Climbing out of Covid



Members of the Dynomites rock climbing club and climbing enthusiasts from around Wellington had their first taste of competition recently, during the country's first climbing event since Covid-19 lockdown measures eased.


Possibly a first for Australasia and globally too, with New Zealand leading the way in lowering lockdown protocols, the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC), National Indoor Bouldering Series (NiBS) climbing competition, was held on 20 June at Hangdog, an indoor rock climbing centre based in Lower Hutt, Greater Wellington.


Around 25 of the Dynomites members entered the competition with six of their female athletes placing in the top 10 open women's category (out of 43 competitors) and two of their male athletes placing in the top 10 open men's category (out of 55 competitors). Of note, Dynomites climbers placed first in the under 18, under 16, under 14, under 12 male and veteran male categories respectively.


Dynomites was founded to encourage rock climbing and mountaineering with an emphasis on sport climbing. A spokesperson for the club explains: "Our values include: developing a love for climbing and the outdoors; being passionate about climbing technique and skills development; and being inclusive and supportive toward other club members. We are an Incorporated Charity, our volunteer coaches run a number of coached training groups for youth climbers primarily on a Sunday evening and we are proudly affiliated with Climbing New Zealand and the Hangdog indoor rock climbing centre."


NiBS competitions are all level (beginner through to advanced) friendly social events. Participants get two-hours to 'top' as many climbs as they can, and the best three climbers in each gender move to a final round. There are four NiBS competitions in 2020, with each one hosted by a different NZ climbing centre. This year's venues include Hangdog (Wellington), Northern Rocks (Auckland), Uprising (Christchurch) and Basecamp Adventures (Queenstown). NiBS is organised by NZAC and generously sponsored by The North Face, Bivouac Outdoor, Uprising and La Sportiva. There are still three more NiBS events to run this year, so register for your local event at


If you are keen to use your hands and feet to climb a wall with overhanging articulations and jug, handle or crimp shaped holds, get in contact with Dynomites (, Hangdog ( or and one of the many wonderful rock climbing centres around the country.