Everything you need to know about volumes

Volumes. Those who help setters create great routes and whom climbers love to climb. Indoor climbing is a thriving sport, which means more devices for more enjoyable, interesting, and fun climbing are created. Starting their life from interestingly shaped, baked clay to the present day, when they are created mainly from foam cast in polyester resin, the volumes seem to have evolved more than the climbing walls for which they were created.

Today, plywood volumes are becoming the latest sensation of an indoor climbing revolution. You’ve seen them in the gym, added as a feature, or even used for climbing without the standard handles. Well, volumes change the way setters create routes and climbers climb.

In this article, we will tell you a little more about what exactly are volumes and how to climb them.


Volumes are those giant additions of various shapes that are attached to the wall like any other climbing device. The difference? On the volume itself, there are even more places to attach different holds. When volumes are added to a wall, they are considered an extension of it, which means they are always on, no matter which route you take. This gives the setters virtually unlimited opportunities to change the way you can climb a wall. The volumes are designed to turn a static and flat climbing wall into a dynamically changing three-dimensional space, offering a great experience to its climbers. Depending on the way the setter places volumes, you can now climb between them, around, or on them, which makes climbing a real challenge for the climber.


Volumes are not only ways to turn familiar terrain into something completely new, they can also be used instead of the grips themselves. Often on the climbing walls, you can see only volumes, without added grips. Volumes without grips become instantly more difficult to climb than any holding at an angle and require a lot of experience and mistakes. They aim to stimulate you to improve your skills and challenge your analytical thinking. Additional concentration and experience are required to climb a wall covered with volumes.


Climbing volumes requires a completely different set of skills than climbing ordinary grips. The technique is focused on balance and precision, as you don’t seem to have any real handles to use. However, any volume can make you feel like a normal grip, as long as you know how to climb it.

Balance is most important when climbing volumes. Moving the weight from unstable to stable positions can be more useful than just grabbing the volume.

Pushing and holding between two volumes is also a known climbing trick that you can use if the wall allows it.

Remember that all sides of a volume are usable, so you can use any means to climb on them. Just let your imagination run wild and make full use of the situation you are in.

Sometimes, to climb a volume, you need to make movements related to jumping, stretching, and balance. All of them can be done with the right coordination and attention. It usually takes more practice to master these skills, but with the right guidance, you will do brilliantly.