close at hand has given more encouragement and scope to adventure sports enthusiasts to participate in this exciting sport. Artificial climbing walls made from cement, concrete and wooden panels are set up with plastic holds bolted to it, forming the bouldering problems. The same section of the wall can have several problems.
Since no equipments are used in this sport it adds to the attraction among climbers who can simply get going if they have a pair of climbing shoes. It is a sport that builds strength and stamina besides improving climbing techniques and enhancing the skills of problem solving. The craze to remain fit and healthy has also contributed to the popularity of this sport among the adventure loving people.