You might think rock climbing is just a sport like the rest. But it’s complicated and divided into so many groups that they may confuse you. Here is a short list from types of rock climbing which can help you figure out.
Free solo is the easiest type of climbing to describe. There are no ropes or harnesses involved and your only equipment is your hands and legs. In addition, if you fall, you should start from the beginning again if you are lucky enough to cheat death for one more day!
Free soloing is considered to be one of the most dangerous types of rock climbing despite the joy you have because the freedom of movement. The list of people who have died from falling while free soloing is not short at all. So, if you want to live a long life, use your harness and rope.
In bouldering, you do not use any ropes or harnesses as well. It is not as dangerous as free soloing since the height of the walls are no higher than 6.1 meters high. So, the amount of injuries are less. Bouldering is mostly done in indoor sites and on artificial walls. There are bouldering mats in case of falling. It can take place on real walls but it may cause damage due to overuse of holds.
In free climbing there are ropes and harnesses involved. You can climb with the help of footholds and handholds. Note that the rope just prevents major injuries in case of falling and it does not assist climbers on their way up. It is divided into two types: Sport Climbing and Traditional Climbing. There are slight differences between these two types. For example, traditional climbers use cams, chocks and other hardware into cracks in the rock to protect themselves from falling. On the other hand, sport climbers use quick draws to climb routes that have preplaced bolts as a protection.
In speed climbing, as well as the name says, speed is the goal. Speed climbing competitions take place on artificial walls. Walls are usually 15 meters high. In speed climbing, the two climbers race side by side. They sprint and jump to be the first one who gets to the top. It is also easy for spectators to relate with the match because whoever get to the tip first, is the winner!
In lead climbing, people climb in groups of two or more. The first climber to climb the route is called the lead climber. The lead climber is protected by the rope attached to his harness. The other end of the rope is held by the second climber, who is calledbelayer. The belayer runs the rope through a belay device and feeds rope out as the lead climber rises. If the lead climber falls, the belayer grabs the rope to arrest the fall.
Ice climbing is like rock climbing but the surface is different. Moreover, climbing equipment is different. Glacier and frozen waterfalls are popular sites for ice climbers. Ice climbing is better to be done in pairs. Mostly climbers do ice climbing as a part of their mixed climbing program in which involves climbing on ice, rock and snow.