8 Of The World's Best Climbing Walls

10/04/2013 10:55am ET | Updated January 23, 2014
grungy surface of an artificial ...

Climbing draws thrill seekers and people who put a premium on personal achievement instead of competition with others. Climbers might take up a small portion of the adventure sports world, but there is enough interest in this niche to support the creation of tall artificial walls and expansive indoor climbing gyms.

Purists might tell you that real climbing takes place only on natural rocks. But artificial walls have made this sport more accessible to people who would not otherwise be able to climb at all. These human-made structures also offer a more-controlled environment in which to learn the skills necessary to attempt natural rock formations. And some of the highest of these faux mountains are as exciting to look at as they are to climb.