With the rugged terrain of Arkansas, it’s a treasure trove for rock climbing. But, before you head out and start tackling a mountain, you can start with indoor bouldering! This week for Adventure Arkansas, we’re hitting the walls of the Ozark Climbing Gym to learn some basics in bouldering.
“A bouldering gym is one that doesn’t have ropes, so no ropes or harnesses, so if you fall, you do fall back to the mats, but they are mats,” said Jason Groves Ozark Climbing Gym Owner. “The whole floor is made up of padding. We have additional drag mats as well.”
Ozark Climbing Gym in Springdale gives you a place to challenge both your body and your mind.
“It’s a fantastic physical exercise,” said Groves. “It’s pretty clear that if you stick with it, you will get fit, you will get strong, but it’s also a great mental exercise not only problem solving and figuring out, put my hand here before I put my foot here to do this.”
Groves said that it’s not all about getting to the top of the wall, but rather conquering what climbers call “problems” which are marked by different colored tape everywhere.
“It looks like absolute chaos, but once you learn to decode it, it’s not too bad,” said Groves. “So, we mark, we call them problems in bouldering, but you can think of them as routes or trails or courses.” “We mark those with our tape, there are a bunch of holes in the wall with tape, and if everything in the same area has matching tape on it, maybe just like a dark blue tape, it goes all together to form that problem and the goal of that being getting you to do certain movements on the wall instead of just being at the top.”
When you come to the gym, here’s an insider tip, don’t forget to use your legs, or else your arms will get exhausted!
“If you focus on your feet and on your leg movement, you’ll go a lot further. It’s a bit natural to resort to that but when you get into climbing you will realize that I’ve got this whole lower half of my body that’s done a really good job of carrying me into the gym and it can get me up the wall,” said Groves.
If you want to challenge yourself and test your climbing skills on the rock walls, Ozark Climbing Gym is open every day of the week.
Check out their hours, here!
To follow Ozark Climbing Gym on social, click here!
With Adventure Arkansas and bouldering Where You Live, I’m 5NEWS Meteorologist Matt Standridge.