If you visited us over the weekend, you will have seen just how exciting our brand new bouldering centre in North Devon is! We welcomed hundreds of visitors, new and old, for our big bouldering comps, and in the process saw a love of bouldering ignited (or reignited) in people of all ages.

We’re very excited to see lots of new faces become regular climbers, keeping us company in the new bouldering centre over the winter. In fact, now couldn’t be a better time to take up this unique climbing discipline.

Keep reading to find out the top five (ok, six!) reasons why you should try out indoor bouldering in North Devon this winter!

1. Learn skills for a summer of outdoor climbing

New bouldering centre in North Devon

If you’re keen to get into climbing – or to improve your skills – then bouldering is the perfect way to achieve either of aims throughout the winter season. Now, when the days are shorter and the weather grimmer, is a prime time for indoor bouldering. Gone are the sunny, dry evenings when climbers would lug their ropes to the local outdoor ‘crag’ for a post-work session – for the next few months it’s indoors all the way!

Luckily, our brand new, state-of-the-art bouldering cave is open until 10 pm on weekdays and 6 pm on weekends, meaning that you can climb to your heart’s content in the warmth of the centre.

In fact, many climbers use the winter as a time to train, honing their skills and strengthening their bodies for the next summer season. If you’ve just started climbing, though, this tactic still applies. Bouldering is a pure, stripped-back form of climbing, featuring shorter routes that force the climber to develop the core skills of their craft – be it dynamic, powerful moves or careful foot placement and balance. There’s no relying on the ropes here!

By training on our bouldering routes, you will be repeatedly practising the most important elements of climbing, which in turn will make you a better climber come summer – in any discipline. We’re also running regular bouldering workshops where you can come and learn how to step up your skills with our expert instructors. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more updates on this!

And, with rock climbing’s Olympic debut just around the corner, you’ll have plenty of motivation to up your game!

2. Keep fit in ‘sweater weather’

Bouldering in North Devon

In recent years, bouldering has exploded in popularity – but not just among dedicated climbers. The sport has also become popular among people that would more easily identify as a ‘gym bunny’ than a ‘crag rat’. Why? Because bouldering is actually an incredibly efficient way to tone muscle and get fit.

We all know how hard it can be to push yourself to go for a run or cycle outside during the cold, wet, dark weather. Even going for a swim or heading to the gym means that chilly dash in the changing rooms, which can be enough to make you think, “I’ll go next week…”

Avoid all of this and get your fitness fix with us in the comfort of the bouldering centre! There’s no special equipment required (you can hire shoes and chalk from us!), and you only have to try as hard as you want to on any particular day, with no mileage or rep targets to pile on the pressure.

When bouldering, your arms, core and even legs are all working hard to keep you on the wall and pull or push you to that next hold. It’s a real full-body workout, with muscle-toning and cardiovascular elements alike. Plus, as you’re never over-working one particular muscle set, you’re much less likely to get strain-related injuries that can really put a stopper on the average winter fitness regime.

3. Get an endorphin boost

North Devon bouldering gym

Image: Dan Jones

For many of us, one of the hardest things about winter is the lack of sunshine. We all know by now that the sun tops up our all-important vitamin D levels, contributing to a good mood and healthy bones. But in the UK, it’s an unavoidable truth that the winter simply means much less sun. Some of us are affected by the ensuing lack of vitamin D more than others, but I think we can all agree that we often crave a bit of an endorphin boost during the winter months.

Believe it or not, bouldering might be just what the doctor ordered! The adrenaline rush of climbing a bouldering route is undeniable, and when you spend a few hours of an evening in the centre, you’ll experience this endorphin-releasing sensation over and over again.

The result is an improved mood, which can last long after you take off your climbing shoes and dust the chalk off your hands. We’re not saying bouldering will outright cure the more serious conditions like SAD, but (at least in our own experience), getting active in a fun, sociable atmosphere definitely helps!

4. Stay social throughout ‘dry January’

Bouldering centre North Devon

I know you probably don’t want to hear this just yet, but the chances are that, come January, some of you will start thinking about going sober for at least a month. ‘Dry January’ has become a big trend over the past few years after a festive period of over-indulgence.

If you choose to cut down on the nights out and pub visits in January – or you’re just not much of a drinker in general – then bouldering is the perfect sport to get in to. This is a highly sociable activity that requires no drinking (in fact, we very much advise against mixing alcohol with any form of climbing!).

Whereas roped climbing usually involves partnering up with one other person in a belaying team, bouldering allows larger groups of friends to climb together, each taking it in turns to try routes and offer advice (beta) on how to reach the top. This also means that if you’re a solo climber, you can easily integrate into a group and find new, like-minded friends with a shared hobby.

Come summer, you’ll be planning trips to the beach to boulder into the sunset – beer or no beer!

5. Try out our brand new bouldering centre…

Bouldering parties in North Devon

Of course, we have to say that the top reason to try out bouldering in North Devon this winter is to come and visit our brand new bouldering centre!

Really, though, it is amazing. We’ve spent months working on the new room, building uniquely-shaped walls with arches, slabs, islands and much more, and have ordered over 1000 holds, which are now set into over 60 routes by professional climbers. No other bouldering centre in the area compares in terms of wall space (we have 400sqm of it, just so you know!), variety, and modernity.

With such a great new facility to enjoy, it would be rude not to dust off those climbing shoes – or get your hands on a hire pair – and head over to Rock and Rapid Adventures this winter!

6. … With our bargain direct debit membership!

Bouldering Devon

Image: Dan Jones

Ok, so I know I said there would only be five reasons to take up bouldering this winter, but I just had to let you know about this last point.

If you haven’t already heard, we’ve now introduced a new direct debit membership for our entire rock climbing centre. This membership is at the absolute bargain price of £35 per month and includes unlimited entry into the centre – whether you plan to boulder, top-rope or lead climb.

This means that you can come along and boulder as many times as you like – even every day if you want to – at an unrivalled price. Think about it, with member entry at £8.50, you only have to climb once a week to make your money back! And, if you decide you want to climb on the ropes one day (or every time), you can do so at no additional cost.

With a brand new, world-class bouldering cave now opened, you’re not going to find a better deal on bouldering than this! So make the most of it now and get your winter climbing fix with us.

If you’d like any more information about bouldering at Rock and Rapid Adventures, our direct debit membership or anything else, feel free to give us a call on 01769 309 003. We’re always happy to hear from you!