Can Bouldering Indoors Be Better Than Outdoors?

If bouldering is your passion and you are interested in topics related to the sport, you will find this article valuable. We will consider whether indoor bouldering can be better than outdoor and what are their main differences. There are several types of climbing and each has its lovers.

Have you ever wondered if bouldering indoors can be better than outdoors? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Everyone has their own preferences, bouldering differs mainly by the scale of difficulty and the fact that it can be practiced all year round, regardless of weather conditions.

The popularity of bouldering – can bouldering indoors be better than outdoors?

In recent years, bouldering has become increasingly popular as it is a discipline that can be practiced alone or even with several people.
However, as a rule, climbing routes are a bit easier than e.g. rock routes, so it is difficult to compare your skills there.

The most popular scale is a 6-grade scale from V1 to V6, and the highest one is only for the best climbers. Climbing in halls also gives the possibility of year-round climbing, regardless of the weather or temperature, many rock climbers switch to boulders in the wintertime to practice all year round.

Here are the most popular types of climbing:

  • Indoor bouldering
  • Urban climbing
  • Rock climbing
  • Rope climbing (belayed, roped, or automatic)
  • Mountain climbing
  • Ice climbing
  • Free solo climbing

What is rock climbing?

With the arrival of spring, the climbing season begins and many people who previously used an artificial wall are switching to outdoor climbing. Apart from the visual aspects, outdoor climbing is a bit more demanding, and you need to take care of your equipment. If you are climbing on rocks or mountains, you need to make sure you have extra protection such as a helmet or crampons.

When climbing in the rocks, in addition to special footwear, we will need ropes with harness, provisions and water, a first aid kit, and several accessories (these include expressions, carabiners, hooks, rings, etc.).

Can Bouldering Indoors Be Better Than Outdoors?
Can Bouldering Indoors Be Better Than Outdoors?

Does training on an artificial wall translate to that on the rocks?

In the beginning, artificial climbing walls were designed to prepare the climber and his body for rock climbing. It also allowed mountain climbers not to lose their climbing regularity while their routes are, for example, inaccessible for weather reasons.

On the walls, great emphasis is placed on innovation or ingenuity in routes. The creation of new routes and their modification is the responsibility of so-called routers, who usually have several years of climbing experience.

The development of sports climbing is very much linked to the history of climbing competitions, which very quickly moved from natural rock sectors (the 1970s and 1980s) to artificial walls.

Today watching the World Cup competitions and looking forward to the performances of climbers at the Olympics, we see how climbing on artificial walls has become a separate sports discipline. Climbers from all over the world take part in it, in recent years more and more successful are ladies for whom this sport is becoming more and more attractive.

Urban climbing

This is a type of climbing that can be done in open spaces, it is another type of bouldering. It is also becoming more and more popular, especially in big cities where you can find all kinds of buildings, bridges, and other structures that are not originally designed for climbing. This is an interesting option for people who do indoor bouldering and want to try something different.

Similar to bouldering in special halls, we will need special climbing shoes, a bag with magnesia, and comfortable clothes. One of the additional elements is the so-called crash pads, i.e. special mattresses which absorb our falls when we fall off the wall.

Unfortunately, whether indoor bouldering can be better than outdoor bouldering depends on what we like more. In this article, you can read about the differences between bouldering and rock climbing.

Climbing on various types of rocks

Climbing on rock differs mainly in the type of rocks you can climb on, apart from that you need to provide yourself with additional equipment such as a rope, helmet, or crash pad. The most popular rock types include:

  • limestone
  • sandstones
  • granites

In the basic division of rock formations, we can distinguish between convex, flat, and concave forms. These forms may occur on a macro scale (e.g. looking at the whole mountain, rock wall) or micro-scale (e.g. a fragment of the wall with our path).

Often, the smaller ones such as steps or holds are elements of rock sculpture. To become an experienced climber, it usually takes several years to learn the specifics of rock climbing. However, whether indoor bouldering can be better than outdoor is a very individual matter.

In Summary – Can Bouldering Indoors Be Better Than Outdoors?

We already know that both bouldering on artificial climbing walls and outdoor climbing on rocks have their fans. But can indoor bouldering be better than outdoor? There is no clear answer to this, as each type of climbing offers slightly different experiences and opportunities.

In the current conditions, we have the possibility to climb all year round, climbing walls allow us to do so. In winter, many climbers move to bouldering due to the weather conditions, in order to exercise regularly and keep fit.