Indoor ClimbingIndoor climbing is a sport that has exhibited a considerable increase in popularity in the United States over recent years. In 2021, the number of people participating in indoor climbing in the North American country amounted to approximately six million. In that same year, there were a total of 591 climbing centers across the U.S. territory, of which over one-fifth were in the states of California and Colorado. All in all, the valuation of the indoor climbing market was above 400 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Outdoor ClimbingAlthough many people access the sport of rock climbing within indoor climbing gyms, these facilities were first developed to artificially replicate the natural rock formations upon which the sport originally developed. In the United States, participation in outdoor climbing has exhibited an opposite development to the indoor activity. For instance, nearly 2.8 million people were climbing outdoors in 2016. By 2021, this figure had shrunk to around 2.4 million.
The discrepancy observed between the number of indoor and outdoor climbers is possibly related to the additional dangers that exist when participating in the more traditional mountaineering pursuits. The number of climbing accidents reported each year in the United States increased considerably between 1951 and 2019 from only 15 in 1951 to a value of 202 in 2019. Considering the reports for both the United States and Canada, falling or slipping on a rock was the leading cause of climbing accidents across this period.