10 Of The Best Bouldering Walls Across The World
Where can you find the best bouldering walls in the world?
Bouldering has grown in popularity as a sport of its own in the past few years. Bouldering walls are now springing up in bouldering-only centres across the world. With the announcement that sport climbing will be part of the 2020 Olympics, it’s only set to grow further.
Bouldering (unlike traditional rock climbing) doesn’t require any special bouldering gear. You don’t need a harness or ropes. You just climb boulders that are up to 15ft off the floor - and if you fall, you land on a giant padded crash mat.
The best thing about bouldering is anyone can give it a go - from toddlers right up to old age pensioners. You've read about the best bouldering walls in London and the top bouldering walls in the UK. Now we’ve put together a list of the very best bouldering walls in the world. Kicking off, in no particular order…..
1) CLIMBING WORKS, SHEFFIELD, UK
Climbing Works is located in Sheffield, the climbing capital of the UK. For a long time it was the largest bouldering centre in the world, it’s still arguably home to the best indoor bouldering walls in the world.
When it opened in December 2006, Climbing Works became the first dedicated centre for bouldering in the UK with 1500m² of climbing surface spread across two buildings.
It has hosted the British Bouldering Championships in the past as well as running their own Climbing Works International Festival each year.
They’ve even got an area called The Mini Works for kids looking to get into bouldering for the first time.
2) THE SPOT, BOULDER, COLORADO, USA
With a name like Boulder, you are bound to find one of the best bouldering walls in the world in this outdoors-orientated Colorado town.
The best part about this bouldering wall is they have themed areas after real bouldering areas, such as the Font and Hueco Boulder and the Yosemite wall.
3) 9 DEGREES, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
It has a cool futuristic feel inside with whitewash walls and colourful holds, put together by Walltopia, the world’s leading manufacturer of artificial climbing walls.
It’s called 9 Degrees because there are nine degrees of difficulty spread over 140 climbs which are changed every nine weeks, so you won’t get bored.
4) EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CLIMBING ARENA, SCOTLAND, UK
Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, otherwise known as Ratho, is the largest indoor climbing centre in Europe, built inside a disused quarry. It’s home to a number of national and world-class competitions.
It has its own huge bouldering wall room with simple V0 routes for beginners right up to expert-level V15, plus three large boulders in the centre of the main climbing room.
5) AUSTIN BOULDERING PROJECT, TEXAS, USA
Austin Bouldering Project opened in Texas, USA in early 2016. It’s thought to be the world’s largest bouldering wall centre.
With 50,000 square feet of climbing walls, there are 250 different routes which are changed every seven weeks. They have a yoga studio, a fitness studio, a climbing training area inside a giant boulder plus saunas in the changing rooms.
6) THE HIVE, VANCOUVER, CANADA
Grades range from V0 to V10 with over 250 different routes to choose from including overhangs, top-outs and traverses. The Hive has a great community vibe to it with regular live music nights, fundraisers and a youth climbing team.
7) BOULDERWELT, MUNICH, GERMANY
In the West Munich hall alone there is 1600m² of bouldering surface area to explore. Lounge on the bean bags, watch your friend tackle the 6c holds and head to the beer garden for your post-climb pint.
8) SHARMA CLIMBING, BARCELONA, SPAIN
Professional climber Chris Sharma opened a brand new climbing centre in his home city of Barcelona in 2015. Sharma Climbing has a fantastic array of bouldering walls with a good range of holds for beginners right up to experts.
Chris says he hopes Sharma Climbing Barcelona will be “an international hub where people can meet and share their ideas and motivation." A must-visit if you find yourself in Barcelona. Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll probably spot Chris himself.
9) EXTREME EDGE CLIMBING WALL, PANMURE, NEW ZEALAND
The National Indoor Bouldering Series has been held here, so you know there are some challenging routes to be tackled here. New challenges are set every two weeks.
10) BOULDERKLUB KREUZBERG, BERLIN, GERMANY
Berlin, Germany might not be anywhere near the mountains, but they have a really wide selection of great indoor bouldering walls. Boulderklub Kreuzberg is the newest bouldering gym to open in the centre of Berlin.
With 1,300 m² climbing surface area, cafe, fitness room and cosy seating area to read a climbing magazine afterwards, it’s one of the best bouldering gyms in the country. They are even hosting the first annual Berlin bouldering competition here, 36 Problems.