Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Fanatics of rock climbing will tell you that this extreme sport is not only physically and mentally challenging, but also slightly addicting. One must exhibit strength, balance, and agility in order to successfully scale and climb boulders, both indoors and out. Competitive rock climbers may travel the world to find their next big challenge to face, or venture out to their local climbing gym to get their thrill.
Rock climbing may have been around since as early as 200 BC, and has been used as a form of necessary survival by civilizations throughout history. Despite its long history, rock climbing didn’t actually become a sport until the late 18th century in the European Alps. Today, the climbing has not only become a hobby, but a lifestyle, and even a profession for some.
Climbing isn’t for the faint hearted, and there can be serious risks involved, particularly on the downscale. The right equipment and experience with proper technique is vital in order to ensure a safe and successful climbing experience. Rock climbing is a diverse sport encompasses different techniques and styles to fit the individual needs of each climber.
The most popular form of climbing is free climbing, a technique that requires ascension using solely one’s physical strength, without aid from any equipment. To ensure safety during free climbing, a series of ropes and belays are installed to protect the climber. When ascent is not possible by free climbing, or a climber lacks experience, many climbers will practice aid climbing, which relies on continuous placement of weighting gear in order to assist in elevation. In addition to free climbing and aid climbing, there are many other subsects and techniques that professional climbers may employ, such as bouldering, top rope, and traditional.
Rock climbing is a sport that can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. For practice purposes or during inclement weather, climbing gyms replicate the experience of climbing outdoors by placing small foot-holes on sloped walls. Having appropriate gear such as the right footwear, climbing chalk, climbing rope, and harnesses can make the climbing experience more safe and comfortable.
Although most climbers adopt a “leave no trace” approach to climbing in attempts to minimize environmental impact, rock climbing can actually cause some damage to the surrounding ecosystem. Human contact with ancient rock formations can cause soil erosion, breakage of the rock, and direct impact to native plant species. In order to combat the impact left by climbers, a new movement called “clean climbing” has sprung up. Clean climbers steer clear of using certain equipment that causes damage to the rock formations, and seeks to leave the environment as close to untouched as possible.
If you are heading out to your next outdoor rock climbing expedition, be sure to pack your COMBAT WIPES. Intense physical activity requires some serious refreshment afterward, and why not clean up in an environmentally friendly way? Our wipes are 100% biodegradable and disintegrate back into the earth in up to three months. COMBAT WIPES are perfect for your next outdoor adventure!