Paul has caught the rock climbing bug. He’s keen as mustard to join me at the indoor wall in Wroclaw, a short 10 minute drive from the city center. The wall is pretty cool with it’s high walls and creative overhangs. Most of the routes are set up for sport climbing but there are a few top ropes for those of us who don’t yet lead.
Unlike in Lodz where routes were marked with coloured post-it notes stuck under the holds, here the climbs are clearly colour coded using different coloured holds. It makes it possible to identify the colour of the holds, even when you are already above them. After a few “any colour” warm up climbs I start to focus methodically on working my way as far up the grades on each rope I climb as possible. It’s busy so it’s not so easy to just change ropes but that’s okay because each rope has at least three routes. Paul takes a couple of turns up the wall too, climbing higher each time.
There’s a very cool bouldering area upstairs in the gym. It includes some straight up the wall climbs, a massive overhand, corners and a range of styles of hold. There’s a few coaches working with their charges setting routes and encouraging improvement. I take a few turns on the wall where there is space. By the way, do not be fooled by the photo above. I just jumped on the wall to pose because there was no one using it. But here’s the thing, even just jumping up and holding onto an upside down hold every time I hit the gym will improve my head space, balance and strength for overhangs. And it does make for cool pics. Haha.
We went back to the gym the next night too for another couple of hours climbing and bouldering. Backing up was tough on my body and I definitely felt the effects of fatigue. What that did do though was force me to focus more on technique and using the big muscles in my legs, rather than the small ones in my hands and forearms. I’ll definitely have to do some more back-to-back climbing sessions when I am home.