Needless to say, climbing is one of the best recreational activities in the world to explore and discover new heights and beauty of earth. Ever since Edmund Hillary climbed the Mt. Everest along with Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, climbing mountain peaks and huge steep cliffs has largely become an entertaining sport. Right from huge fall mountains to shorter ridged cliffs, there are routes for every kind of climber and mountaineer willing to undergo this pursuit. With the eagerness and enthusiasm to reach heights, did you ever wonder about the different types of climbing offered by mountaineering schools? ‘Different types of climbing?’ Puzzled! Never thought of it, right? Look at these. Top-roping, bouldering, leading, sport climbing! Don’t they make your head swivel? Let us briefly explore what these terms mean so that you can pick your favorite type amongst all climbing kinds.
Different Kinds Of Climbing
Rock climbing, undoubtedly, is the most common form of climbing which most of us are familiar with. This involves climbing on natural rock formations or artificial walls in indoor climbing centers. There are thousands of routes marked across the globe used for ascending rock faces.
A kind of rock climbing, aid climbing makes the use of different pieces of equipment, such as ropes, harnesses, and belays to ensure the safety of the climber while ascending a rock. In aid climbing, climbers move in pairs, where one person acts as a belayer, allowing the other to climb with the help of a rope.
Free climbing is a kind of rock climbing, wherein a climber ascends cliffs or mountains without the use of any traditional climbing equipment. Thus, free climbing is considered to be one of the most difficult of all rock climbing types. The climber is left to ascend rocks entirely on technique and experience. Hence, free climbing should be attempted by only experienced climbers.
Bouldering is a style of climbing that requires climbing over large boulders which are not more than 20 feet above ground. For this, you should have great strength in your arms and legs to have full control over your body, while navigating through the cracks and crevices of the boulders, as you are not provided with any kind of rope or safety equipment.
If you have had enough of rocks, let’s move onto the next level, that’s ice. Irregular ice structures and constantly melting ice can be very unpredictable and hence, ice climbing is the riskiest of all climbing types. Thus, it is best to train at an ice wall of any indoor climbing center before moving onto outdoor ice climbing. Ice climbers make use of crampons and ice packs to ascent glaciers and ice formations.
For a more challenging and risky expedition, you can try your hand at Alpine climbing. Since the climbers have to be extremely skilled at climbing across ice and rocky surfaces and should possess a sound knowledge of survival skills and meteorology, this kind of climbing is considered to be very demanding. Also, it makes very essential for the climbers to be extremely strong and fast at climbing, as the weather conditions can be fatal any time with risks of avalanches as well.
Climbing has gained immense boom much to the popularity of artificial “climbing walls”. Indoor climbing serves as a great way to learn the art for novice climbers. Using equipments such as harness, chalk bag, and a pair of climbing shoes, they can start their first step towards this dangerous yet fun-filled activity. Reputable rock gyms make sure to give the climbers a real feel yet taking all steps for entire safety of them.
The sort of climbing that you often see in movies and documentaries is traditional climbing. Pairs of climbers wearing harnesses are connected to a rope facing the rocks and carrying racks of specialized equipment. As the climbers proceed towards their destination, they place wedges, nuts and other forms of protection into cracks or holes in the rocks from their racks to make their ascent easier and convenient. The rope, which is used by the climber to ascend, is attached to these protections so that in case the climber slips or falls, he is caught up by the rope.