This passage discusses climbing walls and their popularity.

Lexile Level: 1200L

Categories: Sports & Health

Rock climbing is a popular activity for many people who live in areas where there are natural rock formations. Thanks to the invention of the indoor climbing wall, even people living far from natural climbing spots can now enjoy the sport of climbing. Climbing walls are artificial structures that reproduce many of the challenges of actual rock climbing. Constructed of wood or brick, climbing walls are covered with numerous artificial handholds that climbers can use to ascend the wall. The handholds are made of a plastic resin, and they are secured to the wall with bolts or screws. Routes of varying difficulty are often marked out on the wall with the use of different colors. When following a specific route, the climber can use only the holds of the designated color. As the climber's skill increases, he or she can climb the wall by increasingly difficult routes. The popularity of indoor climbing gyms has grown to the point where they often serve as locations for children's birthday parties.

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