Challenge yourself at De Klim Muur

Challenge yourself at De Klim Muur

Mar 30, 2012 |  by  |  Spots
About the author
Writer. Feminist. Photographer.

There I was, spider-woman, climbing away, grabbing on to grip after grip. When, suddenly, I realized my legs were shaking and so were my arms. I was stuck. Way up there. Drops of sweat rolling down my forehead. I refused to look down. I screamed: block!! Luckily, my fellow climber brought me down smoothly and then I managed to catch my breath. If you, like me, are one of those people who think wall climbing is easy, think again.

I’m not trying to discourage you, quite the opposite in fact. I find that De Klim Muur is a perfect place to challenge yourself, and have a blast while doing so. I have been and forever will be fascinated with sports that are on the extreme side. However, there was a ton of things I didn’t know about climbing, and now I can share some of that wisdom with you.

…you will be too late and the climber will land on the ground turning into a human tortilla.

The tricks

Lesson number 1: As a beginner, you can’t climb on your own. You need to go with someone, preferably, who weighs about the same as you do. Then, please listen carefully to the professionals explaining the ropes, I mean literally. You will be working with a rope, and if you don’t get a hang of how you need to hold it and use it, you might actually kill your climber.

Lesson number 2: Bring someone you can trust. Two people are connected through the same rope. It’s linked to each person’s waist with a safety lock. Make sure your gear is tight and check that everything has been properly locked. When one person starts climbing, the other person has to pull the rope, making sure the rope is tense, not loose. To quote Leo Dicaprio in Titanic: “NEVER LET GO!”

Lesson number 3: Before you start climbing identify a path. Check the wall and check the grips. Most people tend to rely more on their arms, but it is your legs that should do the heavier work, otherwise your arms will get tired quickly.

Lesson number 4: You have to communicate with the person who is holding your rope. If you are ready to come down, you have to scream: “Block!” and signal your partner to bring you down. When you come down, use your legs and push against the wall.

Don’t drop your climber

This one should go without saying, but if you don’t pay attention to the rope and the person who is climbing misses a grip or slips and the rope is loose, you will be too late and the climber will land on the ground turning into a human tortilla.

After one of the professional trainers has supervised you a couple of times, they will allow you to do your own thing. At the beginning of the wall, grips have letters and numbers that indicate the level of difficulty. For instance 4A is a yellow grip, and it’s relatively easy, 5C is red, and it will be harder for you to follow the red grips. Start with easy and increase the difficulty as you go. It’s less tiring this way, because you get used to the feeling of the grips and learn how to move better.

After about two hours of trying, bumping into the wall, a few bruises and intense muscle pain, I stopped. It was fun and it was great trying out something different. There are various packages available. You can take an introductory course, like I did, but take someone along. This course is €21.50 per person and you will learn the basic knowledge. If you want to learn more and practice more, there is a beginners package that includes four lessons for €80. There is no need to buy special clothes or shoes, you can dress sporty and comfortable.

If you are hungry after too much climbing, De Klim Muur offers delicious sandwiches, couscous, drinks and the like. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and most importantly, they will guide you and watch your back.

de klim muur

Where: Dijksgracht 2
When: Check their times here

Photos by Andrea Huls

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