Rock climbing has taken over the extreme sports world, constantly pushing the limits of both upper and lower body strength. These climbers put their bodies to the test as they scale massive rock walls, sometimes completely free of equipment. There are many different versions and techniques of rock climbing that have become popular, always testing the limits of the climber. In today’s blog, Hoover Met Complex explains four different climbing techniques.
Free Solo Climbing
Arguably the most simple and easy to understand climbing technique, Free Solo Climbing is also the most dangerous. Free solo climbing only allows the climber to use their hands and feet to scale up the rock. This rock climbing method does not utilize any ropes, anchors, or cams to catch the climber if they fall. Climbers must be extremely skilled and familiar with the route to the top to make it successfully.
Trad climbing, also known as traditional climbing, uses minimal pieces of gear as rock climbers make their way up the rock wall. Trad climbers carry the equipment with them, placing cams and quickdraws in cracks and crevices to protect them from falling. These protective pieces are clipped to a rope connected to the climber to give them a final safety catch if they misplace a foot or hand. Trad climbing takes extensive skills to secure the gear into the rock wall while maintaining balance with just your fingertips!
Sports climbing is one of the most common rock climbing techniques, and it can also be done very quickly. As rock climbers move up the wall, they attach their rope to bolts that are pre-drilled into the rock to give them fall protection. Sports climbing focuses on a single route and the movements it takes for the climber to make it to the top. The gear is also limited for this technique. Since the bolts are already drilled into the rock, climbers only need to carry quickdraws to clip onto the bolts and rope for safety.
Recently, bouldering has become more and more popular. This rock climbing technique is different than the rest of the methods. Bouldering is rope-free like free solo climbing; however, the climbers are low to the ground and usually land on a climbing pad if they slip. The lack of gear has made this climbing technique well-known in the climbing community and developed a dedicated following. What makes boulders challenging to climb is the smooth surface and rounded edges because they are difficult to grip for long periods of time, motivating climbers to reach the summit.
Practice Your Rock Climbing at Hoover Met Complex
Hoover Met Complex offers the perfect place to try out your rock climbing skills right here in Hoover, Alabama! Hoover Climbing & Adventure combines several rock climbing techniques into one fun space. This area inside of the Finley Center has intricate shapes and pieces, both in the rock wall and in free-hanging obstacles, that put your rock climbing skills to the test. It is also the perfect spot for group events, birthday parties, and much more, so check out Hoover Climbing & Adventure for your next party. Questions?