What is bouldering?
Bouldering is a type of rock climbing, performed at relatively low heights over padded matting. Ropes and harnesses aren't required, making it easy to get started, and the aim is to reach the top of the wall following a set path. It requires technique and strength, but also problem-solving skills and creativity; like a very physical game of chess!
Do I have to be fit before starting bouldering?
Absolutely not! Climbing is a great way to become fit and strong if you aren't already. You'll build the strength and physique of a gymnast, and have constant fun doing it.
What equipment do I need?
None; the only equipment involved is a bag of chalk (to dry your hands and keep them from slipping off the holds) and a pair of climbing shoes, which are a lot like ballet shoes covered in sticky rubber. Bring some loose-fitting clothes, and you can rent (or buy) the shoes and chalk on arrival at the climbing wall.
What if I'm scared of heights?
Bouldering is all about challenging yourself. That challenge is relative to everybody; sometimes people are challenging their physical limits, sometimes they're pushing themselves mentally. It's very normal to get halfway up the wall and feel nervous about going further, and all of our coaches are very experienced in helping you to gradually become accustomed to pushing yourself through that fear.
I've been bouldering once and my arms ached for days afterwards, is that normal?
That's how everybody feels after their first few climbing sessions; you'll definitely have some muscle soreness for a few days after. It means you've worked hard and you're getting stronger! The more often you climb, the quicker the muscle soreness fades after your session.
How do I decide which coach to book?
It partly depends on what level you climb at, but also on what aspect of your climbing you want to work on. All of our coaches are experienced in coaching all aspects and levels of climber, but they all have specialties which they especially like working with. Have a look at our coaches page to find out more about each of them before making the choice for yourself!
What is included in the Catalyst Membership?
Why are Louis' arms so long?
He's actually a chimpanzee in a very realistic human costume.
Is bouldering suitable for children?
Not only is suitable, it's FANTASTIC for children! Aside from being good exercise to help them stay healthy and active whilst having fun; it also encourages essential life skills such as confidence, persistence, concentration and problem solving.
Is bouldering dangerous?
Bouldering is an extreme sport, and it does involve an element of risk. The padded matting below the bouldering walls reduces the risk of injury, but it doesn't remove it completely. Falling off and landing awkwardly can lead to sprained ankles or other injuries, and pulling on small handholds when not properly warmed up can cause finger injuries. Our coaches constantly endeavour to reduce these risks, but can't guarantee to remove them completely.
Still got more questions? Contact us!