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The Timeless Extreme Sport Of Boulder Climbing And How The Sport Is Judged

"Bouldering" (slang for boulder climbing), is a timeless sport, often associated with mountain climbing (without the rope or the mountain). It is an extreme sport which has been around since the 1880's, pioneered in Great Britain by bouldering fanatics. The concept originated because people would climb boulders to warm up or train for future mountain climbs. John Gill (an American boulder climber pioneer) made advances to the sport, which have in turn brought it into the mainstream. Boulder climbing focuses on the performance of the athlete on the boulder, which they are climbing, rather than on the headway that they can make, equipment they have, or safety gear as is often done in mountain climbing.

Boulder climbers do take basic safety measures, as they end up about six feet above the ground. For instance, they often use chalk so that the climber's hands are dry, giving them a good grip on the boulder, and preventing slipping from occurring. A chalk pouch is kept with boulder climbing, which ensures dry hands to reduce slippage potential.

Another safety measure is using an applicable shoe. There is no requirement or regulation for shoe type, but many climbers tend to choose shoes specifically made for climbing. These shoes secure safe footing, and protect their feet from potential rock cuts, twists, and splinters.

Crash pads are also used as a safety precaution. These break the fall of the climber, and ensure a safer landing. Boulder climbers are now carrying collapsible mats along with them, when recreationally bouldering.

This sport also sometimes has a spotter along side. Spotters help direct climbers from danger, and are around to help with first aid.

Another precaution that is sometimes used, controversially, is a rope to navigate the boulder. Fans of the sport, however, feel it distracts and takes away from the object of the activity.

The judging systems have changed to accommodate bouldering, as it becomes more competitive. Difficulty levels were assigned to boulders accordingly the "B" system. A B1 problem boulder was not considered easy, but not hard. A B2 problem boulder is one, which is harder to navigate and conquer than a B1. A B3 problem boulder indicates a boulder so hard to climb; it has only been successfully done once.

The "B" system only worked for a small while, until it became too diverse to fit into three categories. "B" scale was soon replaced by the "V" grade system, compliments of John Sherman. From V0 to V16, the sport now uses an open ended scale. The term VB is used if the boulder does not even reach a V0 rating. Plus and minuses are sometimes added to the V ratings.


Climbing Shoes

It is essential to choose the right climbing shoes if you are going on an expedition

Perhaps you have recently got into climbing or are tentatively venturing out on a climb to see how you feel about it. Whatever the reason is that you have decided to take up climbing, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you have the right equipment. As well as harnesses, one of the most important pieces of equipment are climbing shoes. Obviously, climbing shoes have to have a really good grip as you will often be relying on your feet to secure you a position.

What types of climbing shoes are available?

Obviously, there are different climbing shoes for different types of climbing. One of the main things to take into consideration when contemplating which climbing shoes to buy is to think about the terrain that you will be climbing on. Obviously a different grip will be needed if you are climbing on grass to that which will be needed if climbing on rock or slurry. Making sure you get it right at this stage will ensure that you have a much more positive climbing experience.

Where can I find a great range of climbing shoes?

As different types of climbing shoes are needed at different times, it really makes sense to look for your climbing shoes in a company that supplies the widest range. One such company is www.bananafingers.co.uk. They have a fantastic range of shoes to offer. Not only that but they can supply you with all the climbing equipment that you could possibly need. As well as this they offer a really good service so you can relax in the knowledge that you will receive your order in good time.


A Basic List of Climbing Gear

Climbing is rapidly becoming one of the biggest fitness crazes not only in the United States, but around the world as well. There are over 1,000 climbing gyms in the United States alone, and they are never short of climbers. While many climbers prefer an outdoor climbing experience to a climbing wall, other climbers never experience an outdoor climb and choose to spend their time on an indoor climbing wall. Wherever you choose to do your climbing, you will need a basic set of climbing gear before you get started climbing. So, if you are new to climbing, here is a great list of the basic climbing gear you'll need to get started.

Climbing Shoes

A good pair of climbing shoes can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Make sure they are snug and comfortable, but not too tight. If your big toe meets the end of your climbing shoe, then it makes for a good fit for the shoe. This means that your climbing shoe will have the support that it needs if you are standing on a particularly narrow ledge or climbing hold. You can wear tennis shoes to a climbing wall, but be prepared for an uncomfortable climb, and problems staying onto the holds on the wall.


Purchasing a harness is another must for your climbing gear kit for beginners. Be sure to choose your harness based on the way it fits, not off of color or style. Your harness should fit snug and securely, but not too tight to make for a comfortable climb, and a less painful fall if one should occur. Make sure your harness has plenty of gear loops to haul all of your gear.


Carabiners are another important tool for your climbing gear kit. Screwgate carabiners are the best carabiner to use with your belay device since they will not open by themselves. If you are unsure about what kinds of carabiners will work best with the climb you are planning, be sure to talk with an expert.


Climbing ropes are your number one protection in the event of a fall. There are two main types of climbing ropes, dynamic and static. Dynamic ropes are commonly used, as they will stretch a little bit to help lessen the shock a fall could have on your body.

If you are just learning how to climb in a climbing gym, you may want to find out what kinds of climbing gear are available for use of it's climbers. For example, many climbing walls have all the gear their climbers will need right there, and some climbers prefer to bring in their own equipment and climb with what they are most comfortable in. If you are climbing outdoors, then you may need additional climbing gear depending on where you are climbing.


Everything You Need To Know To Get Started Rock Climbing

One of the most popular and intense sports that you could ever get started in would have to be rock climbing. Both men and women of all ages are getting into to this new way of getting a wonderful workout. One of the most intriguing things about rock climbing is that it can be done outside or inside, so if it rains you can still get your workout, and have some fun rock climbing.

When the weather is bad you can try going climbing on a man-made wall, this is also a great learning tool for people that are just getting started in the sport. When you are at an indoor facilities you can work on learning rock climbing basics and techniques while at the same time have a professional keep a close eye on your to be sure you are doing things the proper way, and that you are not going to hurt yourself and others once you try to conquer rock climbing outdoors. Some rock climbers never try to climb outdoors, but for the ones that do it is an awesome experience that they would never want to replace.

If you do decide to adventure out doors and try your luck climbing real rocks then there are some things that you will need to consider. Not every rock is good for climbing, so first you need to be able to decide weather the rock can be climbed vertically or horizontally. Next, you need to make sure that the rock is solid and in good condition for climbing. Try to find place to climb where the weather is predictable, and where other climbers have already been, so that you can use the pre-existing trails.

Like any sport there are some dangers involved if you do not take the necessary precautions such as having the right type of equipment, and climbing in less populated areas where it would be hard for you to get help. You should always climb where other people are close by because if you should ever need emergency help, those people suddenly become your lifeline, and without them you could find yourself in a life and death situation.

A common misconception is that most of the injuries incurred from rock climbing are from falling. This is most likely because if a rock climber falls it gets a lot more media attention than other situations. The majority of injuries that people get from rock climbing are injuries to the tendons, elbows, shoulders, and hands and these injuries are cause by over-straining the muscles or to much use. The truth is that you cannot prevent all of the injuries that can come from rock climb, just like you can not prevent injury in football or soccer. But you reduce the chance of injury by warming up and stretching before you climb. Also, having the right equipment, and be sure that you are properly trained to use that equipment will help prevent injury.

Have a good pair of rock climbing shoes are a necessity in order to be sure that you have a good grip on the surfaces you are going to try to climb. Another important item is a helmet, and sadly they are not worn by most climbers. You will also need to check all you ropes and harnesses to make sure they are not worn

If you will follow these basic steps to rock climbing I am sure that you will fall in love with the sport, and have a safe and fun time doing so.


Rock Climbing Techniques

Rock climbing usually indicates climbing steep rock formations. A climber may or may not choose to use gear and safety equipment used in rock climbing. However, certain crucial gear and equipment is essential and generally used. Rock climbing requires great amount of physical strength, mental control and endurance, along with the knowledge of climbing techniques. Rock climbing is, in general, a dangerous activity and accidents can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.

Originally an outdoor sport, many cities around the world have artificially created, indoor rock climbing venues popularly known as rock climbing gymnasiums. They can be modified to match the skill level needed for outdoor climbing and are increasingly gaining popularity among people. They are introducing new people to this sport, as it is seen safer than the outdoor version.

If the rock climber decides to use climbing gear, it would usually consist of a rope system, tying, belaying and lowering. Alternatively, some climbers use nothing but chalk powder on their hands, to avoid slipping due to perspiration. But for amateur climbers, it is essential to use climbing gear and also to use professional help to learn the tricks and techniques involved in rock climbing. This is required to avoid injuries and fatalities.

It is a common trend for climbers to work in pairs, with one person climbing and the other belaying. Belaying is the technique of controlling the rope such that if a climber falls, he does not fall very far. The belayers job is to feed the rope to the lead climber through a belaying device. The leader is one who climbs up and places protection in a continuous process. At this time, the belayer is ready to arrest the rope, in case the lead climber falls.

Rock climbing is broadly categorized as free climbing, and aid climbing. In free climbing, the climber uses only natural features of rock formation. In aid climbing, artificial device placed in the rocks are used, which support either complete or a part of weightof the climber. Aid climbing is usually practiced on those rock formations, where natural features required for free climbing are not available.

Free climbing is further divided into various categories according to the technique used. Some of them are:
. Traditional Lead Climbing mostly uses removable protection, but fixed protection may also be used at times. The team ascends, with the leader leading them and placing protective devices along the way. The climber, on falling, does not rest on the rope, but begins all over again. Many, as the cleanest style, see this style as the climber following the leader removes the protective devices and thus, hardly leaving any traces along the attempted path.
. Sport Lead Climbing uses pre-placed permanent bolts for protection. So, the leader does not have to carry additional devices and only carries some quick-draws to clip onto the already placed bolts. But this style carries its own risk, as the permanent bolts are likely to get dislodged or decay over a period of time. In case of a fall, the climber usually rests on the rope before beginning again.

In Top Rope Climbing the rope is suspended form the anchor located at the top of a short climb.


Rock Climbing Styles

Rock climbing can be divided into two main types i.e. indoor and outdoor rock climbing. There are a variety of styles of rock climbing. Two of the most common styles are: The Traditional and Sport style. Rock climbers use other styles too. Most of them prefer to use the style that suits them the best. This article will provide you with the different styles of rock climbing and its features.

Traditional style:

Traditional rock climbing is also commonly known amongst climber as trad climbing. A traditional rock climber is known as trad climber. This style involves exploration and establishment of new routes. This style requires a lot of skill including self control, gear placement, route finding, down hill climbing, etc. This style came into existence before the sport style of climbing. This style is unaided with permanent anchors to help while ascending. It is more physically and mentally challenging than sport climbing. A trad climber uses a rope and places nuts and hexes in crevices to ensure safety.

Sport style:

Sport style of climbing unlike traditional climbing lets the climber use permanent anchors for protection. These anchors are fixed to the rock face to assist the climb. Sport climbing requires gymnastics abilities, endurance and strength. Sport climbing is safer compared to traditional climbing. The gear too is different. It includes bolts and quick draws i.e. a small sling, which has carabiners on both ends. Sport climbing can be both indoor as well as outdoor. Indoor sport climbing developed because climbers wanted to practice climbing throughout the year.


This style of climbing requires the climber to have great strength, endurance and concentration. The climber needs to use all these skills to work a way through the boulder route. This style is more dangerous and requires experience. This style is practiced indoors as well as the outdoors. While bouldering, climbers usually do not get their feet a couple of feet above the ground surface. Bouldering does not include any ropes or belay placed at the bas of the cliff. The only gear required for this type of rock climbing is shoes, crash pad and chalk. Bouldering involves a series of problems known as routes. These routes are series of moves a climber needs to practice over and over again. Additional moves will increase the challenge. It is advised that bouldering should not be done at great heights.

Solo style:

The solo climbing style is the most dangerous style of climbing. It is also considered by most of the climber as the freest style of climbing. This is so because the climbers climb alone i.e. without any partner, protection or rope. This style of climbing is best left to the experts. The main aim of such a climb is to reach the summit.

Ice climbing:

As the name suggests, this style of rock climbing includes climbing on ice. One does not need to be told that it is going to a cold climb. Ice climbing means climbing a vertical wall of ice and this ice wall may be formed by a frozen waterfall. The tools required for ice climbing are quite different from the tools used in the other styles of climbs.


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