An Easy Guide to Indoor Rock Climbing in Nairobi
Updated in October 2020
New year, new challenges!
This year, I decided to take up new challenges in all aspects of my life. With regards to travel, I decided to be more adventurous so basically do things that I would not ordinarily do. For example, go on a hike rather than chill at a hotel. That is not to say that I do not plan to just chill and generally relax, but I plan to mix it up this year. Are you with me?
One of the activities at the top of my list was Indoor Rock Climbing and conveniently, there are places where it is offered in Nairobi. The most popular climbing gym is Climb Blue Sky indoor rock climbing and bouldering gym, which is located at Diamond Plaza in Parklands(6th Floor, Old Tower). After weeks of planning, my friend and I finally went to Climb BlueSky.
Indoor Rock Climbing in Kenya
There is also an outdoor climbing tower at Purdy Arms in Karen, also run by Climb BlueSky. Outside Nairobi, wall climbing can be done at Savage Wilderness in Sagana and in Nanyuki. For experienced climbers, rock climbing is offered at Lukenya and Hell’s Gate National Park, Naivasha.
Climb Blue Sky Charges
We paid Kshs.500 each as we went on a Tuesday(Ladies Night) and we had our own shoes.
P.S. Tuesdays are Ladies Night, so climbing is Kshs.500 without shoes and Kshs.900 with shoe rental.
Charges for a day pass are Kshs.1,000 without shoes and Kshs.1,400 if you rent shoes. You can also pay for monthly, 3-month, and annual memberships. The Ladies Night offer is no longer available.
Monday-Friday 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday 12:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
I was immediately drawn to the colourful walls. We signed waivers and immediately changed into more comfortable clothing. We were strapped up and taken to the ‘practice wall’. One is supposed to climb up the wall by stepping on the holds and reaching out to the ones above you. On getting to the top, you’re supposed to let go of the holds, grab onto the rope, lean back, and come down.
Indoor Rock Climbing-the experience
Climbing up was pretty easy, the difficulty was in coming down. Letting go seemed so hard as you feel like you’ll fall down- which would not really happen as you are strapped up, the instructor is literally supporting you and there are soft mattresses in the unlikely event that you do fall down.
From the ‘practice wall’, we moved on to other walls in the gym. This time climbing up was more difficult and we had to reach higher because the holds were spread out a little further. We had to push ourselves, mentally and physically to climb up. At this point, letting go seemed easier than climbing up.
We tried out different walls, some more challenging than others.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t give up after a couple of climbs. While climbing one of the walls I slid, lost my grip, and thought I would fall. Luckily I held on to one of the holds quick enough so I did not fall. At this point, I swore to never go rock climbing again.
Another thing to note is that if you hold on to the holds for too long while trying to figure out your next move, you get tired and you can easily slip.
From then on I spent all my energy cheering on Wangechi.
Meanwhile, this girl was scaling the walls like Spiderman!
The lie, I climbed up all the walls.
We had an amazing time. It was challenging but worth every coin. I definitely enjoyed indoor rock climbing despite it being a different tune from what I am used to. That however is the beauty of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, growth is inevitable.
General tip– *Before trying out indoor rock climbing, bear in mind that it is an activity for everyone. It is not restricted to fit people. I am not the fittest person in the room and I tried it. Children also do it by the way.
Beginner starter pack:
- Carry your own shoes if you can. Might as well save the Kshs 400.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Follow instructions and trust your instructor. Trust is essential. Especially when he/she tells you to let go of the holds. Let it go. Let it go. You will not fall. You will be fine.
- Take a break when you need to. It is an intense activity and you can easily injure yourself if you’re not careful. If your arms or legs hurt, do take a break and when you’re ready you can go back to climbing.
- Challenge yourself. Push yourself and try to reach higher in every climb. I am probably preaching to the choir on this one but you need to have a positive attitude. Believe you can do it then actually do it!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. It is never that serious!
- Stretch after climbing. We did not and this is probably why we were both so sore the day after. Rock climbing is a full-body workout by the way, so you have fun and burn calories at the same time! Best of both worlds if you ask me.
- Have fun. Whether you’re climbing by yourself or with your friends remember to have fun. Compete if possible and be your own/ your friends’ cheerleader. Laugh and do it over and over again.
If you are always up for new challenges, do try out indoor rock climbing. It could also be a fun date idea.
Check out Climb BlueSky here.
*Special shout out to our instructor Dennis for being patient with us and for putting up with all my excuses lol.
I had resolved to never go back but it was so thrilling I cannot wait to go back and so should you guys!
Did I mention Tuesdays are Ladies’ Nights? They host birthday parties for kids, after-school programs, and team building.
What are you doing to get out of your comfort zones? Comment down below and let me know.
Until next time, Love and Light
and Seek discomfort (as the good people of Yes Theory say! Check out their channel here)