Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls.
The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a 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. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialised climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. 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:
The most commonly used method to ascend climbs refers to climbs where the climber’s own physical strength and skill are relied on to accomplish the climb. Free climbing may rely on top rope belay systems, or on lead climbing to establish protection and the belay stations. Anchors, ropes and protection are used to back up the climber and are passive as opposed to active ascending aids. Subtypes of free climbing are trad climbing and sport climbing. Free climbing is generally done as “clean lead” meaning no pitons or pins are used as protection.
Climbing on short, low routes without the use of the safety rope that is typical of most other styles. Protection, if used at all, typically consists of a cushioned bouldering pad below the route and a spotter, a person who watches from below and directs the fall of the climber away from hazardous areas. Bouldering may be an arena for intense and relatively safe competition, resulting in exceptionally high difficulty standards.
Glasshouse Vistas by Daniel Godson
References (Technique, Skills & Training)
How to Rappel (REI)
How to abseil.
For more instructional films check out the BMC TV Skills Channel on YouTube
See also: All the abseil skills and techniques you need to know (5c Climbers)
How to lead a trad route (BMC)
For more instructional films check out the BMC TV Skills Channel on YouTube
How to Clip Quickdraws (REI)
Covers: Belaying, Rappelling, Technique, Sport Climbing, Trad, Bouldering, Training, Nutrition …
‘How to’ and training videos – crack climbing, ropes and knots, protection …
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is an educational non?profit that is dedicated to supporting the American mountain guiding and climbing instructor community. As the leading organization of America’s most vibrant, inspiring community of climbers and skiers, the AMGA offers you cutting edge knowledge and hundreds of years of collective experience that you won’t get from any other climbing organization.
Always wanted to go climbing, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help, with this basic guide to climbing styles, techniques, and jargon.
Tied into the rope, chalking up my hands, I observe the climbing route before me to establish what is required both mentally and physically. “Do you want some beta?” asks a fellow neighbouring climber with a hopeful look on his face. Before finishing my reply, he’s off! “Ok, what you’re going to do is grab hold of those jugs get some real high feet and bust out to that crimp up left, best to have a good spot here. The crux is down low, so crank down on that crimp and go out to that high flake with the bomber side-pull, match here, smear your feet…”
If you’re just getting into rock climbing, hitting the indoor gyms or venturing outdoors with a group, you may have noticed an intriguing language thrown around. It’s English, but not the kind you know. Welcome to the world of climbing.
already has one of the internet’s best dictionaries of climbing terminology.
Animated Knots by Grog
Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it.
There are dozens of knots that might be worth learning as a climber, but for the most part, you can get up and down any climb on Earth with just these basic, essential knots—The Figure-8 Retraced, Girth Hitch, Clove Hitch, Munter Hitch, Double Fisherman’s, Prusik and Euro Death Knot!
Expresses the value climbers place upon crags, and is intended to guide climber behaviour, increasing the opportunities for crags to remain open and accessible while protecting their environmental value
To be read in conjunction with the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (Key requirements for preparing and delivering adventure activities) and the Core
Australian Adventure Activity Good Practice Guide
Go to the Australian Adventure Activity Standard for more info
Rock Climbing AAS (QLD 2014)
Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) are minimum, voluntary guidelines for conducting outdoor recreation activities . Designed primarily for organisations conducting outdoor recreation activities where the participants are dependent on the activity provider, they are also a useful reference for all outdoor enthusiasts.
The Living Rock: the origins of climbing in Australia
This site is an archive of documents, images, interviews and other information relevant to the origins of climbing in Australia.
Climbing is the perfect outlet for focus and fitness, and I love the mentality required to stay calm during a run out climb.
Rock Climbing – South East Queensland, a short video from a morning out with Mason and co from Climbing Guides Australia at Point Pure in the Brooyar State Forest just out of Gympie in South East Queensland.
Filmed and edited by Leeroy Todd
Related Articles & Info
Rock climbing isn’t always about pushing grades. Sometimes, the magic of being outside is enough, moving across incredible terrain to take in the view from the top!
Whether you’re a beginner, or someone looking for a relaxing day in the mountains, you’ve got to add this selection of South East Queensland’s best easy, classic climbs to your list! This diverse guide celebrates five lines with very different merits – all of which culminate in spectacular days out! READ MORE
Source: We are Explorers
Sandstone bluffs riddled with crevices …
For the past decade, American climber Mike Dobie has been developing world-class routes outside the remote village of Liming. As the coronavirus triggers anti-Chinese sentiment worldwide, his mission is more important than ever.
Rock climbing’s new-found popularity uncovers dark past of unsavoury route names, sparking its #MeToo moment
As society has grappled with cultural reckonings of movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, sport has not been spared.
None more so than the sport of rock climbing, where a debate about the names of climbing routes has divided what was once a small, close-knit community with strong traditions.
In just the past two months, a debate has exploded within the climbing fraternity about route names considered to be sexist, misogynistic, homophobic and racist.
Names like Rape and Carnage, Rape and Pillage, Flogging a Dead Faggot, Pasty Poofs and One Less Bitch have been raised as being deeply offensive.
As a result, climbing has been forced to reconcile its past. Read More
Source: ABC News
Many experienced rock climbers at Mount Arapiles in western Victoria think it is only a matter of time before there are more fatalities unless bureaucratic rescue protocols cease.
The tiny town of Natimuk in the wheatbelt of western Victoria is home to some of the best rock climbers in the country.
But many of the experienced climbers and guides are frustrated with the current rescue protocols they deem dangerous.
“There could be needless deaths, deaths that could be prevented,” one of Australia’s top rock climbers in the 1980s and guide, Louise Shepherd said.
Climbers Voice is a biannual publication providing the Australian climbing community with news, views and stories related to climbing access and advocacy and to help protect our climbing areas.
- Climbing Advocacy: The ACA & A Vision for the Future
- Do the Right Thing: Climbing Etiquette
- Kids on the Rocks: Climbing is a Family Affair
- Grampians Climbing Bans
- Arapiles: Trouble in Paradise?
- Five Codes of Ethics: Bouldering
- Tibrogargan: A Sentinel of Lost Wilderness
Please consider making a donation to the ACAV Access Fund and towards the protection of rock climbing areas.
ACAV welcomes any feedback from the climbing community via the contact form on the ACAV website.
Professional rock climber and free-solo ascent master Alex Honnold breaks down rock climbing clips from both real life and film, including ‘Mission Impossible II,’ ‘Point Break,’ ‘Star Trek V,’ ‘Failure to Launch,’ ‘Dark Knight Rises,’ ‘Vertical Limit’ and ‘Cliffhanger’
GQ Sports (on YouTube)
Before you set out for a day on the rocks, you’ll want to take a moment to consider what you’re wearing on your feet. You can’t just wear any ol’ pair of kicks climbing, you’ll need some specialized rock climbing shoes to avoid injuries, slips, falls, and frustration … read more
Source: Athlete Audit
The longer you climb, the more you’ll often hear people talk about their climbing shoes. They’ll talk about how well it sticks to the walls, or doesn’t. You’ll hear about how well they can stand on tiny edges or not … How good their shoes are at toe and heel hooking or if they’re just plain bad. But to be perfectly frank, there are far more important things you should be focusing on which not a lot of people talk about. Here are 8 things more important than your climbing shoes. Read More
Source: Athlete Audit
With 4 time world champion Sean McColl
The formula for excelling at sport climbing, one of the 5 sports joining the Olympic program at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, is wild and varied. it can range from never doing ther dishes to employing a 100m sprint coach, as Canada’s Sean McColl reveals … read more
New article from Cool of the Wild on how beginner and intermediate climbers can improve their climbing and take it to the next level.
1) Improve your climbing by just climbing!
2) Stand up and use your legs!
3) Get good at standing on bad footholds
4) Get your body close to the wall
5) Learn to backstep
6) Improve your climbing by gaining control of your body and mind
7) Keep your climbing varied
8) Invest in some good shoes
Cool of the Wild
The conventional wisdom behind being mentally strong and confident is to quash all negative thoughts and emotions. Doubt, fear, and discomfort are considered signs of weakness and should be “conquered”. As a professional rock climber and mountain adventurer for the last 22 years, I’Emily Harrington presents an alternative approach to such feelings. Beating them and/or pretending they don’t exist doesn’t work.
Countless times a day, all over the country, a rock climber reaches the top of a pitch, attaches the rope to an anchor, and leans back so their belayer can lower them safely to the ground. But every now and then, something goes horribly wrong. Suddenly the climber is in free fall.
American Alpine Club
There aren’t many statistics available for injury reporting in climbing and
mountaineering. Reports that do exist are collected by mountain rescue teams,
and these paint a clear picture. Most injuries are to the lower leg, but the
majority of fatalities are at least partly due to head injury.
Published by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC)
Bouldering is a great strength and fat-burning workout. Clambering over a rock-climbing wall without a harness is a lot of fun. The brightly coloured bouldering gyms make for a great Instagram photo. And as an added bonus, the sport might also be a great treatment for depression.
What to look for, why it’s a problem and what to do about it!
Rock-climbing appeals to many people, offering exhilarating challenges and enjoyable physical activity. Not only can you experience a rugged environment in its natural condition, but you can scale heights you may have never dreamed of conquering. With instruction and practice, people of all ages and fitness levels can rock-climb safely.
On the website!
See QORF Green Circle Members who provide climbing activities in Discover (search ‘Rock Climbing’ in Activity)
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