Adventure Travel

The World’s Coolest, Scariest & Toughest Climbing Walls

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Artificial climbing wall in an indoor climbing gym

Image: Shutterstock/Photobac

The World’s Coolest, Scariest & Toughest Climbing Walls

Spring is on the way, and people are itching to get back out into their adventures. It’s hard being cooped up in the winter, feeling despondent and irritable. To shake off those winter blues, and get you excited about the approaching warmer weather, here is a compilation of the coolest climbing walls across the world. You’ll be planning a trip and leaving winter in the dust in no time.

Illoiha Omotesando Climbing Wall, Japan

This climbing wall is part of the Illoiha fitness club, a two-story building in Tokyo. What makes it unique is instead of having typical wall grips, this wall is made up of household accessories: picture frames, mirrors, bird cages, deer antlers and vases. The idea behind the wall was to incorporate a rugged activity with style and design. If you’re looking to blend these two worlds, or simply enjoy the Alice-in-Wonderland-esque design, this wall is for you.

St. Benedict’s Church Climbing Wall, England

If you’re visiting England, be sure to check out this climbing wall in Manchester. The climbing wall is centered inside St. Benedict’s church, offering beautiful and unique views of stained glass windows during the climb. There are more than 75 lines of every shape and length, so there is a climb waiting for anyone willing to try. There is also a room for bouldering, for those who prefer climbing without ropes.

Excalibur Tower, The Netherlands

Known as the world’s tallest freestanding climbing wall, Excalibur is sure to delight and challenge adventurers. Not only is it 121 feet tall, but it has a 36-foot curve to create an artificial overhang. The curve adds a whole new level of difficulty to the climb. Also, as the Netherlands is rather flat, the Tower allows successful climbers to see just how high they are—there is nothing remotely compatible in height for miles, as far as the eye can see. Climb if you dare!

Diga di Luzzone, Switzerland

One of the largest man-made climbing walls, the Diga di Luzzone stands at 540 feet, curving against the Luzzone Dam. It has been called the Everest of wall-climbing as climbers are exposed to various elements on their journey, as well as five pitches. If you can make it to the top, you’ll have a brief rest to appreciate the beauty of the Alps and the dam before heading back down again. This wall is only for serious climbers, no novices need apply.

Cooling Tower, Germany

An abandoned nuclear power plant has been transformed into an amusement park known as Wunderland Kalkar in Germany. The old cooling tower was converted into a climbing wall due to its unique shape and height. At 130 feet, it holds courses for all levels of climbing experience. Atop the wall is a giant swing to ride, if you can make it to the top! This wall and its surrounding park provides a family-friendly experience that other climbing walls can’t match. After your climb, enjoy more than forty rides and stay in the hotel on site for your “recovery”.

Kaitlyn is a graduate from Lee University and is a staff editor for R.H. Boyd Publishing. She enjoys travel, books and penguins. When she's not working, she dreams of seeing the world.

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