New Age Climbing Holds

4:48 p.m. on September 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey, 

So me and a friend are starting a climbing company and have a great idea for some new age holds. We are in the starting phases and want to make sure that we are on the right track. Could you please fill out this survey, it would be a great help for us! Thanks. 

TBD Climbing

Please copy this link. byu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4Z0UBkvCurJ6P6B

Also a question for you all. This is in the survey but i'll put it here as well. What would you think about seeing holds in the gym that aren't as sculpted like normal holds in the gym but holds that would resemble the stuff we see outside. What would be some concerns or bonuses about this?

8:55 a.m. on September 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I recently built a climbing gym for my Adventure Challenge program. In talking with the company I used, I demanded they not send me any unnatural holds. They're sets included things like letters, numbers, faces, animal shapes, and etc. I only wanted the most natural looking holds, and I sought to get natural colors--no pinks, oranges, yellows, and etc. In short, I wanted my wall to be as close to nature as possible. Of course, it's impossible to get it exact, but you work with what you can get.

Having said all that, I'm not a rock climber myself. I can belay all day, but I'm not interested in climbing. So, take my opinion, for what it's worth.


1173833_10151645186718316_1275538997_n.j

Pic of a 75yo man who climbed in the Eagle Crest Adventure's gym in early September 2013.

3:52 p.m. on September 29, 2013 (EDT)
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The wall at the Boy Scout Council office that I work with has a "natural" wall that was made by taking a casting of a real rock. So it has natural holds, cracks, and a chimney. This helps the transition from "plastic" to actual rock. Most gymnast climbers have a tough time making the transition, and many just cannot handle real rock.

GOOSE is absolutely right about the weird, unnatural holds that most hold and wall makers seem to prefer. The excuse is that the removable holds of unnatural shape are more easily rearranged. Yes, but... The "letter" and cartoon character holds, as well as color-keyed sets do not prepare you for real rock.

4:55 p.m. on September 29, 2013 (EDT)
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What!? They don't prepare you for real rock? Just the other day when I was climbing I coulda swore one of the rocks looked like an octopus ;)

10:46 a.m. on September 30, 2013 (EDT)
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If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "this is my first time climbing on real rock!"

11:32 a.m. on September 30, 2013 (EDT)
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G00SE said:

1173833_10151645186718316_1275538997_n.j

Pic of a 75yo man who climbed in the Eagle Crest Adventure's gym in early September 2013.

Strange shoes on this guy. Looks like a regular hiking boot! But I don't see very many small holds that would require smearing or similar techniques. Is he on a beginner's wall?

Whether it's natural or not (something I have no preference on), colour-coding lets the gym post a number of different routes in the same area so they can offer different difficulty levels and challenges.

3:37 p.m. on September 30, 2013 (EDT)
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I do like rock that has a natural feel and look. I've only been to a climbing gym a few times. Recently, I was walking my dog in Camp Long and visited Shurman Rock, the first artificial climbing rock in the country. After the rock at the UW was built, I hardly ever went to Camp Long, interesting to see how climbing walls have evolved.

4:42 p.m. on October 2, 2013 (EDT)
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So the overall take is that the more real the better right? I dont really care about coloring but i thinking more the feel but a bit more comfortable of course;) But is there any concern with injury or any other concerns that you guys for see?

10:07 p.m. on October 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

Strange shoes on this guy. Looks like a regular hiking boot! But I don't see very many small holds that would require smearing or similar techniques. Is he on a beginner's wall?

Yeah! He's 75yo and this was his first time climbing.

As I said, I'm not a rock climber. My climbing gym was built for our Adventure Challenge program, not for avid climbers. I want participants to have the opportunity to climb 35' or come down sooner.

The guy who laid out the original holds had the mindset that even the most experienced climbers should be challenged. Over my objections (claiming HE knew what I needed), he placed routes even he couldn't climb. After 6 months of not having 1 school-aged child reach the top, I got a ladder and started rearranging all the holds. Today getting to the top is a matter of will, not skill. Only about 30% of my climbers reach the top, but it is almost always a matter of facing fear of heights.

Adventure Education is about learning through doing. Studies have shown that remedial students who complete a challenge course see significant improvements in their academic scores. Before Texas cut their "non-essential" programs, the Houston school system was in the midst of a study that showed high ropes course participants from and "at-risk" background saw their test scores increase by a minimum of 10 percentage points.

So, I'm not trying to make climbers (or even cavers in my caving classes). I'm trying to give kids and adults the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and try new things, translating that experience to the everyday challenges of life.

[Sorry for hijacking the thread. I'll give it back now.]

4:57 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

I'm trying to give kids and adults the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and try new things, translating that experience to the everyday challenges of life.

 

GOOSE, that is an important thing. There are many approaches to stretching one's comfort zone. Climbing on real rock is one. Challenge courses on cables, such as theBoy Scouts COPE COURSES (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) which also includes team building exercises, are another. And backpacking into wilderness is another for inner city kids.

One thing for the OP to keep in mind is the group he is aiming for. I work with Scout leaders who will be taking the youth (boys and girls) onto real rock. So I prefer real rock or artificial walls that are close to real rock as possible. It all depends on the goals. You just have to keep in mind that indoor artificial walls are not ropes courses are not real rock. Each has its place. For really young kids (e.g., Cub Scouts), a short plastic bouldering wall can be a real challenge. For older teenagers or adult "gym rats", an easy for me 5.8 crack or slab multi pitch climb can be a real eye opener, if it is their first time on real rock.

4:57 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

I'm trying to give kids and adults the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and try new things, translating that experience to the everyday challenges of life.

 

GOOSE, that is an important thing. There are many approaches to stretching one's comfort zone. Climbing on real rock is one. Challenge courses on cables, such as theBoy Scouts COPE COURSES (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) which also includes team building exercises, are another. And backpacking into wilderness is another for inner city kids.

One thing for the OP to keep in mind is the group he is aiming for. I work with Scout leaders who will be taking the youth (boys and girls) onto real rock. So I prefer real rock or artificial walls that are close to real rock as possible. It all depends on the goals. You just have to keep in mind that indoor artificial walls are not ropes courses are not real rock. Each has its place. For really young kids (e.g., Cub Scouts), a short plastic bouldering wall can be a real challenge. For older teenagers or adult "gym rats", an easy for me 5.8 crack or slab multi pitch climb can be a real eye opener, if it is their first time on real rock.

4:59 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Sorry for the double post. Airport wifi can act strangely sometimes. One of the moderators, please remove the duplication.

8:55 a.m. on October 3, 2013 (EDT)
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I take my groups climbing at a gym for the same reasons, Goose. Few to none of them will ever be climbing outdoors, but they experience the challenge and succeed. The improvement in test scores you mention makes perfect sense. 

November 23, 2014
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