Would you rather?

If any of you have ever wondered where TheDIHEDRAL crew likes to spend their time, worry no more! This weeks post is just a little insight into how we feel about the different climbing options available.  Hope you enjoy our small takes on the question every climber gets at least once in their life: Indoor climbing VS. Outdoor climbing, which do you prefer?

And as always, thank you for reading!!


There is something to be said for both indoor and outdoor rock climbing, but if I were forced to pick one over the other and location was not an issue, I would have to go with outdoor rock climbing.  This is decision is based primarily on my need to be outside.  I grew up in Michigan, where I spent almost every single day outside.  Skiing in the winters; and some mix of camping, hiking, swimming, climbing, and generally just playing in the summer, spring, and fall.  Make no mistake about it, I love climbing at my local gym, the great advantage indoor climbing has over the crag is the community bonds that develop while surrounded by a rainbow of polyurethane freckles that tick the walls, and the smell of climbing shoe, chalk, and sweat that fills the air.  These people are a source of joy, laughter, and motivation, a group of people whom I generally love and love to be around.  In the end however, I find myself more Henry David Thoreau than C.S. Lewis, in other words the connections I make with people are beautiful, but the connections I make with nature are sublime.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

– John Muir


For me there is comfort in my indoor climbing life, from the very beginning of my climbing journey I was placed in gyms and learned everything I know there. The interactions I have there are by far one of my favorite things, and lets face it sometimes the sweaty sardine can the gym becomes on weekday nights is a favorite.  And in a state like Texas where its summer 364 days of the year you learn to love the chalky air of your local gym. Climbing outdoors does hold a special place in my heart, I spent numerous summers working walls at a boy scout camp in the devil’s backbone here in Texas. I faced fears, learned lessons, shed blood, and grew as a climbing during that time. But for someone like me who itches for a climb at 4am and the nearest place to climb outdoors is four hours away. A gym opening at 6AM and a 15 minute drive is perfect.


I have not had the opportunity to climb outside of a gym yet, but I have always been an outdoors enthusiast and prefer to interact with nature than to be in enclosed areas. There is something about her that captivates me every single time, becoming impossible for me not to fall under her spell. I feel inspired whenever I am with her and, more importantly, accompanied. Outdoor activities form an important part of my life because they have helped me to to cope through difficult times and they have given me the strength to rise up and move on. If finishing a climb in a gym is already gratifying, I can only imagine that doing so with a panoramic view as a reward must be even better ! Even though I have not had the chance to be in touch with nature as much as I would like to lately, I care for her very deeply and look forward to the day that we meet again.

Let the wall fill you with its energy !


13 Replies to “Would you rather?”

  1. I’m a relative newbie to outdoor climbing, but for me, the gym just doesn’t compare. The climbing gym is still by far my favorite place to get an indoor workout, a necessity in Wisconsin, but outdoor is a whole different thing. When you finish a route or problem in the gym, you just come down. That’s it. When you finish a route or problem outdoors, you pull yourself up to a beautiful view and fill your lungs with crisp wild air. It feels so raw and exciting. The added risk gives you an adrenaline rush you just can’t get in an indoor space with padded floors.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well put!!! Way to get to the heart of it! And can I just add that you might have the best name the world has ever known! Thanks for the thoughts knittingforfuckeduppeople.


    2. I haven’t had the opportunity to climb outdoors yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it ! Reading your comment has made me even more eager to do so !



      1. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! My best advice to fellow outdoor newbies is to go with experienced climbers, and focus on fun, not grades. It’s not uncommon for people who can climb 5.10 in the gym to get outside and struggle on a 5.5, or people who can climb V4 in the gym to get shut down by a V1 outside. This is one of my favorite posts from Climbing.com, and does a great job of breaking down reasons why this is the case: http://www.climbing.com/news/semi-rad-everywhere-i-climb-is-sandbagged/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great debate. Always good to be with the outdoor crew but wisdom there is based on pleasure I think, very difficult to describe without admitting a kind of ‘zone’. Experience, preparation, all come in different places for different people.
    Without mountains I think sport climbing, I include non bolts definitely here, it would have a strange burden on the spirit. Gym’s however, serve as fun for the indoor climber and training for the outdoor one and the competition is more voluntary. Outdoors you have little choice but to hit the right level unless the whole mountain is calling you.

    Liked by 1 person

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