Climbing & Bouldering

Climbing Overview

Climbing in all its forms is a very enjoyable, challenging and rewarding activity. It develops and maintains core muscle strength, improves balance and co-ordination, burns plenty of calories and fat, and quickly improves muscle tone. It can also take you to places where very few people have ever been and reward you with views that will blow you away.

Best of all, it’s a very social and interactive sport where you can find yourself climbing alongside people of all abilities. Climbers are really friendly and are always willing to help others, so don’t be afraid to ask someone for ‘beta’ if you need some help in working out how to complete the climb.

Basically, it’s a thousand times more fun than going to ‘the gym’ and much more sociable too!


Climbing continues to maintain its place as one of the fastest growing sports in the world. There are many different styles of climbing which are practiced either for enjoyment, because of ‘what’ is being climbed, or maybe the ethics/approach the participant wants to take.

Bouldering (without ropes) is one style and is seen as one of the purest forms of climbing due to the lack of protective equipment and hardware; it’s just you versus the rock!

Rock Climbing (with ropes) has mainly two approaches, Sport and Traditional or ‘Trad’. Both use ropes and other hardware as protection only i.e. you don’t use the ‘gear’ to help you climb. Trad involves carefully placing and removing protective equipment as you climb, leaving no trace that you were ever there. Sport, on the other hand, uses permanent bolts drilled into the rock to provide protection should you fall. Using short slings and karabiners (called runners), you clip your rope to the bolts as you climb and remove the runners when you’ve finished. The bolts remain fixed in place for future climbers.

There are many other styles of climbing including Aid, Soloing, Alpine and Scottish Winter. All have their own set of rules or ethics, which are the subject of many great debates around camp, over a coffee or more likely in a pub!

Focus on Bouldering

Bouldering is the fastest growing style of Rock Climbing and involves climbing short (normally around 4 meters high), routes or ‘problems’ of varying difficulty, without ropes.

If not practised safely, a fall (or jump) from a relatively low height can easily result in a twisted ankle or much worse. To help prevent injury should they fall, climbers use their own mobile ‘crash pad’ or ‘bouldering mats’. These are constructed using shock absorbing foams and have carry straps to make sure they are easy to carry around. Sometimes you’ll see groups of boulderers all sharing mats, stacking them 2 or 3 high or wide!

Bouldering is a very dynamic and intense activity which most people find highly addictive! It is great way to build strong core muscles and improve muscle tone, and because the problems are short and dynamic, it can also be a very interactive and sociable sport.

Indoor Climbing

The increase in Indoor Climbing and Bouldering venues over the last 10 years has seen ‘Indoor Climbing’ become a sport in itself. Where years ago people used these facilities to train for the outdoors, there are now almost as many people who only climb indoors, as those who climb outdoors. Indoor climbing is fantastic way to have fun, socialise and keep fit

The climbing at Highball is mix of bouldering (no ropes) and sport climbing (with ropes).

Outdoor Climbing

If you’ve never climbed outside on real rock, we would recommend you try it! We can help you find a course or instructor who can help get you started safely.

There’s really nothing quite like getting to the top of a climb in the early evening sun….

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1 Twickenham Road, Norwich, NR6 6NG, UK. 01603513513