Things to do
Rock Climbing Is A Social Workout
Indoor rock climbing is a growing sport in Scotland. This is especially true in Edinburgh which hosts a number of indoor centres.
Alien Rock, in Newhaven, has been around for 15 years and is still attracting climbers to its doors. The secret to its continued success is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which the small former church, creates. Reuben Welch, one of the partners says, “It’s still bringing people together for fun, a sort of shared experience of climbing, because it is a very sociable thing.”
Shoes, harnesses and helmets
That is one aspect that the centre excels at. Not only can climbers of all ages and abilities go along for the day to scale the walls but they also go to meet up with friends and families. Aisla Stringer, a member says, “That’s what I like most. It’s friendly and it’s quite cosy. You recognise faces and you see a lot of regular people.”
Being indoors firstly shields climbers from the weather. Also the vigilant staff and safety equipment means accidents are rare. Even for the experienced climber, indoor centres offer great practice with hundreds of varied routes. This makes it a perfect place to go during stormy days and winter nights as well as being ideal for children and beginners.
Lessons are given to children of all ages and the atmosphere is one of safety and respect. Craig and his daughter Emma (4) are regulars down in Newhaven, “It’s quite a nice family environment, where there’s lots of kids Emma’s age running about and climbing”.
On a Saturday the place is full of children’s classes and anxious parents looking on. Conquering fears it seems is a job for parents as well as climbers. It is also full of laughter and there is a buzz about the place. Rock climbing is as much a social exercise as it is a physical one.
The community influence does not end there. The centre is taking part in a charity day for Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital. Climbers will donate to the charity whilst climbing for free in an effort to raise funds. Perhaps the greatest success throughout the centre’s fifteen year history is its ability to foster a good atmosphere where people are comfortable and the climbing is as challenging as you want it.
last updated: 20/07/2009 at 17:00