The most common type of climbing is free climbing, which involves climbing with your hands and feet to find handholds and footholds in order to move upward on the rock. It is distinct from free soloing as you wear a rope tied to a harness around your waist and have a belay partner hold the end of the rope. In the event that you fall, the rope (under the control of the belayer) will catch you.
Sport climbing and traditional, or “trad,” climbing are the two types of free climbing. To protect themselves from falls, trad climbers insert cams, chocks, and other removable hardware into cracks in the rock.
The most basic type of rock climbing is free soloing no ropes are used, and if you fall while climbing, you will fall all the way to the ground. You were technically free soloing if you climbed trees as a child (or still do). But this sport is only easy to understand, not to do (on high levels).
Is free climb the same as a free solo?
Free solo climbing is a subset of free climbing. Climbing is accomplished solely through the use of the wall’s natural features. Free solo climbers, on the other hand, use no protective gear and risk a fatal fall if they are unable to continue the climb.
There are 4 types of free climbing: bouldering, sport climbing, traditional climbing, and free solo.
Bouldering is the practice of climbing a short boulder or rock, usually less than 6 meters (20 feet) tall, without the use of a harness or rope.
Finally, the climber only uses the natural features of the wall to climb as free solo climbing is technically a type of free climbing. Free solo climbers, on the other hand, use no protective gear and risk a fatal fall if they are unable to continue the climb.
Main differences between free climbing and aid climbing?
The use of protective gear is the primary distinction between free climbing and free soloing. While free climbing necessitates the use of a rope, harness, quickdraw, and/or traditional gear or rack, it provides no protection against falls.
As a result, the mental strength required and the risk you must accept when free soloing far outweigh those required for free climbing.
How do free climbers get down?
Climbers who free solo typically hike down to the base via another path or rappel down from the top anchor with a rope. There have also been reports of climbers down climbing, where they return down the same or a nearby wall face from which they ascended.
As you can probably tell, free soloing is far more dangerous than free climbing. While free climbing can result in fatal accidents in some cases, the vast majority of falls and mishaps result in little or no injury. Sprained ankles and bumps and bruises are the most common climbing injuries sustained while free climbing. On the other hand, free solo climbing injuries can be severe (fractured fingers/broken bones) or even fatal.
How dangerous is free solo climbing?
Free soloing is the most dangerous type of climbing because, unlike bouldering, free soloists climb above safe heights, where a fall could be fatal. If the climber makes a mistake and falls, they are unlikely to stop until they hit the ground. On a route only 40–50 feet long, this means they could be seriously injured, and on routes with multiple pitches (hundreds to thousands of feet long), the chance of survival is nil.
Tips for Free Soloing
If you enjoy free soloing, it is critical that you learn some tips or lessons before attempting it. Let’s take a look at the five most important tips for ensuring a safe climbing experience.
- Preparation is more important than performance
- Spend time studying the terrain
- Control and predict the risks
- Turn around immediately when it’s not right
- Have a portable GPS
Preparation is more important than performance
If you’re a beginner, go to the gym and start climbing. Concentrate on your technique and lay the groundwork for the next stage. Then, carefully assess your strengths and weaknesses. When you’ve identified your weakness, all you have to do is target it and figure out how to defeat it.
Spend time studying the terrain
Experts are very familiar with EI Capitan’s features, particularly the small cracks, patches, indentations, and edges he used to keep a hold on the rock after much research and practice. As a result, if you decide to climb as a free soloist, you must carefully research the terrain of the destination you will visit.
Everything else about free solo climbing should be thoroughly researched in order to minimize the risks that can be managed and controlled, from the climber’s mental and physical condition to the time of day and weather. To be a successful professional climber, you must have a strong sense of identifying risks, acknowledging risks, assessing risks, and minimizing risks.
Make sure you have a portable GPS with you in case of an emergency, as there will be no one to rely on during your solo climbing.