For those of you who really like to challenge yourself when it comes to climbing, there can only be one challenge that is literally monumental in the world of freestanding rock climbing walls, and that is ‘Excalibur’, the tallest purpose built rock climbing wall in the world.
121 Feet of Dizzying Madness
Excalibur is located on the outskirts of Groningen in Holland, and is becoming a Mecca for anyone associated with the sport. Not only is it known to be the largest freestanding climbing wall in the world, it is also considered one of the best designed and most challenging. Clocking in at 121 feet, and with an overhang measuring an incredible 36 feet, there’s plenty to get dizzy about! Incredibly, this beautiful structure is kept firmly in place by 500 tonnes of foundation. This ultra strong base means that climbers can enjoy the challenging wall without having to consider the structure of the wall.
A Centrepiece of Excellence
Excalibur is the crowning glory of the world famous Climbing Centre Bjoeks, just outside of Groningen. The centre offers a range of different climbing challenges and terrains including indoor walls, terrain designed for first time climbers along with more challenging climbs for experienced and advanced climbers. It has to be said though, that Excalibur is clearly the challenge climbers from around the world flock to. With a huge number of alternative routes along with overhangs, 90 degree edges and five different climbable sides, Excalibur offers everything any self respecting climber could wish for.
Despite the fact that the Bjoeks climbing centre now boasts the tallest free standing climbing wall in the world, it is undeniably the case that this climbing centre started from humble beginnings. Friends and regular climbers Gert van deer Veen and Alco Pols had a passion for great climbing and felt that the area was underserved in this nature. Things began slowly back in 1968, but fast forward almost fifty years later and Bjoeks draws thousands of climbers a year and the numbers are increasing year on year.
What Makes Excalibur so Special?
Aside from the towering dimensions, Excalibur draws great interest thanks to its well thought out design with five different walls to choose from and a super realistic overhang that makes you feel as if you are on a real mountainside. Of course, the sheer scale of Excalibur is a large part of the appeal. Being 121 feet above the ground is the appeal for many climbers, who can only achieve this sort of height in more perilous real life situations.
Excalibur is clearly an addition that the climbing community have been crying out for. Whether or not Groningen is on your doorstep or not is to some degree an irrelevance. It is thought that truly ken climbers will travel from thousands of miles away to ensure they get the opportunity to climb the tallest free standing climbing wall in the world. No matter how many miles you travel to see Excalibur, it will seem like no distance at all when you first look up and take in the majesty of this beautiful structure.