At Activate, the walls are covered in holds. Each colour represents a route or bouldering “problem.” When you’re on a route, you can only put your hands and feet on holds with the same colour. Then follow the route up the wall to the highest hold of that colour, and that’s the finish. This is what makes climbing in the bouldering room fun. When you look at a wall and see over a hundred holds on it, you challenge is to figure out how to climb a route that might only use six.
To finish the route you have to figure out creative ways to extend your reach and build your grip strength to hang on to small holds. Sometimes you finish a route on the first try, sometimes it takes 20 tries or more. But each time you climb you get better and that progress is addicting. Many of you already know this but I know that my first time at the climbing gym, I had no idea what was going on until someone explained it to me.
Eventually, after a couple months or so, what happens is you’ll find that you’ve climbed all the routes within your skill level and you’ll crave some new challenges. Most likely everyone else feels the same way and that’s when it’s time to reset the holds.
When we reset the routes, we don’t just reset the tape, we unscrew all the holds and create new problems one by one. The person responsible for this reset is none other than Ricky Bell, one of Ireland’s best climbers (check him out here )
When a reset is complete, you’ll still see new problems pop up from week to week. The walls will fill in more with routes of various difficulty levels. Soon, points will displayed on each route which gives you an idea of how hard it is. If your looking for your next route to tackle and don’t know where to start, just ask someone. Everyone is friendly here.