Rock climbing is an increasingly popular activity that is open to people of all ability levels and one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It is a fun and exciting way to engage in an active type of fitness. Where going to an exercise gym is viewed as "work", climbing is so enjoyable that you forget you are getting in a good workout too.
Many people think of climbing as either an "extreme sport" or a children's playground activity. While fun and exciting, climbing is much more relaxed and the atmosphere at Aiguille is quite easy-going. It is also mistakenly believed that it requires great physical strength, however, many of our customers are first timers with minimal sports prowess.
Everyone climbs at their own pace, and can choose to take things easy or challenge themselves with harder routes and problems. Plus, our friendly and knowledgeable staff make sure that you are welcomed and have all the resources necessary to begin your climbing adventure. Below, you will find information on the types of climbing that make up this great sport.
Bouldering is the simplest type of climbing. It involves climbing lower to the ground than you typically would when using a rope. Bouldering tends to be a more powerful and sometimes dynamic type of climbing in order to present a challenge in a short distance. Many people like bouldering because they can do it without a partner. Although lower to the ground, bouldering is no less dangerous than any other type of climbing because there is no rope to catch you, only padding on the ground.
This is our most popular form of climbing! Auto-Belays are one of the two types of rope climbing we have at our facility. If you don't have a partner and still want to climb with the comfort of a rope then this is the best option for you. Simple and efficient, the climber is attached to a lanyard that follows them up the wall and lowers them automatically. Everyone who comes to our facility will be instructed on proper use of these devices. They allow the climber to maximize their experience and time on the wall.
Top Roping is one of the two types of rope climbing at Aiguille and requires at least two participants: the climber and the belayer. This system is more advanced than our Auto-Belays and requires a class in order to be used. The rope is suspended from an anchor at the "top" of a wall. One end is attached to the climber, the other end to the belayer. The belayer controls the rope as the climber ascends the wall. In the event of a fall, the belayer stops the climber’s descent. When the climber wishes to come down, either at the top or partway up the wall, the belayer lowers the climber back to the ground. If two people are climbing, they take turns belaying for each other. For those wishing to not climb, they may still belay for another climber.
Classes are on Mondays at 11am, Thursdays at 5pm, and Saturdays at 8pm.
You may have seen other types of climbing in media, many of which cannot be performed inside a climbing gym. Traditional Climbing or "Trad" Climbing involves placing your own protection points on the rock as you climb. Ice climbing can be done with the use of axes and spiked boots (called "crampons") to gain purchase on the ice wall. Free soloing is like bouldering but at excessive heights where most people would be using a rope. Mountaineering is a blend of many skills, frequently hiking low angled terrain to reach a distant summit. Many of the skills needed for these types of climbing can be taught in a simulated environment at Aiguille, visit our classes page for details.