Clip ‘n' Climb
- Kelly Apter
- 31 March 2016
New climbing sensation comes to Scotland for the first time
It’s a bold claim to say anything works for ages 4–84, especially a physical activity. But Clip ‘n Climb is nothing if not bold. It’s unlikely they’ll have any octogenarians knocking on their door, but the new arrival at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena certainly has a broad appeal.
Having not climbed since I was a teenager, my levels of fear and excitement pre-climb were well matched. Similarly my 13-year-old daughter, a climbing newbie, was swinging wildly between curiosity and sheer terror. Suffice to say, her first words the following morning were ‘I wish I was climbing.’
If you’ve never been to the EICA at Ratho, prepare to be awe-struck. Built in a former quarry, Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena is a sight to behold, with walls that just go up and up.
Tucked cleverly into one corner, Clip ‘n Climb is far more palatable for the novice climber or younger visitor. Each of the 15 colourful walls presents its own challenge, some easier than others. ‘The Triffid’, for example, looks great but is tough to get hold of – while ‘The Big Cheese’ (my personal fave) offers smooth grips and easy footholds.
Within seconds of our brief safety talk finishing, the fearless under-10s are scaling the walls with ease, likewise the brave teens. Due to trust issues, grown-ups take a little longer to truly believe the rope and harness will hold our weight as we push back into nothing. But, of course, it does – and the more courageous you feel, the higher you go – and the greater the sense of achievement.
Knowing the informative, and endlessly encouraging, instructors are on-hand to clip and unclip you is a constant source of comfort.
Not everyone will have the energy, skill, strength and love of heights to conquer all the walls in an hour, but that’s what repeat visits are for. We’ll be back.
Clip ‘n Climb, Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho.