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Introduction to Rock Climbing

Over the past 100 years, Rock Climbing has become a globally recognized sport and leisure activity.

Today, people from all walks of life are Rock Climbing outdoors, indoors, and at home using climbing walks they built themselves.

The indoor environment is highly controlled, nearly all risk has been eliminated, and climbers can be taught all they need to know about the safety systems in a few minutes. The outdoor environment is virtually uncontrolled, all risks are possible, and a climber can spend a lifetime learning the safety systems and still not know it all.

Climbing is unique among equipment-oriented adventure sports in that the thrills, challenges, and much of the satisfaction can be recreated in a rock climbing gym. Other sports such as skydiving and white-water boating simply cannot be taught or accomplished inside.

Practitioners of these and other outdoor adventure sports that rely heavily on equipment and safety systems have to learn by doing them in their natural environment-usually under the guidance of an accomplished enthusiast or professional instructor.

The skills for climbing outdoors are often learned that way also; however, an alarming number of people are learning to climb indoors and then heading outside to climb on their own without a thorough understanding of the hazards or knowledge of the techniques needed to minimize them.

The appeal of modern Rock Climbing can in part be attributed to a change in public perception of extreme sports. Even during its recent history, the sport was perceived as an activity that was likely to end in death.

Nevertheless, opinions are changing to the point where people realize that the sport of Rock Climbing has some inherent dangers – of which the risk could be controlled to an acceptable level. This fact, combined with people’s desire to challenge themselves and experience the great outdoors, motivates people all over the world to learn to climb rock.

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