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Climbing Wall, Weil am Rhein

Are you intrigued by the thought of rock climbing as a hobby but aren’t sure how to pursue it? Alternatively, are you a climber relatively new to Basel and aren’t sure where to go? Well, wonder no more! I’m here to tell you about an excellent indoor climbing facility located just across the border in Weil am Rhein, Germany.The Impulsiv Freizeitcenter, as it’s name suggests, has more than just climbing facilities. It includes badminton and squash courts, a fitness area, an indoor ice rink and a games room. However, the most important section of the place, for me is the impressive Klettergarten.

The climbing area is separated into 4 different sections, with areas for top-roping (i.e. the ropes are already in place), bouldering (no ropes required) and leading (you take the rope up as you climb and hook into the fixed express hooks as you go).

The first section is split between top-roping walls on the left (up to about 6c/7a level) and some fairly extreme leading overhang walls facing you (up to about level 7c/8a). The top-roping here is on relatively flat walls and includes a very easy section for children and complete beginners (about level 3-4).

The next section is mostly for top-roping, with greater inclines and overhangs than the previous room. There are some excellent top-roping routes here (up to about level 6c/7a), where you can use a variety of climbing techniques to solve a number of tricky problems. This section also includes more overhang leading walls (up to about level 7c/8a) and also a top-roping section built to emulate more natural outside climbing conditions.

This section then leads into a small bouldering area (approximately 100 square meters of bouldering wall), up to a height of about 5 meters, with some nice big crash mats on the floor for when you reach the top and want to take the quick way down, or for when you are desperately trying to reach the top on a particular route, but just can’t make it!

Last but not least, from here, you enter my personal favourite section, built exclusively for leading. This large hall includes a wide variety of routes from relative beginner/intermediate to expert (from levels 5a up to 8b+) on walls up to a height of about 17 metres. The variety enables you to work and progress through more difficult levels as your experience and training grows. The routes stay in place for a good while, but are also changed often enough to give hobby climbers something different to work on every so often.

The equipment and facilities are generally well maintained, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Training courses are also offered, both for beginners and for those a bit more advanced, and these are especially useful for those just starting out. Having climbed a few times before receiving training, I can tell you that the difference having the right technique makes is incredible. However, the courses are only offered in German. I was lucky enough to have a Swiss friend and climbing partner translate some of the key points for me, but if your German is better than mine, then by all means sign up.

I would thoroughly recommend climbing for anyone who fancies trying it. Obviously, like most sports, it’s not for everyone, but I can say that it’s a great way to focus your mind, relieve stress and get some terrific, fun exercise. Bouldering can be done solo, but if you’re thinking of top-roping or leading, obviously you will need a partner. Many people advertise for partners at the hall itself, or you can ask anyone there who appears to be at a loose end bouldering for example, if they would like to do some rope climbing.

Opening times for the Klettergarten are 10.00 – 23.00 (bar open until 24.00) Mon-Fri and 10.00 – 19.00 Sat/Sun. Entry is 8 Eur before 16.00 and 12.00 Eur afterwards and at weekends, but ABO-karten are also available for anywhere between 2 and 6 months and for 1 year. Also available is an 11er-karte, where one can visit the Klettergarten 11 times for the price of 10. Naturally, climbing harnesses and climbing shoes can also be hired separately (2 Eur for the harness, 5 Eur for the shoes).

Training courses, however, include the cost of hiring these items in the price. More information can be found on their website, but also feel free to contact me if you would like more information on Impulsiv or on climbing generally. I’m no expert, but I’m happy to try to help in whatever capacity I can. Have fun and happy climbing!

Colin MacKinnon

Comments

Comment from Karim Schlegel
Time 24th September, 2008 at 1:22 pm

There is a fantastic climbing wall in Basel called Kletterhalle 7. You can find more information on their website at http://www.kletterhalle7.ch .

They also organize children’s birthday parties!

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