- Rock Climbing |
Rock climbing involves climbing along or up to the summit of a rock formation using hands, feet and physical strength. It can be a physically and mentally demanding sport, but one that lets you see the world below from a new and exciting perspective.
Many individuals will learn to rock climb on artificial walls but those with relevant skills and experience can take their pick from huge natural rock formations across the country. The activity involves putting into practice proper climbing techniques whilst using specialised climbing equipment. Typical equipment needed would be a body harness, carabiner and ropes, climbing shoes and chalk to help prevent slipping.
Due to the extended amount of time and energy required to climb rock faces, risk of accidents on the way back down is fairly high, which is why climbers usually ascend to their finish point and do not climb back down the route. However, sometimes a larger climb will involve rappelling at the end, where the climber completes a controlled descent of a vertical face when they cannot easily or safely walk down from the top or conditions suddenly change.
Rock climbing can be broken down into a few different types of activities. Indoor climbing will fall into one of three categories: bouldering, where there is no use of a rope or harness and instead relies on thick crash mats below; top roping, where climbers are attached to a rope anchored from above that prevents them falling; or sport/lead climbing, where climbers clip themselves on and off fixed bolts along the route.
Outside, there is the option of the previous three types of climbing, but also traditional climbing – where the leader places removable clips along the route to protect the team from falls and the last climber of the group removes them as they go, or aid climbing, where individuals place devices in the rock to stand on in order to make upward progress. Scrambling is a mixture of scaling hills with some rock climbing involved, but does not have the same sustained use of hands and physical strength.
Professional rock climbing competitions are centred around the goal of completing a set route in the quickest possible time or reaching the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route within a set time. However the majority of people undertake this activity as a fun day out or weekend hobby.
Whether you want to try indoor or outdoor climbing, and whatever your level of strength and experience, there is something for everyone. Take a look below to find a venue near you.