Climbing

« Back to Glossary Index

**1. Climbing Disciplines:**

Rock climbing has various sub-disciplines: single-pitch, multi-pitch, and bouldering.
– Aid climbing utilizes artificial aids, while sport climbing relies on fixed bolts and traditional climbing uses removable protection.
– Competition climbing includes lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing.
– Alpine climbing involves rock, ice, and mixed skills. Ice climbing uses ice axes and crampons, while mixed climbing combines rock and ice.
Mountaineering includes support and fixed ropes, and via ferrata uses fixed steel cables for aid.

**2. Climbing Activities:**

– Buildering involves climbing exterior buildings, canyoneering is climbing along canyons, and grass climbing is climbing grassy mountainsides.
– Mallakhamba is a traditional Indian sport, and parkour is an urban movement sport.
– Rope access is used for industrial climbing, and tower climbers maintain telecommunication towers.
– Climbing film series and Wikimedia Commons offer climbing media resources.
– Lists of climbers and mountaineers are available for reference.

**3. Sport Climbing:**

Sport climbing made its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020 with lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing disciplines.
– Janja Garnbret and Alberto Ginés López were the first Olympic champions in sport climbing.
– The inclusion of sport climbing in the Olympics aimed to attract a wider audience to the sport.

**4. Climbing Techniques:**

– Climbers use various techniques such as top roping, trad climbing, and multi-pitch climbing.
– Top roping involves a rope anchored at the top, trad climbing uses removable protection, and multi-pitch climbing involves longer routes.
– Each technique requires specific skills and equipment.

**5. Climbing Evolution and Resources:**

– Climbing has evolved from traditional alpinism to modern sport climbing, with specialized forms like free solo climbing and big wall climbing.
– Advancements in equipment and safety practices have made climbing more mainstream.
– Climbing competitions have grown in popularity globally, serving as platforms for climbers to showcase their skills.
– Various publications like ‘How to Rock Climb’ and ‘Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills’ offer in-depth insights into climbing techniques and history.
– Further reading materials can enhance climbers’ knowledge and skills in the sport.

Climbing (Wikipedia)

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or other parts of the body to ascend a steep topographical object that can range from the world's tallest mountains (e.g. the eight thousanders) to small boulders. Climbing is done for locomotion, sporting recreation, for competition, and is also done in trades that rely on ascension, such as rescue and military operations. Climbing is done indoors and outdoors, on natural surfaces (e.g. rock climbing and ice climbing), and on artificial surfaces (e.g. climbing walls and climbing gyms)

The sport of climbing has evolved by climbers making first ascents of new types of climbing routes, using new climbing techniques, at ever-increasing grades of difficulty, with ever-improving pieces of climbing equipment. Mountain guides were an important element in developing the popularity of the sport in the natural environment. Early pioneers included Walter Bonatti, Riccardo Cassin, Hermann Buhl, and Gaston Rébuffat, who were followed by and Reinhold Messner and Doug Scott, and laterly by Mick Fowler and Marko Prezelj, and Ueli Steck. Since the 1980s, the development of the safer format of bolted sport climbing, the wider availability of artificial climbing walls and climbing gyms, and the development of competition climbing, increased the popularity of rock climbing as a sport, and led to the emergence of professional rock climbers, such as Wolfgang Güllich, Alexander Huber, Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra, Lynn Hill, Catherine Destivelle, and Janja Garnbret.

Climbing became an Olympic sport for the first time in the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo (see Sport climbing at the 2020 Summer Olympics) in that format that included competition lead climbing, competition bouldering, and competition speed climbing disciplines; competition ice climbing is not yet an Olympic sport.

« Back to Glossary Index