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Outdoor Fun with Rock Climbing

Rock-climbing appeals to many people, offering exhilarating challenges and enjoyable physical activity. Not only can you experience a rugged environment in its natural condition, but you can scale heights you may have never dreamed of conquering. With instruction and practice, people of all ages and fitness levels can rock-climb safely.

Styles of Rock-Climbing

Rock-Climbing Tips and Advice

Rock-Climbing Trips and Destinations

Rock-Climbing Organizations

Rock Climbing Terms Glossary

  • Anchor: The anchor is the point where the rock and the rope attached to it meet.
  • Belay: A belay is a rope attached to a rock or pin, used to secure a climber.
  • Belayer: A belayer is a person who controls and secures another climber at a belay station.
  • Boulder: To boulder means to climb on boulders without equipment or ropes. Bouldering is common at the bottom of a climb, at lower heights.
  • Buttress: A buttress is a part of a rock formation or mountain that juts out from the surrounding rock surface.
  • Chalk: Chalk is special powder used to absorb moisture on hands to improve a climber's grip.
  • Clove hitch: A clove hitch is an all-purpose knot, simple to tie and untie, and reasonably secure.
  • Crag: A crag is a small climbing area with a few climbing routes.
  • Feet: Feet refer to the individual footholds used by climbers while climbing.
  • Handle: Indoor climbing walls often have handles or climbing holds for gripping a wall.
  • Harness: A climber wears a harness made out of nylon and webbing to attach to climbing equipment such as the belay.
  • Hold: Climbers will find places on rock to grip the surface, called holds.
  • Pocket: Climbers also use pockets as small handholds for gripping the rock.
  • Rack: The rack is the equipment that climbers carry and use during a climb.
  • Rappel: To rappel means to descend down a rope to move down a mountain.
  • Rating: Climbing areas receive a rating to indicate the degree of difficulty and the risks associated with the climbing location.
  • Scrambling: Scrambling involves a combination of simple climbing and hiking, generally without ropes.
  • Slack: During a climb, rope may become taut. If this happens, a climber would request slack.
  • Sport-climbing: Sport climbing requires additional technical ability and strength for this competitive type of climbing.
  • Tick marks: Climbers may make chalk tick marks in rock to show the best holds to use.
  • Top rope: When belaying from a point where the top of the climb is accessible, climbers may place a fixed anchor for the top rope.
  • Traverse: Climbers moving in a horizontal direction are climbing traverse.

Miscellaneous Rock-Climbing Information

Find more about the author: Kim Hart