Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility and balance along with her or his mental control.Rock climbing is a lot of fun and an extreme adrenaline rush, the higher the more adrenaline! Rock climbing is a very good workout, you can burn many calories and at the same time build strength in your arms and legs. I love to rock climb both indoors and outdoors!
Most of the climbing done in modern times is considered free climbing – climbing using one’s own physical strength, with equipment used solely as protection and not as support—as opposed to aid climbing, the gear-dependent form of climbing that was dominant in the sport’s earlier days. Free climbing is typically divided into several styles that differ from one another depending on the equipment used and the configurations of their belay, rope and anchor systems (or the lack thereof). Here are some of the different styles of rock climbing.
- Aid Climbing - Still the most popular method of climbing big walls. Progress is accomplished by repeatedly placing and weighting gear which is used directly to aid ascent and enhance safety.
- Free climbing - The most commonly used method to ascend climbs refers to climbs where the climber’s own physical strength and skill are relied on to accomplish the climb. Free climbing may rely on top rope belay systems, or on lead climbing to establish protection and the belay stations. Anchors, ropes and protection are used to back up the climber and are passive as opposed to active ascending aids.
- Traditional climbing - Traditional or Trad Climbing involves rock climbing routes in which protection against falls is placed by the climber while ascending. Gear is used to protect against falls but not to aid the ascent directly.
- Sport Climbing - Unlike Traditional Rock Climbing, Sport Climbing involves the use of protection (bolts) or permanent anchors which are attached to the rock walls.
- Bouldering - Climbing on short, low routes without the use of the safety rope that is typical of most other styles. Protection, if used at all, typically consists of a cushioned bouldering pad below the route and/or a spotter, a person who watches from below and directs the fall of the climber away from hazardous areas.
- Free soloing (not to be confused with free climbing) is single-person climbing without the use of any rope or protection system whatsoever. If a fall occurs and the climber is not over water (as in the case of deep water soloing), the climber is likely to be killed or seriously injured.
- Indoor climbing - Permits climbing in all types of weather and at all times of day. Used for improving climbing skills and techniques.
- Deep Water Soloing - Similar to free soloing in that the climber is unprotected and without a rope, but different in that if the climber falls, it is into deep water instead of on to the ground.
- Rope soloing - Solo climbing with a rope secured at the beginning of the climb allowing a climber to self-belay as they advance. Once the pitch is completed the soloist must descend the rope to retrieve their gear, and then reclimb the pitch.
- Simul climbing - When two climbers move at the same time. The pseudo-lead climber places gear that the pseudo-follower collects. When the leader runs low on gear they construct a belay station where the follower can join them to exchange gear.
- Top roping - Climbing with the protection of a rope that’s already suspended through an anchor (or also known as a “Top Rope System”) at the top of a route.
Here I am doing some rock climbing of my own!
Above: Getting ready to climb somewhere in Austria
Above: Feeling a little nervous! It looked so high
Above: Going at it!
Above: Having some fun climbing the rocks
Above: Repelling down off a very high cliff!
Above: Indoor climbing at Kendell Cliffs
Above: all ready to start climbing!
Above: Doing the hard route first?? yup
Above: go climb a rock!
Above: Thinking about my next move
Above: Almost to the top!
Rock Climbing is a very fun sport to get involved in! Check out to see if there is a rock wall or rock climbing group you can get involved in in your area. You will have a blast!