accessibility mode: off

Out of many popular outdoor sports, climbing may be one of the most extreme. Its popularity endures, as the thrill of the climb, the beautiful mountain scenery, and the challenges of the sport draw many participants year after year.

However, as the sport can be dangerous, there is no such thing as a participant knowing too much about climbing. There can be many differences in the way that climbing is practiced. Here is a primer on what a climber needs to know:

Mountain Cliffs

Mountaineering is the most extreme and challenging form of rock climbing.

-Practice as often as you can away from mountains. Going to climbing gyms to practice is an obvious way to do this. However, something as simple as reading information about climbing—as you are doing now—can help too. Also, practicing tying common climbing knots is a great way to work on your climbing skill set from home.

-Research climbing thoroughly. Immerse yourself in the practice, culture, and literature of the sport. The more information and opinions on best practices you can gather, the more likely you are to end up on the right track. Becoming a safe, knowledgeable, and responsible climber ensures that you are not only learning how to climb safely, but how to be a safe companion for other climbers on the mountain.

-Be sure you know the difference between the numerous types of climbing! The term “mountain climbing” encompasses several different types of climbing sports. These include traditional climbing, sport climbing, bouldering, solo climbing, and mountaineering.

*Traditional climbing does not allow climbers to use anchors. This makes this a difficult form of climbing for beginners, as many climbers rely on the help of the anchor device to help gain footing. It is one of the most popular forms of climbing.

Bouldering River

Boulders can make ideal climbing surfaces, hence the popularity of bouldering.

*Sport climbing is the same as traditional climbing, only with the use of anchors permitted. This makes it considerably the more beginner-friendly of the two.

*Bouldering is the practice of climbing in which participants climb boulders. This is often done without harnesses.

*Solo climbing is the extreme practice of climbing alone, without a partner. Solo climbers often climb with little to no safety gear and no anchors. Not for the faint of heart. Anyone who is not yet an expert at the sport need not apply.

*Mountaineering is the highest-altitude form of mountain climbing. It usually takes place high atop mountains and is considered the most difficult and physically demanding type of climbing.

For all your outdoor apparel needs, see Royal Robbins