The Bongerd already had an open-air climbing wall, but the sports complex now also has an indoor hall. Tink Jans, treasurer of student climbing association Ibex, is happy. ‘This will make climbing more attractive to many people.’
The climbing wall outside the Bongerd is past its prime, says Jans. ‘It is only seven metres high, and the grips are nearly dropping off the wall, so it’s not exactly safe either.’ This is the reason Ibex had been practicing on a wall in sports complex de Vlinder for some time. However, when the roof of de Vlinder collapsed in 2007, the climbing wall was closed. Since that time, Ibex climbers have usually been practicing in a hall in Arnhem.
The new climbing walls were ordered from Romania. They are finished but still need to be transported to Wageningen. ‘If all goes according to plan, we should be able to start climbing by April’, Jans says. The climbing walls are nearly eleven metres high and will be placed in a separate space between halls 3 and 4. On a climbing wall, one is meant to follow certain set routes. What happens when one finishes all routes? ‘We have several route setters within Ibex. That means that once in a while, we will unscrew all grips and set new routes.’
Jans expects the new hall to attract new members for Ibex and create more unity among the existing members. ‘We now drive to Arnhem every Thursday night with a group of 25 to 30 people. It is too far for some, and a bit of climbing goes at the expense of one’s entire evening. With a hall in Wageningen, it will be much more interesting to become a member. We could even visit the hall for a climb during the day when we have several hours off. And it will be much easier to sit down for drinks after practice, which is good for the mood and bonding.’