Indoor rock climbing

Do your children drive you up the wall? Time to turn the tables by taking them indoor climbing, says K.P. Malini


On a balmy Monday evening in Kochi, sports enthusiasts as young as four and as old as 65 scale the four walls of an indoor climbing gym, The Rock. Requiring strength, agility, and mental and physical stamina, indoor climbing is fast emerging as a popular fitness sport and activity across the country. Daniel, proprietor and coach at The Rock, says this indoor sport is becoming popular because it offers the “thrill and adventure of rock climbing in a safe controlled setting”. “If you can climb stairs, you’ll be able to climb a wall. It just takes a little more effort,” he says.

Indoor scaling is performed in an artificial environment with structures that mimic the experience of outdoor rock climbing. Many rock gyms provide climbing walls with varying levels of difficulty. A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with designed grips for hands and feet. The minimum height of a climbing wall is 20 ft with no upper limit. The Rock proudly offers a 50 ft climbing wall.

“Most climbing clubs provide the required safety gear. Climbers have to bring only their shoes — preferably canvas. Beginners need to eat a meal two hours before a climbing session to prevent cramping. Nevertheless it’s important to warm up and ensure your safety gear is in order,” says Aakriti Daniel, coach of the Kerala rock climbing team and co-promoter of The Rock.

From building stamina and fitness to meditation, people are taking to this sport for numerous reasons, says Madhu C.R, a rock climbing enthusiast and member of the group Let’s Play Climbing, Bangalore. “Indoor climbing is a safe introduction to outdoor rock climbing replicating similar environmental conditions, equipment, etc. Safety climbing ropes and harness ensure that the experience is risk-free. Therefore parents feel secure about their children experimenting with this sport. For working adults too this is a stress-busting adrenaline-rush sport which builds strength and stamina,” says Madhu.

With this sport becoming increasingly popular, indoor climbing gyms are springing up across the country, and competitive city, state and national tournaments are being organised. In competitive tournaments, there are three artificial rock climbing categories — bouldering, speed climbing and lead climbing. Bouldering requires climbing artificial rock walls, known as boulders, without use of ropes and harnesses. 

While seasoned competitors shun all equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to secure footholds, chalk to provide a firm grip, and bouldering mats to prevent fall injuries. In lead climbing tournaments, climbing techniques and ingenuity to ascend a route are evaluated. In speed climbing competitions, speed of ascent is timed and is the ultimate goal. 

According to Aakriti, the health benefits of rock climbing are manifold. “It boosts energy and provides a full body workout. It also teaches life skills such as determination, a never-say-die attitude, resilience, problem-solving, and goal-setting” she says.  

Popular indoor rock climbing centres


• Delhi Eco Village and Adventure (DEVA)
Naya Bas, Village: Khera Khurd 
Alipur, GT Karnal Bypass
Delhi 110082 
Tel: 9599788655/ 9599788652, 
Email: [email protected] 


• Girivihar
206/207, Shilpin Center, G D Ambekar Marg
Wadala, Mumbai 400 031
Tel: 022-2415 0211, 2415 0221
Email: [email protected]
• Rock Climbing Camp
8/7 Artist Village, Sector-8,
C.B.D, Belapur, Near Apna Bazar
Navi Mumbai 400614.
Tel: 022 25590158/ 09869615166 
Email: [email protected]


• Equilibrium Climbing
#546, 3rd floor (opposite Motherhood Hospital)
C.M.H Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560038
Tel: 886 168 4444 
Email: [email protected] 

• Fit Rock Arena 
No 360/4 B, Ward 191 
Vivekanandar Street, Sai Ganesh Nagar
Pallikaranai, Chennai 600100
Tel: 9962357035

• The Rock, Cochin
Regional Sports Centre, Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium 
Kadavantara, Kochi, Kerala 682020
Tel: 9846405448/ 9844723295.

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