Strength, awareness and good nerves are the three key ingredients for bouldering, the term used for rock climbing a few metres above the ground without a rope. Tirol has plenty of indoor and outdoor options for boulder enthusiasts.
Rope, helmet and harness can all stay at home. All you need for bouldering is a pair of climbing shoes, a chalkbag and a crash mat. This version of rock climbing carried out a few metres above the ground but without a rope has become more and more popular in recent years. However, it is no less physically demanding than conventional rock climbing. The aim is to scale rocks (known as "boulders" or "problems") up to a maximum of 4 or 5 metres above the ground with nothing but brain power and muscle power. Crash mats are laid out on the ground below to prevent injury in the case of a fall.
Many mountaineers and sport climbers use bouldering as indoor training when the weather outdoors is bad. Coaches are on hand in the region's many rock climbing and boulder centres to give tips on the right technique. However, there is nothing quite like bouldering outdoors in nature. The Climbers' Paradise Tirol platform, a collective of the best climbing regions in Tirol, has a comprehensive list of the best places for bouldering. Right at the top of the list are the Pitztal Valley and the Paznauntal Valley. Both have many boulder areas catering for climbers of all abilities, including families.