If you like climbing and don’t mind the odd tumble, bouldering could be the sport for you.
And it is being made more accessible by the North Otago Alpine Club, which is building an indoor bouldering wall at the Waitaki Community Recreation Centre.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing where the participant is not roped up, but places a safety mat underneath them to prevent injury.
The Waitaki Community Recreation Centre wall will not be any higher than four metres.
North Otago Alpine Club member Sam Henehan said construction started three weeks ago, after the club received funding and the space was made available at the Recreation Centre.
Club members have been busy with power tools, building the wall which has various faces, angles and holds, to provide climbs of varying difficulty.
It had been a few years in the making, he said.
“Bouldering is one of the fastest growing sports – it is in the Olympics next year,” Mr Henehan said.
“You don’t need an instructor or ropes. We will be able to do it any time of the day.
“I have some weird times off during the day so I will be able to come in and have a play for an hour by myself.”
The North Otago Alpine Club organised regular trips in summer to Elephant Rocks, near Duntroon, and Long Beach, near Dunedin. It was harder to practise in winter, with fewer daylight hours.
The climbing area will also have a 40-degree “moon board”, which has 200 holds equipped with LED lights.
The lights are connected to an app which is loaded with thousands of pre-loaded climbs of varying difficulty.
Mr Henehan believed there were only three other moon boards in New Zealand and it would help attract climbers to the town.
“It is quite a social sport – and is great to build confidence, whether you want to move on to outdoor climbing or not.
“This is where you go to start and meet people.”
Although the club had raised money for the wall, it was on the lookout for additional funding which was needed for the safety mat to get the facility fully operating, he said.