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Climbing categories

Published: 20.10.2013
Lets clarify connection between climbing and mountain climbing. Except expedition climbing, mountaineers started with overcoming short and extremely difficult routes in high mountains. Ergo mountain climbing was the first and it had several stages of development. Climbing and mountaineering came from one discipline. Now we have many various sport disciplines.

Difference between mountaineering and climbing is in terrain the climber uses. Mountaineer is a man who went to the mountains and thus moves in hilly terrain he has to know very well as it hides many dangers. It is characteristic for mountaineering to have longer commencments, longer climbing, objective dangers (rapidly changing weather, falling rocks, loosened rocks). Even here very good orientation is important as well as ability to make stands and work with securing equipment. It is needed to have many skills and good knowledge and every previous experience is certainly important. It is also equipment demanding.


Climber is a man that overcomes obstacles at artificial building or natural wall (rock), i.e. shorter and more difficult walls. Climbing commences right at the wall.

According to climbers attitude we have two basic types of climbing:

-          Sport climbing: For the climber is vital his physique, psychical problems are secondary for usually he climbs on trails secured with loops. Distance between these points is from 1 to 4 meters. In case he falls it is no long fall so the climber can focus on overcoming more difficult wall without being afraid of long fall. This type of climbing is very popular for every beginner or less psychically capable individual can try it.


-          Traditional climbing is a way that came from traditional climbing on sand stones. There distances between secure points are much greater than in case of sport climbing. You have to look for good places to move forward and establish loops. Except physique you have to be well in control of your mental state. Mostly trails of lower difficulties are common. They are popular among experienced climbers who love adrenalin and knows well his climbing equipment.

Climbing sports have their competitive and non-competitive places where they are undertaken. Competitive climbing usually takes place on artificial walls made to fit its purpose. Thus, climbers never see their trail (let alone climbed), so it is very objective, a requirement for a competition.


Competitions are held in three categories: climbing at particular difficulty, speed and a competition in bouldering.  

Difficulty climbing - the goal of contestant is to climb unknown trail as high as possible. The contestant looks at his trail before every round of climbing.

Speed climbing - the contestant has to climb the trail as fast as possible, in seconds.

Contest in bouldering - the contestant has to overcome a given number of boulder problems and as few takes as possible. It is a very short trail very close to the ground. - cílem závodníka je zdolat určitý počet boulderových problémů na co nejmenší počet pokusů. Jedná se o velmi krátkou cestu nízko nad zemí.


Text/photo: Martina Brožková

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