Specialized Equipment

Climbers now have access to a growing catalog of manufactured climbing aids. They let you train whenever you want and tailor a fitness program to your own needs.

Artificial climbing walls are appearing both indoors and out, where you can boulder in the absence of readily available natural areas. The walls help develop both strength and technique, and they allow creation of specific problems to work on. These problems can even simulate a difficult sequence on an established natural route. Of course, indoor walls are especially welcome during bad weather.

Manufactured finger boards (fig. 9-39) have a selection of hand and finger holds to hang from or pull up on. Using a finger board improves upper

Fig. 9-39. Finger board

body strength and also lets you concentrate on developing the finger strength needed to take advantage of small holds.

Other training tools have been developed and more are on the way. There are rope ladders and peg boards for improving upper body strength. There also are artificial cracks designed to improve strength and endurance with hands in specific configurations.

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