Indoor Rock Climbing for Baby Boomers

Indoor Rock Climbing for Baby Boomers


Actual Risk vs. Perceived Risk

Indoor Climbing Injury Statistics:

I knew that rock climbing was dangerous, but decided to look up injury rate studies on indoor climbing. I was surprised to discover there was a huge gap between my perceived risk vs. the actual risk.

I found a massive study in progress at a large climbing gym in Germany. This study tracked 515,337 climbing sessions over five years (2007-2011). Ages ranged from 8 to 80. 

A total of 30 injuries were recorded (all forms of climbing); 6 while bouldering, 16 lead climbing injuries, 7 top-rope climbing injuries and one non-climbing injury. No fatalities were recorded. Climbing time was accurately monitored by an electronic entry and exit system.

Studies on sport safety are shown as numbers of injuries per 1,000 participation hours. This particular study showed 0.02 injuries per 1,000 hours of climbing time, which works out to less than one percent of other sports/activities: 

Injury rate per 1,000 hours of participation:
  • Basketball: 14
  • Running: 11
  • Dance Classes: 5
  • Treadmill: 6 
  • Tennis: 5 
  • Bicycling: 3.5
  • Stationary cycle exercise: 2
  • Stair Climbing: 2
  • Indoor Climbing (all disciplines):  0.02
  • Indoor Climbing (top-rope only): 0.005

As I compared injury rates I realized my fear certainly exceeded reality. I've done all of those activities and their injury rates look terrible compared to the results of this long-term study. 

I also noticed top-rope climbing's injury rate was only one-fourth that of indoor climbing's overall injury rate. I remembered my first experience at top-rope climbing with my granddaughters and decided to find out if there were any indoor climbing facilities in or near Des Moines.
Cookie settings
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience.
You can accept them all, or choose the kinds of cookies you are happy to allow.
Privacy settings
Choose which cookies you wish to allow while you browse this website. Please note that some cookies cannot be turned off, because without them the website would not function.
To prevent spam this site uses Google Recaptcha in its contact forms.

This site may also use cookies for ecommerce and payment systems which are essential for the website to function properly.
Google Services
This site uses cookies from Google to access data such as the pages you visit and your IP address. Google services on this website may include:

- Google Analytics
- Google Ads conversion tracking
- Google Maps
Data Driven
This site may use AddThis:
- AddThis is a social widget which collects and shares user behavior with third parties.