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Climbing

Welcome to our climbing department which boasts an unrivalled offering of climbing equipment designed for use in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, further education, council playing fields, play parks and sports fields. School climbing walls, timber traverse walls, bolt on traverse walls, volume blocks climbing frames and accessories can all be found in this section.

Leo Houlding a modern day adventurer is famous for free climbing, a world class climber with a score of epic ascents under his belt. It’s fair to mention that Leo had to have started his climbing somewhere. Could his success be partly due to the experiences gained on a climbing frame or a traverse wall within the school playground?

Our climbing equipment provides school children with the chance to learn through play, develop motor, social skills, encourages younger years to concentrate and acts as an introduction to climbing.

So where did and when did climbing begin? Well 400 BC Chinese watercolours depict men climbing rocks and during the 14th century Ancestral Puebloans or ancient Native Americans made holes for support posts and carved steps into the mountainous rocks in Chaco Canyon.  It is widely thought that they went on to build cliff dwellings making them their homes. So it is reasonable to assume that climbing was essential to reach their homes by ascending the difficult approaches which in today’s world would be considered technical climbing terrain.

In 1492, under orders from the then king of France, Antione de Ville climbed the 300 meter rock tower situated to the south of Grenoble known as Mont Aiguille.

During 1695 Martin Martin, a Scottish writer, describes the practice of fowling. A traditional climbing practice with the aid of ropes carried out in the Hebrides and in particular St Kilda the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides and home to the largest island of Hirta. Hirta accommodates the highest sea cliffs in the UK which are still used for a real climbing experience today.

1786 saw the first ascent of Mount Blanc but it still took another century before there was any mention of climbing aids such as pitons, bolts and rappel slings.

By the 19th Century climbing was fast becoming a hobby and the sport of Rock Climbing began in the Lake District during 1880’s. By then climbing aids such as the alpenstock walking stick, a primitive form of a three point instep crampon and a wood cutters axe were common place. Later the alpenstock and axe were combined providing one essential climbing aid the ice-axe.

Now in 2016 most schools, colleges and further educational establishments have activity centres where items such as climbing boots and crampons. Pieces of breathable clothing are common place but will the next Leo Houlding emerge from your school having started his or her Climbing Journey on one of our Vertigo Climbing Frames?

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