Climbing is an activity enjoyed around the world by thrill-seekers and fitness enthusiasts alike. Owing to the popularity of climbing, there have been many new variations of climbing as a sport. Many people worldwide choose climbing as it gives them an adrenaline rush and it boosts confidence. Scaling a rock or mountain gives one a feeling of accomplishment. Climbing pushes people to do their best and learn new techniques and skills. It creates discipline and improves focus, even when a climber is trying to scale a grueling rock. In addition, climbing is an excellent workout as it improves agility, flexibility, and muscle strength.
Common types of climbing include mountaineering, bouldering, and lead climbing. These forms of climbing are the best for beginners to start. Practicing any of these climbing styles will prepare you to tackle challenging climbs as well.
One of the most popular climbing activities, bouldering, is a solo climbing activity that does not require any ropes or safety equipment. Bouldering is done on a climbing surface that is not higher than four meters. However, it is deemed highballing when a climber scales a wall or a rock of more than four meters (fifteen feet).
Bouldering is a perfect choice for beginners who wish to learn the techniques and complexities of climbing. One can indulge in bouldering indoors as well as outdoors. Indoor bouldering gyms have different boulder walls for amateurs and experienced climbers. Bouldering indoors is much safer for a beginner.
- Free soloing
It is arguably the most dangerous form of outdoor climbing. Just like bouldering, safety equipment is not used in free soloing. Bouldering turns to highballing after fifteen feet, and when the climber crosses the height of forty feet, it is called free soloing. The stakes are much higher in free soloing when compared to bouldering. In addition, free soloing requires high stamina, knowledge of the routes, and practice of techniques.
Free solo climbers only use chalk and high-quality shoes to scale the rocks.
- Lead climbing
It is a team climbing activity wherein the leader sets the route by clipping bolts and hooks into the rock or wall to secure the rope for the team. The last person in the line belays the rope to the leader to attach to hooks. Climbers attach quickdraws to their harnesses to clip one side to the rope and one to bolt.
So, even when the climber slips, the bolts and ropes are in place to ensure they do not fall.
Lead climbing further diversifies into trad climbing and sport climbing.
It is commonly known as mount climbing to the general public or as alpinism in Europe. There are similarities between mountain climbing and hiking, but it is one of the more physically challenging ones. Hiking is much more straightforward than climbing.
Mountain climbing adopts different techniques that help climbers to scale the mountains and tackle different terrains and weather conditions along the way.
Mountaineering is commonly a team activity because support and teamwork help to tackle the progression in terrain. The activity can last even months, like expeditions to Mt. Everest is also a form of mountain climbing that takes up to two months.
These common climbing styles are further subdivided into more specialized types of climbing—for instance, mountaineering branches to ice climbing and scrambling. However, once a climber has mastered these four climbing styles, learning the others becomes much easier.