Rock Climbing Basics & Background Information

By: Kris Koonar

Rock climbing, a popular hobby in England and Germany, became established as a sport in the end of the nineteenth century. The sport has gained critical acclaim and admiration from the media, especially for the dare-devilry stunts and guts, it involves. Ever since, more and more athletes showed interest, it soon gained popularity and became declared as a world sport.

The earliest form of this sport was practiced in Colorado in the nineteenth century. A popular pass-time for the local public, the sport involved free-climbing with passive protection. In other parts of Europe, the sport was an essential part of mountaineering, with mountaineers scaling angular faces as preparation for a climbing expedition. By the early twentieth century, Rock climbing became completely established in the United States.

Free climbing and Aid Climbing were two traditional methods used by early rock climbers. In Aid Climbing, climbers use climbing harnesses and climbing gear for protection, whereas climbers in free climbing, needed to have skill, technique and physical strength.

As Aid Climbing became extremely popular in the sixties, American companies developed more advanced and safety oriented equipment that replaced the rudimentary piton and the coir rope. More Finer Equipment like slinging machine nuts was available, that offered safety to the amateur climber. A more advanced technique was developed in the early eighties that combined both free and aid climbing methods. This technique reduced the level of difficulty, thus improving style of climbing.

As climbing gained popularity in the United States, the sport became more sophisticated and safe. The indoor rock-climbing wooden walls replaced the traditional rocks and hostile terrains. The harnesses and ropes were made shock absorbing and from skin friendly material. Climbing as a sport is extremely demanding. In order to make it as an athlete, with strength, power, endurance, flexibility and durability is an absolute necessity. These attributes are equally important and a deficiency of either one of them can make the climb painful. Thus, a regular review and practice of climbing basics can improve your style.

There are many types of climbing, each having own grade of risks and difficulty. It is one of the most dangerous sports as it involves extreme risk and sicknesses. The sport is not advised for people suffering from ailments such as vertigo and heart diseases. However, with the proper safety, the danger element is reduced considerably.

Basics Rock Climbing:

A climbing troupe works in pairs, with one leading the climbing and the other belaying. The leading climber is regularly provided rope through a belay device. The job of a leading climber is to place route aids, also known as bolted hangers, until he reaches the peak. The duty of the belayer is to ensure the rope locking system in case of a free fall. The ropes are attached to the climbing harnesses, using a figure-eight knot or double bowline knot. The leader can also place nuts or Spring-loaded camming device in cracks along the route. In sport climbing, metal loops or hangers are employed. Hangers are nailed to the rocks, using hammers or masonry bolts. Ice screws are used in ice climbing.

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