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Rock climbing facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Joshua Tree - Illusion Dweller 10
A leader belays the second climber in Joshua Tree National Park, United States.

Rock climbing is a sport where someone uses his 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.

  • Free 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.
  • Solo climbing is when a climber climbs alone, without somebody belaying them. There are several ways to climb solo. The first is roped solo climbing, which is climbing by yourself with a rope backup in case of fall. 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 also use a knot or a securing 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 person at the bottom must only keep the rope tight by using a knot or a securing device, like a Grigri.

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