Check out these 20 facts about rock climbing you may not have heard before. These facts may include scientific studies as evidence. There are also detailed articles related to some of the facts mentioned to give you more information. Below are some of them.
- 1. A 12 year-old Italian climber named Tito Traversa died from faulty Quickdraws
- 2. Climbing works the whole body
- 3. In rock climbing, there are five types of graded climbing
- 4. Rock climbing is as good for cardio as running 8-11 minutes per mile, according to a study.
- 5. A person can practice rock climbing either indoors or outdoors on artificial rock
- 6. A child can benefit from climbing by improving their motor skills, balance, and coordination, as well as building social relationships
- 7. Climbing can help cure fears of heights and falling
- 8. Ice climbing can be done on two different types of ice
- 9. Psicobloc (also known as liquid chalk) is favoured over normal climbing chalk when deep water soloing.
- 10. There was a 14-ton load of human excrement brought down from base camps of Mount Everest by porters working there in 2018
- 11. A type of rock commonly climbed by climbers, limestone, becomes marble when heated or under intense pressure
- 12. According to a study, rock climbing is not harmful to your hands
- 13. Climbing makes hands bigger, interestingly
- 14. Approximately 15 feet (4.5 meters) is where bouldering becomes highballing.
- 15. A climbing wall called Schurman Rock was built in Seattle in 1939, and is believed to be the very first artificial climbing wall ever built.
- 16. Rock climbing has at least 14 varieties
- 17. Around 30 people die each year from rock climbing
- 18. One of the most challenging free-solo climbing walls in the world can be found in Yosemite Valley called El Capitan
- 19. Rock climbing has been shown to improve anxiety, depression and ADHD
- 20. Rock climbing improves posture
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. A 12 year-old Italian climber named Tito Traversa died from faulty Quickdraws
As the quickdraw is clipped, some climbers use a rubber band to keep it from being wonky and while you are travelling, the carabiner may work its way out of the mesh and be held on by the rubber band. It might not be immediately obvious. Putting weight on the carabiner can cause you to fall. Here we should be reminded to check all gear before climbing. In some cases, safety equipment is literally the only thing standing between us and certain death.
2. Climbing works the whole body
Climbing does not only target your muscle groups, but also benefits your cardio-respiratory system. As climbers, we especially work out our latissimus dorsi (commonly known as the lats), our forearms, which are extensions of our fingers, our core, including the abdomen and the surrounding muscles, and our shoulders.
3. In rock climbing, there are five types of graded climbing
Among the sports you can try are free climbing, mountaineering, mixed climbing, bouldering, and aid climbing. There are five grading levels in bouldering:
- In North America, the V scale, also known as the Hueco Scale, includes grades ranging from V0 to V17.
- North America uses the B system with only three grades – B1, B2, B3. The hardest grade is B3.
- It was founded in France and is widely used throughout Europe.
- In the United Kingdom, the UK Technical grading system is used for trad climbing and bouldering.
- There is also the Dankyu System in Japan. This system traces its roots to martial arts. Dan and Kyu are the two branches. Kyu grade 7 is the easiest, and Kyu grade 1 is the hardest. 1-Dan is the next hardest grade. As the climbs become harder, the Dan scale ascends. The hardest Dan recorded was a 6. Often, people shorten grades when typing or texting, such as 3Q for 3-Kyu, and 1D for 1-Dan.
There are two grading systems for aid climbing:
- From A0 to A5, the original system of grading. The grade is based on factors such as how well the feet are placed, how many body-weight placements are in the climb, etc.
- Clean scaling. Using this scale, you can eliminate the use of pitons, bolts and other climbing gear that could affect the rock in a negative way.
In 1997 a study was conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine to determine how good rock climbing is for cardio-respiratory fitness. The study conducted on 14 climbers found they spent similar amounts of energy and time climbing indoor rock climbing walls as those running 8-11 minutes per mile. The researchers concluded that “these data suggest that indoor rock climbing is a good activity for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular endurance”.
5. A person can practice rock climbing either indoors or outdoors on artificial rock
Almost everyone knows this. Although most people understand that rock climbing can be done indoors and outdoors, the fact remains!
6. A child can benefit from climbing by improving their motor skills, balance, and coordination, as well as building social relationships
Climbing helps us learn how to use our bodies in certain ways and how to coordinate our hands and feet. It is true for children as well, more so because they are quicker learners than most adults. Children rock climb most of the time in groups, which helps them to build relationships with one another. For your kid’s safety we have written this article, check this out.
7. Climbing can help cure fears of heights and falling
It is not uncommon for people to begin rock climbing explicitly for the purpose of either curing their fear of heights or falling, or just lessening its effects. Although it is quite common to experience fears of heights (acrophobia) or falling (basophobia), this does not mean that the fear is desirable.
8. Ice climbing can be done on two different types of ice
They are called alpine ice and water ice, respectively. The ice found in mountains, which is easier to climb than water ice, is typically found on longer routes. Climbing water ice, which is usually made up of a waterfall, requires a lot more technique. Climbing on ice is quite different from rock climbing because it requires picks, crampons, ropes, and other equipment that you may not find in other types of climbing. The world does indeed have some artificial ice climbing gyms.
9. Psicobloc (also known as liquid chalk) is favoured over normal climbing chalk when deep water soloing.
Imagine falling 15 feet from a wall above water while holding your chalk bag around your waist. As soon as you land in the water, your chalk and bag will be useless until they dry! Is there an alternative? Chalk powder and alcohol are combined to create liquid chalk. In addition to being more convenient for carrying around, it is also less likely to get ruined if you fall into water.
10. There was a 14-ton load of human excrement brought down from base camps of Mount Everest by porters working there in 2018
A surprising fact regarding Mount Everest is that people poo there, and there are many climbers every year. The task of cleaning Mount Everest is not easy, so we should applaud these people for their dedication to keeping one of the 7 wonders of the world free from human waste.
11. A type of rock commonly climbed by climbers, limestone, becomes marble when heated or under intense pressure
Marble is a metamorphic rock, which means it is formed when pressure and heat are applied to another type of rock – in this case, limestone. In addition to gneiss, the metamorphic rock quartzite comes from sandstone.
12. According to a study, rock climbing is not harmful to your hands
A study conducted with 27 recreational climbers and 35 non-climbers showed climbing did not appear to negatively impact your joints and the study assessed “whether rock climbing results in osteoarthritis joints and increased cortical thickness in metacarpals and phalanges”. Researchers concluded that climbers were not at a greater risk of osteoarthritis than non-climbers. Nevertheless, climbers have a larger cross-sectional area and a larger second moment of area. The presence of more bone subperiosteally, but not more meduallary width, indicates greater total width. A style of climbing emphasized on athletic difficulty correlates with finger and hand bone strength. The highest levels achieved in bouldering and sport climbing are significant predictors. You can find these quotes in the study linked above.
13. Climbing makes hands bigger, interestingly
In rock climbers‘ hands, the cross-sectional area of the bones is larger, as well as the total width and the same quote from a study in fact 12 mentions “Climbers have a larger cross-sectional area as well as a smaller second moment of area”. Climbing therefore increases hand size.
14. Approximately 15 feet (4.5 meters) is where bouldering becomes highballing.
After 40 feet (approximately 12 meters), highballing becomes free-soloing. Generally this is accepted in most climbing communities. In some circles, climbers who are unafraid to use the term “free-soloing” on trickier highball climbs are acceptable.
15. A climbing wall called Schurman Rock was built in Seattle in 1939, and is believed to be the very first artificial climbing wall ever built.
A load of rocks was cemented together to form the mountain, which has been climbed by thousands of people over the last 80 years or so.
16. Rock climbing has at least 14 varieties
Rock climbing comes in many forms, 14 of which are listed below
- Lead climbing
- Sport climbing
- Traditional climbing (aka trad climbing)
- Top rope climbing
- Aid climbing
- Free climbing
- Rope soloing
- Multi pitch climbing
- Deep water climbing
- Ice climbing
17. Around 30 people die each year from rock climbing
The data is compiled over 55 years, from 1951 to 2012 (data from 2006-2011 are not available). As a general term, the term “climbing” includes bouldering (indoor and outdoor), rock climbing (indoor and outdoor), roped climbing, mountaineering, etc.
18. One of the most challenging free-solo climbing walls in the world can be found in Yosemite Valley called El Capitan
The El Capitan (aka El Cap mountain) is one of the most feared mountains to free-solo climb and features a near vertical rock face. There is a rock face at around 900 meters high in Yosemite Valley, California. In June 2017, Alex Honnold became the first rock climber to free-solo this popular peak without protective equipment. He is currently considered to be the world’s most famous rock climber. Alex completed the climb in 3 hours, 56 minutes.
19. Rock climbing has been shown to improve anxiety, depression and ADHD
Rock climbing is a treatment for depression according to the NHS website in the UK. There are several reasons for this, including a sense of self-esteem, the sense of accomplishment you receive when you complete a challenge, and a feeling of self-control. Similarly to mindfulness, rock climbing also enhances your ability to be present in the moment. People with ADHD are shown to be able to reduce their symptoms by spending time outside, so rock climbing outdoors can relieve their symptoms. Moreover, this is also how it reduces stress and anxiety. On a climbing wall, you have to use your mindfulness to prevent yourself from falling. The result is that you are more likely to think about the here and now and not what has already happened.
20. Rock climbing improves posture
When performing overhangs, you are using your core muscles a great deal, which helps you maintain a good posture. There is, however, a grave mistake that some climbers make when descending from a climb – they jump down the problem rather than climbing it. You’ll be compressing your vertebrae in your spine when you jump from a wall 3 or 4 meters high onto a mat, which is bad for your back and posture. Climbing correctly with controlled technique, avoiding any errors that may cause injury, and climbing down the simplest route from a problem can improve your posture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
When was rock climbing invented?
In the 1880s, rock climbing became a sport. It began in the Lake District, Peak District, and Wales of Great Britain, near Dresden, Saxony, and the Dolomites. Rock Climbing in the British Isles is regarded as having originated with W. P. Haskett Smith, and climbing in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains began with Oskar Schuster.
What does the 5 mean in rock climbing?
The number signifies the “Class” of the hike, scramble, or climb. A 1 would be fairly flat land, while a 5 would be a rock wall that requires ropes and/or other equipment to climb. Both inside and outside, we will grade rock climbs as 5.
What is a fun fact about rock climbing?
There is a fun fact about rock climbing. Rock climbers can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories per hour, provided they keep their rest periods to a minimum.
Why is rock climbing so interesting?
The act of climbing rocks helps you develop your problem-solving skills as well as your focus. Besides training you physically, rock climbing also prepares you mentally to overcome challenges and gain a strong foothold on things.