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…
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.
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’.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
2 – Last one up to the top is a wet drip!
AquaClimbs® really is 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.
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.