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Rock climbing is a sport where someone uses their hands and feet to climb up a rock or an artificial climbing wall. Rock climbing is a very difficult sport because you need to have a lot of strength. Rock climbers must know how to use ropes, carabiners and harnesses for their own safety.
Different ways of rock climbing
Because of many different kinds of rocks around the world, many different kinds of climbing started.
- Solo climbing is where the climber's own physical strength and skill are relied on to do the climb. Anchors, ropes and protection are used to back up the climber, but are only there in case of a fall and are not actively used to help the person do the climb.
- Bouldering is climbing on short, low routes. Because people do not climb very high, they do not need to use safety equipment. Sometimes there are used special pads to cushion a drop.
- Free solo climbing is when a climber climbs alone, without somebody belaying them. Free soloing is climbing alone without the use of any rope or protection system whatsoever.
- Lead climbing is used when the rope is not on top yet. The person must tie the rope to their harness and then climb up the wall. On the way the climber puts the rope through a carabiner every few metres. Here the person at the bottom must use a belay device, and feed rope up to the climber. This is unlike top roping, where the belayer instead takes up rope using a belay device.
- Top roping is when the rope is already anchored at the top of the route. Safety equipment is needed here but many people say this kind is the safest. The belayer must only keep the rope tight by using a knot or a belay device, like a Grigri or Atc.
- Pesterfield, Heidi (2011). Traditional Lead Climbing: A Rock Climber's Guide to Taking the Sharp End of the Rope (2nd ed.). Wilderness Press. p. 11. .