An Introduction to Rock Climbing

The sport of rock climbing is one niche that has seen a slow rise in popularity among many people in this country. It takes a fair amount of strength and stamina, so it is definitely not for everyone. But for the rugged practioners who do this activity a lot, they will aver that it is quite exhilarating when the top is reached, and it is time to rest for a bit. This sport has 4 distinctive types, and each has its very unique features that make it popular in its own right. These will be summarized briefly in order to get a glimpse into who can safely practice these methods.

More people seem to favor bouldering over the other 3 in terms of participation level. It essentially entails climbing over boulders, the type of activity that most adults liked to do when they were kids. The beauty of this type is that very little is needed in the way of equipment, and there is a crash pad at the bottom. This is used for protection in case of a fall. However the pad just doesn’t lie there dormant, since there is a spotter who is trained to watch the climbers and can move the pad very quickly if necessary. Because there is very little in the way of training, and a minimum of equipment has to be purchased, this form of rock climbing is favored by the majority of people interested in performing this kind of activity.

Another, more strenuous type of rock climbing is called Alpine, and it is almost the polar opposite of bouldering. It calls for the participants to be out in the wild for extended periods of time — typically a few weeks to 3 months or more occasionally. This is for experienced climbers only, and a tolerance of cold temperatures has to be in the make up of these individuals because the weather is usually frigid. This is widely regarded as the pinnacle of rock climbing and thus will only be done by more experienced climbers who know what they are doing. This should never be tried alone or without a proper guide who has climbed this area in the past.

For those individuals who want to try something involving a little more risk, there is free soloing rock climbing. This method puts the climber on his own without any help. Daredevils would prefer this type of activity since there is nobody there to assist. Also, there is nothing like a crash pad on the bottom in case of accident or fall. Of course getting treatment or first aid is almost impossible since nobody else is around to provide this service. While it can be done by anybody, this version of rock climbing is probably best left for only an experienced person. However, some of these guys still love it simply for the rush that it provides. It can be thought of as a carnival ride without the safety harnesses that are built into the rides.

The final kind of rock climbing is the traditional method that protects a climber from falling by employing a rack. This device is composed of ropes, and harnesses which provide protection against slipping or losing a handhold. It will be used in different ways, all dependant on the locale and the difficulty of the climb itself. This is the best style for beginners to try, because there is essentially a safety net built into the activity. This allows novices to learn the proper methods and techniques to safely climb any kind of rock formation.

There are many things to learn about rock climbing and the many different techniques that are required to safely complete an excursion. While it can be done by a novice, most of the different styles should only be done by veteran climbers for safety sake. However, experience can be gained through performing more climbs since this will provide the necessary skills needed for tougher areas. Rock climbing is a sport that pits man against mountain in an epic battle of wills with only one winner. It can be a great activity as long as safety precautions are followed and the goal isn’t beyond the experience level of the participant.