The title pretty much says it all. I've always just thought of indoor climbing as a subset of climbing, which is an outdoor sport (and I know nothing about either one). But is it legitimate here?

  • I say 'yes'. I do a lot of climbing. As much as I can. And every single outdoor climber I know spends 2 to 10 times as long climbing indoors than outdoors every week. It's training. It's necessary. And I think training for an outdoor activity should be fair game here. Aug 7, 2013 at 18:11

4 Answers 4


I think if a sport/hobby has both an indoor and outdoor equivalent then questions about the indoor aspect make sense here. The one additional item that should be added would be that the sport/hobby takes place in nature, not just outside, and I recognize that's open to interpretation.

I guess I would say that questions about indoor basketball are not appropriate even though you can play basketball outside, it's not a sport/hobby that has anything to do with nature.

Climbing, which has an indoor component, is a very nature influenced outdoor sport, so I think that is appropriate.

  • 1
    Although there are indoor climbers who have never touched real rock, I would suspect they are the vast minority... I see indoor climbing as a workout gym to prepare for that big trip. Besides, its a good gate-way sport to draw people to the outdoors.
    – Lost
    Feb 24, 2012 at 2:16
  • 2
    There will be more overlap with indoor climbing and other TGO topics than there will be with indoor climbing and other sports topics, so it should stay here. Feb 24, 2012 at 21:09

If indoor climbing will indeed be allowed then I think the 'about' should be changed. Currently outdoors.se/about has the following "Don't ask abouts":

  • Anything not directly related to outdoor activities
  • Questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

You can argue that indoor climbing is related to outdoor activities (as @JustinC has nicely done in his answer), but it is definitely not directly related so keeping this will create confusion.

  • have there been questions about indoor climbing on this S.E.? For a lot of the questions I see, the OP may have been climbing indoors when the question occurred to him/her, but the question tends to be general enough to apply to both indoors and out.
    – DavidR
    May 3, 2013 at 20:30

We might want to liaise with Sports Stack Exchange, as they already have : See these questions

We don't want to duplicate effort, but I agree - it may be appropriate for some questions.

I think the particular question we do have here on Outdoors is probably best served over on Sport if it stays as it is.

  • Just a note, they only appear to have two indoor climbing questions so it's no clearly established in either place yet. (just to add clarity, not state a preference) Feb 21, 2012 at 22:09
  • 2
    Absolutely - I think the conversation will be worth having with them though, to save duplication of effort.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Feb 21, 2012 at 23:53

This an old question, but just for the record -

I'd recommend that an "indoor climbing" question be off topic here only if it was narrowly focused on something that was non-applicable to outdoor climbing. For instance, the rules and scoring system of climbing competitions, or competition results. Otherwise, the questions would be appropriate here.

If a beginning indoor climber wanted to ask a basic question that applied to both indoor and outdoor climbing (for instance, questions about knots, belaying, toproping, climbing shoes) I don't see any reason to push that to the sports stackexchange.

At least in the US, climbing gyms are how most people (even outdoor climbers) begin climbing. A beginner's experience at a climbing gym will be largely similar to climbing at a toproping cliff, only with higher levels of institutionalized safety.

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