Rock-climbing is the new clubbing | Hot in-door activities in Cape Town climbing!

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Being able to move around in a beautiful city such as Cape Town, is an absolute privilege. We are so lucky to have abundantly available mobile social spots, as well as gyms for us to exercise in. A passion of mine is rock-climbing! 

Ironically, I’m absolutely poopoo-scared of heights. It’s an actual phobia – however, this daunting hobby helps me regain control of where I challenge myself constructively, as well as giving me an incredible opportunity to move my body in a manner of ways. Being desk-bound is a reality in the digi-native era, so moving dynamically is important for our general health. 

The two best ways to get into rock-climbing is figuring out which way you want to move. There are three types of climbing which most gyms assist you in:

  1. BOULDERINGBouldering is the activity where you partake in ‘free-climbing’ on rock walls with jutting pieces at varying shapes, colours, and spacing. The colour-coding and shapes often follow a sequence of difficulty levels, which you only use your hands to climb and rock-climbing shoes. It is advised to use chalk when bouldering to protect your hands from skin-injury. 
  2. ROPE ASSISTED CLIMBING – When climbing with a rope-assisted belay system, it is imperative to be familiar with the system at your gym. Only select rock-climbing gyms offer the rope-assisted and lead climbing opportunities – as this activity can often start you off with a 1m to 16m high wall to scale. Fun! Lucky for you, the rope-assisted climbing is professionally known as ‘top rope climbing‘. It utilises a belay system, however this is an automatic belayer system which has a brake system installed into its roping. This is a fun single-person activity, but many people can partake on different walls at the same time! Be sure to practice caution in your rock climbing gyms to where walls are occupied, as this requires a spatial awareness to not place yourself nor the climber in harm’s way. 
  3. LEAD CLIMBING – This is more professionally known as ‘belayer climbing’ or ‘lead climbing‘, as it requires a belay system and two people. Be sure this is a person that is familiar with rock-climbing and adept in this activity, as many gyms require a test to pass as a belayer and lead climber. This form of climbing is much more challenging, so be sure to familiarise yourself with your rock-climbing gym’s safety protocols, belay systems, and locations to belay when manually doing so.

Out of these three types, bouldering is the most appealing. It has taught me to challenge myself constructively, but assists in memory, too! Bouldering challenges your mind to map your movements and retrace your steps, whilst lead and rope-assisted climbing helps you build stamina and strength. 

Additionally, rock-climbing is a fantastic team and trust-building activity. Gyms such as CityRock offer corporate team building activities, whilst Bloc-11 allow for various classes and training opportunities for groups as well as the individual. So, make this a fun and functional, friend-activity for the next time your plans leave the group-chat!

What have YOU done for your mobility lately? Let me know in the comments! 

For more info, contact my two favourite rock-climbing facilities in Cape Town at the following links:
Operating hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 10pm, Friday to Sunday (and public holidays) 9am to 7pm.
Telephone: 078 924 3934 Diep River branch OR 021 510 2454 Paarden Eiland branch

cityRock Cape Town
Operating hours: Monday to Thursday: 11am to 9pm, Friday to Sunday: 9am to 6pm. Public holidays: 9am to 6pm. Closed Christmas & New Year’s Day
021 447 1326 


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Sabah Cabano
Sabah Cabano
Daughter of Sonia, obviously. Lover of food, traveling, and all things ending with "Let's never do this again.' I like to believe that I'm funny. Copywriter and a graduate in Creative Brand Communications. Based in Cape Town in the heart of the City Bowl, surprisingly not yet vegan. En ek praat Afrikaans.