Rock climbing

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**History and Evolution of Rock Climbing:**
– Cliff-dwelling Anasazi were skilled climbers in 12th century America.
– European climbers used rock climbing techniques for mountaineering in the 1880s.
– Rock climbing as a distinct sport began in the late 19th century in Europe.
– Mauerhakenstreit (Great Piton Debate) in Central Europe pre-First World War.
– Free climbing, using natural holds with gear for protection, is most popular today.
– Aid climbing, gear-dependent, was popular from 1920-1960.
Climbing techniques, equipment, and ethics have evolved over time.
– Grading systems have been developed to compare the difficulty of climbs.
Sport climbing was announced as a medal sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, postponed to 2021.

**Styles and Techniques in Rock Climbing:**
Climbing distinctions include on-sighting, flashing, redpointing, and pinkpointing.
– Climbers can be dynamic (forceful) or static (controlled) in their climbing style.
Climbing style is a personal choice for each climber.
– Crack climbing, face climbing, slab climbing, and simul climbing are common techniques.
– Indoor climbing allows for practice and skill improvement in controlled environments.
Climbing routes are set with specific holds to encourage certain techniques.
Climbing grades range from 5.0 for beginners to 5.15 for elite climbers.

**Types of Rock Climbing:**
– Most modern climbing is free climbing, using physical strength with gear for protection.
– Climbers work in pairs with ropes and anchors for safety.
Climbing styles vary based on equipment choices and belay systems.
– Climbers progress from top roping and bouldering to lead climbing.
– Climbers usually do not descend the route due to safety concerns.
– Types include trad climbing, sport climbing, bouldering, solo climbing, lead climbing, and multi-pitch climbing.

**Equipment and Safety in Rock Climbing:**
– Climbers wear specialized rubber shoes for better grip and sensitivity.
Climbing chalk is used to reduce hand sweating.
– Protective equipment like ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and belay devices are crucial for safety.
– Different types of climbing require specific equipment for protection and safety.
– Falls are relatively uncommon, with overuse injuries most frequently affecting fingers, elbows, and shoulders.
– Ignoring overuse symptoms can lead to permanent damage to tendons, ligaments, and capsules.

**Ethics, Access, and Environmental Impact:**
– Ethics in climbing include sportsmanship, nature preservation, and local customs.
– Local ethics should be considered when establishing new climbing routes.
Climbing restrictions and closures have been implemented to protect cultural sites.
– Rock climbing can cause environmental damage like soil erosion and chalk accumulation.
– The Access Fund in the U.S. works to keep climbing areas open and conserve the environment.
– Regulations have been established to manage fixed anchor placement in wilderness areas.

Rock climbing (Wikipedia)

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, across, or down natural rock formations or indoor climbing walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually 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 mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

Rock Climbing
A rock climber approaches a roof while leading a multi-pitch, traditional route in Custer State Park, United States.

Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines, such as scrambling, bouldering, sport climbing, and trad (traditional) climbing.

Rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the least amount of attempts, the least amount of time, or attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route. Indoor rock climbing is typically split into three disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing, and top roping.

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