Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures. (Full article...)
Rock climbing is a
sport in which participants
climb up, down or across natural
rock formations or artificial
rock walls. The goal is to reach the
summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined
route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper
climbing techniques and the use of specialized
climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.
Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines, such as
scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations,
differentiated by rock climbing's sustained use of hands to support the climber's weight as well as to provide balance.
When lead climbing, the lead climber wears a harness tied to one end of a rope. The leader's partner provides the belay, paying out rope as needed, usually with the aid of a belay device, to catch the leader in the event of a fall. The lead climber ascends the route, periodically placing protection for safety in the event of a fall.
Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water.
A climbing area is a small geographical region with a concentration of opportunities for
climbing. The term is most commonly used of
rock climbing areas, but there are also
ice climbing areas that have the right combination of steepness and water to result in climbable ice during the winter. (Full article...)
Tree climbing is a recreational or functional activity consisting of ascending and moving around in the crown of
harness can be used to increase the safety of the climber. Other equipment can also be used depending on the experience and skill of the tree climber. Some tree climbers take special
hammocks called "Treeboats" and Portaledges with them into the tree canopies where they can enjoy a
picnic or nap, or spend the night.
Although non-technical descents such as
hiking down a canyon (canyon hiking) are often referred to as canyoneering, the terms canyoning and canyoneering are more often associated with technical descents — those that require
abseils (rappels) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, technical jumps, and/or technical swims.
Canyoning is frequently done in remote and rugged settings and often requires
navigational, route-finding, and other wilderness travel skills.
Caving – also known as spelunking in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland – is the recreational
pastime of exploring wild
cave systems (as distinguished from
show caves). In contrast,
speleology is the scientific study of caves and the cave environment.
The challenges involved in caving vary according to the cave being visited; in addition to the total absence of light beyond the entrance, negotiating
pitches, squeezes, and water hazards can be difficult.
Cave diving is a distinct, and more hazardous, sub-speciality undertaken by a small minority of technically proficient cavers. In an area of overlap between recreational pursuit and scientific study, the most devoted and serious-minded cavers become accomplished at the
surveying and mapping of caves and the formal publication of their efforts. These are usually published freely and publicly, especially in the UK and other European countries, although in the US, these are generally private.
Sometimes categorized as an "
extreme sport", it is not commonly considered as such by longtime enthusiasts, who may dislike the term for its connotation of disregard for safety. (Full article...)