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How high for top out bouldering?
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nunatak


Dec 27, 2006, 9:05 PM
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How high for top out bouldering?
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I am a gym owner and I was thinking about a small, new bouldering wall that climbers can top out on. I was wondering if any other gym owners/employees have any opinions on how high is too high. I want to build a wall that is 12 to 13 feet high, so that it is more fun/useful. Normally, that hieght does not bother me for bouldering, but the thought of someone whipping off that high seems like a liabilty. What has been everyones experience?


wandering_redneck


Dec 30, 2006, 5:13 AM
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Re: [nunatak] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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I've been climbing in Japan for a while and recently I found out from a friend that there was an indoor climbing gym nearby. I went and checked it out and have been going every weekend since. The highest walls that they have are about 12-14 feet and if you've met any true japanese people you've seen that most of them are between 5'0" and 5'8". The mats they use are around a foot thick. I'm 6'0" and after topping out on the wall, dropping down to the mats below didn't really hurt. Of course there was a couple of times that I landed a little stiff legged and felt some pain in my legs, but nothing severe.


escalabrasil


Dec 30, 2006, 6:11 AM
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Re: [wandering_redneck] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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I worked at a gym where the top out boulder was 14ft at its highest point and I currently climb in one in Tacoma that is about the same height. They both seem safe to me.
I think 12-13 ft would be fine, but then again, that depends on the amount of experience that the customers in your gym have.
The gym in Tacoma requires you to go through a "top-out test" so you can get a card that allows you to top-out on your own, and most of the routes that have top-outs are a little tougher to keep unexperienced climbers off them. Both seem like pretty good ideas to me. Requiring a spotter for the top-outs would also be a good idea.


(This post was edited by escalabrasil on Dec 30, 2006, 6:12 AM)


lena_chita
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Dec 30, 2006, 8:33 AM
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Re: [escalabrasil] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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Top-out test, wow! What's next?

I believe the wall with top-out at out gym is about 13-14 feet tall. But the top-out is above the steep wall section, and in general route-setters set harder-grade routes on this wall. Not just hard individual moves, but also using holds that aren't favorites of inexperienced climbers-- no jugs... it makes not only individual routes hard, but the entire wall is such that even if you were grabbing everything, and not following a specific route, you probably won't be able to create an easy way to the top. So newbies just don't get high enough to even attempt a top-out.


escalabrasil


Dec 31, 2006, 6:09 AM
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I agree lena_chita. It's kinda sad the gym has a "top out test", but I can't blame them. They do it because of insurance/liabilty issues, which might be of interest to the OP


jh_angel


Dec 31, 2006, 7:44 AM
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Re: [nunatak] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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My gym checks in at around 18 feet at the highest point and about 12 at the lowest. Just have lots of extra thick pads a people will be fine.

-Josh


dyingdream


Dec 31, 2006, 7:56 AM
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Re: [nunatak] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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If you have ever been to The Spot Gym in Boulder Colorado their whole gym is basically bouldering. I would be unsure of exact hieight, but their biggest boulders reach 18 ft. I believe and you top out on them. It is fun and helps keep your cool outside. Look at their website
http://www.thespotgym.com/
Maybe email them and see what they think, I have only climbed there.
For me, make it as high as you can, at least in spots.

Steve


greatgarbanzo


Dec 31, 2006, 8:33 AM
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Re: [nunatak] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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Hello man, listen, I have a gym myself. The bouldering area has a 12ft average heigth with no top outs. In a year a report and average of two accidents (twisted ankles) both on rookie climbers and with really good mats. Bottom line: Leave top outs exclusively for experienced climbers.


gunksta15


Jan 1, 2007, 3:51 PM
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I come from an old gym that was built by trad climbers and has no top outs and 20 foot high walls. We don't have those big pads we use the little regular crash pads that people use out doors and we still go all the way up the wall. A gym 30 minutes away has a bouldering room that is 12 feet high and then they come to our gym and say, "Were do the roots end?". The way that we set is spoting. Make your tops at anywhere from 18 to 20 but get the big gymast pads and make sure that people spot


nunatak


Jan 2, 2007, 7:47 PM
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Thanks for the input. That was exactly the info I was looking for. When you live in ALaska it is hard to go to other gyms and check stuff out.
Thanks again.


tuna


Jan 2, 2007, 8:26 PM
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Take a look at this gym

www.bzwei.ch

I have been there several times and really enjoyed it.


musicman1586


Jan 2, 2007, 9:24 PM
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Re: [tuna] How high for top out bouldering? [In reply to]
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One thing you could do if you want to do top outs is to make it a long overhanging roof so that it's not that high off the ground when you top out.


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