Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Rock Climbing Walls

If there is one thing I love doing that always surprises even myself, it is that I love rock climbing! Not fee climbing, I am not a complete nut-case, but safety roped, harness buckles and leader’s tie-in knot kind of safe. But much like a mountain climber I have things I would love to climb, a sort of safe rock climbing bucket list! So grab a rope, belay device and helmet and join me as we take a look at…


Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Rock Climbing Walls


University of Twente Rock Climbing Wall
University of Twente Rock Climbing Wall

10 – Climbing School

For this one we are going to the Netherlands because a campus building on Enschede university has a very cool high-rise climbing wall! The University has always been proud of their fine sporting heritage, so this goes rather nicely to support that.

Abandoned Silos Transformed Into a Climbing Wall
Abandoned Silos Transformed Into a Climbing Wall

9 – The Silo Treatment.

After entering a sort of “upcycling” design competition, the winner Arons en Gelauff design was chosen to turn some rather boring looking and mundane sewage treatment silos into some rather amazing ‘Cultural Silo’ and the one next to it a ‘Climbing Silo’.

Designer Climbing Wall in Japan by Nendo
Designer Climbing Wall in Japan by Nendo

8 – Rock or Frame Climbing?!?

There are some climbing walls that are cool, some are massive! And then there are some that are just plain weird! This amazing designer gym in Japan is like no other climbing wall in the world, instead of the normal t-nut climbing holds, you have to climb using shelves, bird cages, countless picture frames and even the odd antler! Weird but also strangely cool.

Cooling Tower Climbing Wall in Wunderland
Cooling Tower Climbing Wall in Wunderland

7 – Climbing goes nuclear!

This is most probably the Worlds strangest place to find a climbing wall, because in Kalkar, Germany there is a 130ft climbing wall that goes up the side of a nuclear plant cooling tower! What is even stranger than that because it has an entire theme-park not just outside the decommissioned plant but also inside it!

St Benedict's church Climbing Wall in Manchester
St Benedict’s church Climbing Wall in Manchester

6 – The right place to pray you don’t fall.

This might not be the biggest, the best or certainly the hardest climbing wall in the world, but it is definitely the one located in the strangest of places. You see in Manchester this amazing image of a vertical climbing wall with moulded footholds occupies the tall nave of  St Benedict’s church! And as climbing wall setting go this is a very impressive one indeed.

Mobile Climbing Walls
Mobile Climbing Walls

5 – The Tower of Power

This is how it all started or me. I had the joy of climbing a “Rock ‘n’ Road” Mobile Climbing wall while at a music event in Cardiff, and some of their designs really are very cool indeed. While they will not win awards for the World’s biggest, best placed or hardest climbing walls just the fact that they are all mobile meaning that they can bring a wall to any event or show and show people the pure joy of rock climbing making these worthy of being included on this top 10.

Grain silo in Iowa converted to Ice Climbing wall
Grain silo in Iowa converted to Ice Climbing wall

4 – Winter Wonderland

What you are looking at is normally just a plain old store silage silo.But since 2001 the owner (a local farmer from Cedar Falls) decided to convert it into the Worlds only artificially made ice climbing wall.  This would be perfect for me because real waterfall ice climbing can be very, very dangerous indeed.

Universal Studios 42nd Street Wall Climbing
Universal Studios 42nd Street Wall Climbing

3 – Wall climbing, Movie Style

You can now try your hand at being a real life Spider-man or Spider-woman over at Universal Studios, Orlando. Because they are giving people a chance to do some ‘urban climbing’ and if you ask me that is really cool and got to be worth a go at the very least!

AquaClimbs, poolside adventure climbing
AquaClimbs, poolside adventure climbing

2 – Last one up to the top is a wet drip!

AquaClimbs® really are the World’s number 1 when it comes to poolside climbing, with some of the bigger models go right up to almost 30ft! Now that might not sound tall, but it is as close you can get to free climbing without risking life and limb.

Excalibur – The World’s Tallest Free-Standing Climbing Wall
Excalibur – The World’s Tallest Free-Standing Climbing Wall

1 – The Excalibur Tower

Even its name sounds epic! At a leg shaking 37 meters tall, it is the World’s tallest free-standing climbing wall, And with an overhang of 36 feet also one of the hardest and, therefore, most scary you will ever see or climb, and for that very reason, I feel I would just have to give it a go.

74 thoughts on “Top 10 Unusual and Amazing Rock Climbing Walls”

  1. Pingback: Cheap NFL Jerseys
  2. Russell, in your intro, you wrote “Not f(r)ee climbing, I am not a complete nut-case, but safety roped, harness buckles and leader’s tie-in knot kind of safe.” This is a common mistake. All of the entries in your list are “free climbing”. Free climbing is ANY climbing that is not aide climbing. Aide climbing is intentionally put your weight on the rope/gear to maintain position as you go. Free climbing can utilize ropes, harnesses, knots, gear in the rock, but does not rely on them to maintain position. They are there incase the climber falls only. Free climbing includes free-solo, solo-belayed, sport and traditional lead, top rope, ice climbing (both lead, solo and top rope) and even bouldering. Free-soloing without ropes or other safety gear. See Alex Honnold.

  3. Awesome, my brother (the rock climbing nut) would love these. Very cool. I like the street side and ice wall ones. My sons have all tried out the mobile ones at various shows around the places we’ve lived. There is an outdoor sporty shop that has one inside for people to have a go on.

  4. Very cool although it’s not something I would try now. I seem to have developed a fear of heights since I’ve gotten older. Hmmm. I think the designer gym looks amazing. Interesting to think that I live about 15 miles from Universal and didn’t know they have this. I haven’t been to any of the parks in years! Must be too accessible — not to mention WAY too expensive now.

  5. If I went slowly and gradually, I might make it up several feet, but I have a fear of heights and even with a harness and all precautions, that would take a lot to get me there. The only one I might try is the one by the pool, I’d be on the inside so if I fall, it will be in the water – a much softer landing. Still wondering where the fear started.

  6. Went to one inside an old church in Liverpool. Was taking my sister so I didn’t get to climb as she couldn’t belay me…but the bouldering in the crypt was the best I’ve done – challenging without being overly frustrating!

  7. Thanks Russell.
    I’m such a noob to the whole thing. I’m going on gut feel more than anything. Getting the word out and boosting my followers is proving to be the hardest part at the moment … without turning into a total Twitter and Facebook obsessive!!!

  8. Yeah, forget the work Russell – let’s go and join all the animals in the pool. Who needs work?

    PS: Love your new profile pic. Way cool! 😀

  9. Wow … those are oh-mazingggg. No way in the world would you get me on any of those! Just looking at the pictures makes me dizzy. My husband, on the other hand, would love it!
    And thanks so much for following my new blog, Russell. It’s certainly been an exciting week since I kicked it off!
    Jo @BabbleOnCity

  10. Nope, too much work that. I think I will go and lie down there in the pool and watch all of your guys and dolls sweating..hahahaha
    Great post Russell and thanks for sharing. 😀

  11. I got dizzy just looking at the last one. when I was much younger though, they did not have stuff like this. So unfair. I really think rock climbing walls are pretty neat. We had one at the Y and my 2 youngest sons climbed it.

  12. Great post. Love the nuclear cooling tower. However, I like terra firma. The more firma the less terra!

  13. Thank you so much Ivan! As I have always said I just post things I like and hope other people want to see it as well, it doesn’t always work but most the time it does.

  14. The church and the pool walls look insanely fun!

    That last freestanding tower, on the other hand… that triggers ALL my fear of falling.

  15. An amazing post as always. Our an absolute genius for thinking of such diverse and always interesting ” top tens” everyday. Our number 1 is a great place to climb, the building at that site also is interesting architecture with the not so level roof. Thanks Ivan

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