The rise of the climbing wall

The rise of the climbing wall

Climbing on a climbing wall, which is also an art object. You can find this in Amsterdam. When I was young you always climbed outside but there are more and more climbing halls and that is not strange when you know that sport climbing is going to be an Olympic sport.

Climbing is possible everywhere

When I was about six or seven years old, my father started climbing. He became an instructor and this meant for us, many Saturdays at the climbing wall and weekends to Belgium. We could always climb if we wanted to, but we weren’t pushed into it. Though I can hardly imagine not liking it. You can read that I still climb every year on my blog. We try to go climbing for two vacations anyway and also in between we would like to go to Belgium or Germany one weekend.

Everything used to be different

Indoor climbing halls did not exist back then. The Amsterdam region then climbed at an old fire station. Here we could often be found and while my father climbed, my mother helped in the canteen, my sister and I played outside among all the garbage that lay here.

About eight years I was here

Outside and inside

When the indoor climbing halls came, we didn’t like it at all. Climbing belongs outside. In the rocks in Belgium, Germany or France. We really had no intention of climbing in a hall. Until I was about nineteen years old and my father had been here once. The indoor climbing, turned out to be ideal for training for the outdoor season. Now we could climb all year round and go to Belgium when the weather is nice. Since then, I climb the hall every week.

What is the most fun

Well indoor climbing is a nice workout. The most fun remains outdoor climbing. This is very difficult in the Netherlands, so without climbing rocks. And that’s another reason why more and more climbing and bouldering halls are coming up. That’s not surprising, because in Tokyo 2020 sport climbing will be an Olympic event.

From art to sport

We also do outdoor climbing on the grounds of the NKBV Amsterdam region. Here, in addition to a number of containers for bouldering, is a very unusual climbing wall. It is a work of art by Boudewijn Payens. Artist and mountaineer. A work of art that is a combination of mountaineering practice wall and artwork. The twelve-meter high object, consisting of two concrete triangles placed vertically against each other with a relief, was placed in 1988 at the Jaap Edenbaan in Watergraafsmeer. Climbing walls were a novelty in the Netherlands in the eighties. In 2008 the climbing wall was dismantled and the twenty slabs of concrete and steel totaling sixty thousand pounds were moved to sports park Ookmeer. And now people are still climbing on them.

climbing wall climbing halls

A piece of moving picture of the climbing wall Amsterdam from 1980. At 5:15 you can see the only moving images I have of my sister and myself at a young age, you will recognize us by our ponytails 🙂

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