The largest open-air boulder park in Switzerland opens

St. Gallen

Reliable bouldering instinct: Switzerland’s largest outdoor boulder park is in operation

The St. Gallen climbing hall is home to the largest outdoor boulder park in Switzerland. In addition to about 150 routes, it also offers a touch of Mediterranean climate with stone fountains, sun loungers and a barbecue area.

The largest bouldering park in Switzerland recently opened near the St. Gallen climbing hall.

Photo: Belinda Schmid

The 8,000 grips and steps on the climbing walls in the boulder park come in a variety of sizes, colors, and screwing in different ways. “They are regularly replaced and reinstalled after a few weeks, allowing the routes to change and the boulders to face new challenges,” explains Rebekka Jud, instructor and trainer at St. Gallen Climbing Hall.

Two of her colleagues are currently busy replacing handles and steps. Ideally, they are both very good at bouldering because then they know how to chart the routes depending on the difficulty level. Unlike rock climbing, boulders are not tied with a rope and are not secured by a partner. The boulder wall is not more than three to four meters high and from this height you can still jump from the wall to the ground without too much risk of injury. There are thick foam mats on the floor that boulders can catch in an emergency.

The holds are replaced regularly and the routes are changed accordingly.

The holds are replaced regularly and the routes are changed accordingly.

Photo: Belinda Schmid

The newly built 550 square meter open-air bouldering facility is the largest in Switzerland. About 150 routes have been marked out. Rebecca Jud says:

«All climbing walls are covered. Our boulders were waiting for this object. »

Rebekka Jud, instructor and trainer at the St. Gallen climbing hall.

Rebekka Jud, instructor and trainer at the St. Gallen climbing hall.

Photo: Belinda Schmid

She too: takes off her sneakers and socks, puts on boulder fins, puts her hands in a “bag” of magnesium and follows an easy route – with her bouldering tongue she solves a simple boulder problem – on a boulder wall. Magnesium dries the sweat of the hand and increases the grip of the fingers. In fact, many holds require a certain instinct to stick – depending on the difficulty of the route.

Bouldering has been an Olympic sport since 2021.

Rebekka Jud knows that bouldering has been booming for several years and has become a fashionable sport. The existing bouldering area in the climbing hall became too small so it was tripled and an outdoor facility was created. Bouldering is a healthy sport that engages the whole body. Pull-ups are intense and require not only strength, but also technique, flexibility and coordination. “The goal is to decode the route and climb to the end and hold the last grip with both hands for three seconds,” explains the 39-year-old.

You can train outside or inside, you can decide how much you want to spend. Unlike climbing, you can boulder alone, you are not dependent on anyone. Bouldering is also suitable for all ages. The instructor says:

“Sportswear, finch boulder and magnesium are all gear.”

One of the reasons for the boom is that bouldering was an Olympic discipline for the first time at the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics as a subcategory of sport climbing.

Sun loungers, a fountain and a barbecue area

Planning for an open-air boulder park began during the Corona period and took about a year. “The goal was not only to create a bouldering facility, but also a Mediterranean-like holiday zone where you can stay informally,” says the coach of the youth group. In the middle of the climbing park there is a large gurgling stone fountain, stone bench seats, sun loungers and a barbecue area. Trees and herbs are planted. The barbecue area is well attended on pleasant evenings. In the outdoor area, the covered area has also been enlarged by 640 square meters for climbers and six new climbing machines have been installed. They allow you to train without a climbing partner.

Outside there is also a barbecue area as well as sun loungers and other places to sit.

Outside there is also a barbecue area as well as sun loungers and other places to sit.

Photo: Belinda Schmid

Every year, the St. Gallen climbing hall attracts around 60,000 visitors. “We also have a lot of school classes,” explains Rebekka Jud. She turned her hobby into a job. She is a clerk, she worked in a bank and discovered climbing herself. She graduated from the IGKA instructor, J + S training and a training module for a climbing therapist. “I support climbers or boulder climbers who are afraid of heights,” he explains his therapeutic work. It is important to build confidence and get the athlete used to growth. As you climb, innumerable happiness hormones would be released, and a sense of achievement would have a positive effect on anxiety.

Rebecca Jud has happy times when she can climb in the fresh air. For example, in the climbers’ Mecca in Arco, on Lake Garda or in Finale Ligure near Genoa. Or bouldering in an open-air climbing park.

www.diekletterhalle.ch

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