After losing its 3-meter diving board because of safety concerns in 2012, the Boulder City Pool and Racquetball Complex recovered swiftly and uniquely when it added the only Aquaclimb rock walls in Southern Nevada in 2013.
Sheri O’Berto, aquatic coordinator for the Pool and Racquetball Complex, said a representative from the same insurance company that forced them to get rid of their diving board recommend an Aquaclimb rock wall to replace it.
The insurance company said it wasn’t anything against Boulder City, O’Berto said, but recreational high dives were being discouraged across the country because of growing safety concerns in other states.
The 16-foot-5-inch walls allow participants to climb to the top before jumping off feet first into the cool, blue water. The cost to buy and install both walls was $20,000 compared with $26,000 for two diving boards.
“It was an amenity that was nowhere in Nevada, let alone Southern Nevada, and it was a fun addition that we thought we could bring to the pool,” O’Berto said.
Unlike a traditional rock wall, there are no safety ropes or repelling harnesses needed to scale the wall.
O’Berto said the dive tank was re-energized when the rock walls first made their way to the Boulder City pool. The 1-meter diving board was getting more attention because of the effect the rock walls had on the entire place, she said. People from Henderson were even making their way to the pool to try them out.
The walls have been incorporated into some of the fitness courses the pool offers, which makes it an even better commodity, according to O’Berto.
“It’s challenging. You have to use your arms and legs to climb and you can’t hold the same position for too long because your muscles get tired,” she said. “In addition to being fun for the kids, it’s also an exercise.”
A lifeguard is assigned to the climbing wall area to make sure only one person at a time is on each wall. All participants must be at least 5 years old and must weigh 250 pounds or less. The walls lean toward the water at a 15-degree angle, so those who jump off will always land in the water.
In the end, O’Berto is glad the rock walls found their way to Boulder City, even at the expense of the high dive.
“Everyone in town enjoys it, and we’ve been very happy with it,” she said.The rock wall is one of many programs and activities available at the pool complex during the summer.
Hours are 6:30-9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon Monday-Saturday for adult lap swim; 1-5 p.m. daily for open swim; and 5-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday for family hour.
Admission is $2 daily for youths and seniors 60 and older and $3 for adults 18-59.