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The modern rock climbing we’re accustomed to today was first established in the 1800s in Europe, in which wealthy men, and some women, funded climbing expeditions in the Alps to make their way to the top. By today’s standards, their equipment wasn’t the safest, meaning that climbers back then took many risks to enjoy their hobby. With time, both climbing techniques and gear evolved, and the sport of rock climbing was born. By the 1960s and 70s, the sport gained more popularity, with climbers reaching incredible heights. If you’re interested in reaching those heights as well, then start by reading this beginner’s guide to the different types of rock climbing.

Bouldering

Performed indoors on artificial rock walls or outdoors on boulders or smaller rock formations, the style of bouldering doesn’t use a harness or roping system of any kind. This type of rock climbing is done close to the ground with either a spotter or a foam pad underneath to prevent injury and create an easy landing.

Top-Rope Climbing

This is the type of rock climbing that comes to mind when the sport is brought up. Top rope climbing has the climber attached to a rope that’s passed upwards to an anchor at the top of the wall. This is typically done by another person who then secures the rope and holds on as the climber makes their way up. There are many different, more advanced techniques that can be employed to get the climber to their goal.

Multi-Pitch Climbs

Using special climbing gear, an experienced climber will insert that gear into the cracks of rock formations, carefully making their way up to their destination. The rope they’re attached to is clipped onto those metal pieces known as carabiners, meaning they need to be strong and sturdy enough to support the climber’s weight.

Other Types of Climbing

There are several other kinds of rock climbing open for your exploration. Those types include solo climbing, in which no safety systems are set in place, and rappelling, in which you make your way down a mountainside while slowly sliding down your secured rope.

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