Monday, 28 March 2016

Rock Climbing at Avertical World

This bank holiday weekend, my planned camping trip with two old friends that I'd been preparing for and was excited about was cancelled and I was DEVASTATED to say the least. Lucky me though, another friend got in contact and told me she was heading rock climbing at an Avertical World in Dundee, with instruction from her friend, and invited me along. I figured, sure! Never tried it before, always wanted to! Saved the bank holiday weekend from being ruined!

Me reaching the top of the second wall, yaaay!

Avertical World was ALWAYS mentioned when I was a kid. So many school pals had their birthday parties there, and I was never able to have one (and wasn't even invited to those that did have them!). So this was sort-of a childhood dream to head to this place! Down a small dead-end street in Dundee, this indoor climbing centre is situated in a converted old church - providing the high ceilings needed for indoor climbing walls.

First things first, we sorted out our harnesses and shoes. The shoes are ridiculously tight, but it makes sense, as you'll be able to feel the foot holds on the climbing wall much easier than with looser shoes. We headed for our first wall - BUZZING.

Sally (left) showing Fiona (right) the ropes

The climbing was great fun. I headed up first, watching our instructor Sally show us how to tie the harness rope in a figure-of-eight-style knot. The first wall we stuck to the lower level 4 colour holds. I headed up, quite confidently enjoying climbing, but noticed I felt tired after almost no time, Sally mentioned that it was natural to pull yourself up, but you need to force yourself to push up from your legs. With this advice, I was no longer tired and flew up!

The second wall we were able to head right up to the top and challenge ourselves a little more. More interested in getting to the top than sticking with a particular level, I went for a "rainbow" route, meaning any hold I wished to use I could, and counts as level 4 again. Well chuffed reaching the top, and happy I found it easier that I thought I would. I'm not afraid of heights whatsoever, but have to admit when you turn around and look down at the faces below looking up at you, the wall suddenly seems a lot higher than before!

The third wall we all tried to go a little higher in grade. The other girls tried level 6a, and got as far as half way up the wall. It was a definitely a big jump in difficulty! So overall we managed to get to 4+/5 level, which in my opinion ain't too bad for first timers :)

The hour of indoor climbing was a great experience. I wish we had more time though - but all the more reason to go back! If you're interested in rock climbing at Avertical World, check out their website here:  and have a look at Sally's services in adventure fitness at :)

Next steps for me, personally? Ideally one day my friend and I will do the two two-hour sessions on ropes and harnesses, so we can do it ourselves one day without an instructor. I'd also love to try bouldering - so watch this space ;)

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