Topic: Climbing as a sport and an activity- 1 Free Solution

Write a more than 1000 words about climbing as a sport and an activity. describe how people find leisure in it and how can it be a sport.




Climbing is one of the oldest practices that people engage in as a sport and as an activity. Climbing is perceived as an activity when it is done as a way of reducing boredom, while it is a sport when it involves people competing their climbing skills (Stiehl & Ramsey, 2005). Competition is seen as the most enjoyable and satisfying practice in climbing, especially between players of relatively equal ability. Climbing, whether as a sport or as an activity, can take different forms. It can be rappelling, rock climbing, mountaineering, and ice climbing (REI, 2014). All these forms of climbing are common in different parts of the world depending on the available resources. For instance, ice climbing can only be surfaced in icy areas, while mountaineering can only be done in hilly areas.

Climbing as an activity

When people are climbing as an activity, they take it as recreational, and there are no competitions. Actually, they are guided by special personnel who hone their skills and make it more fun and adventurous. Climbing activity can be exercised for various reasons, apart from recreational perspective (Whipplesnaith, 2007). For instance, an organization can plan for climbing in order to create awareness to the public regarding a certain subject such as environmental conservation, protection of women and drug abuse in the society. The funds collected by the participants of the climbing activity can be channeled towards these projects. In this way, as people have fun in climbing, they also participate in community development projects (Stiehl & Ramsey, 2005).

Climbing as an activity is seen as the best way of uniting people for a certain course. In most cases, it is not professionalized. The routes of climbing activity are not preplanned, and therefore, there is need for a professional guide to help the climbers over the place. Climbing is more oriented towards the destination rather than routes. Since climbers are advised on being careful when climbing so that they do not fall, at times, wearing climbing gear may be ignored (Mclntosh, 2004). There is no much recognition on the art of climbing in climbing activity, but recognition can be done on the purpose of climbing. The most common type of climbing as an activity is mountaineering (Whipplesnaith, 2007).

Sport climbing

Sport climbing is recognized as the most growing form of climbing in the United States. The reason why it is preferred to other types of climbing is that it is more accessible and safer. The competitive environment makes it more fun and livelier. Sport climbing can be termed to be like a marathon (Watts, Newbury & Sulentic, 1996). It regards placing difficult measures for climbing with high intensity, especially on shorter routes. The most common characters of sport climbing that are not present in other forms of climbing include establishment of preplanned routes, having more attention on physical aspect of climbing instead of the destination establishing fixed anchors (Phillips, Sassaman, & Smoliga, 2012).

When a climber opts for sport climbing, he or she is expected to fall repeatedly because of the hurry involved, and wits of calculating the difficult moves that distinguish the competitors. Climbers tend to take more risky moves in their bid to reach the destination promptly. This is different from recreational climbing where there is a guide who makes sure that climbers make the right step in order not to fall (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (U.S.), 2009). A climber is focused more on the journey rather than the destination, since it is already predetermined. Those who reach the destination first are rewarded and recognized (Watts, Newbury & Sulentic, 1996).

Due to the fact that there is competition involved in sport climbing, sport climbers always make sure that they engage use of different tactics that will differentiate them with other climbers, and that will make them reach their destination in less time. Competitions are always oriented towards calculating the speed of the climbers, the success of various moves when climbing and use of routes that require more strenuous efforts in order to yield more points for the climbers (Sheel, 2004). For this reason, climbers have predesigned climbing tactics that help them achieve such objectives as enhancing speed, being able to use strenuous routes, and scoring more points at the end of the competition. Therefore, sport climbing has its own terms that describe the climbing practices (Mclntosh, 2004).

An example of a commonly used word is on-sight flash. This term is used to describe the most difficult and preferred route that a climber should use in order to earn recognition as the best climber. This route has more risks, and requires a skilled climber. The term shows that the climber has finished the whole route on his or her initial attempt without falling or tripping on the rope (Phillips, Sassaman, & Smoliga, 2012). Flash is also another term that is used to describe the act of climbing a route on the initial attempt without making any tripping or falling. However, it is different from on-sight flash in that the climber using flash has prior knowledge on how to climb whereas a climber using the former does not have any information on how to climb. Redpoint is used to refer to the successful climbing of a route after a climber makes a lot of practices on the same. The climber is first allowed to rehearse until he or she is confident that he cannot fall, hang, or rest on the rope (REI, 2014).

Sport climbers are also expected to equip themselves with climbing gear that will protect them from any potential fall or danger, as well as, increase their efficiency and speed of climbing. Such climbing gear include padded harnesses. These harnesses are lightweight and streamlined in a way that they protect the climber from making falls during climbing (Sanchez, et. Al, 2012). The pads on the harnesses are also meant to protect the climber in case a fall is experienced. Rock slippers and shoes are also another type of climbing gear. They are worn in the feet in order to protect the climbers from injuring their feet when climbing on the rocks and other rough surfaces (Watts, Newbury & Sulentic, 1996).

While some climbers struggle to become professionals, the same climbers are caught in debates of the ethics of the distinct climbing practices. Sport climbing has been commercialized a lot. Unlike climbing as an activity, which may be carried out for a certain course, sport climbing is taken as any other extreme sport (Sanchez, et. Al, 2012). Therefore, a question can be asked whether the climbers use the advantage of commercialism to their best interests. The prevalence of sport climbing is becoming increasingly noticeable, unlike climbing activity. It is now attracting the interests of global media companies where they may cover the whole events (Ellis, 2003). There are more sponsors in sport climbing when compared to recreational climbing. This can be related to the fact that these companies and individuals will build a positive image in the society when the media covers such a sport. For this reason, sport climbing has continuously been acknowledged in the society today.


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Mclntosh, F. (2004). Table Mountain: Activity guide. London: Struik Publishers.

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (U.S.). (2009). Campus recreational sports facilities: Planning, design, and construction guidelines. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Phillips, K. C., Sassaman, J. M., & Smoliga, J. M. (2012). Optimizing rock climbing performance through sport-specific strength and conditioning. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 34(3), 1-18.

REI. (2014). Sport Climbing Basics. REI. Retrieved from:

Sanchez, X., Lambert, P., Jones, G., & Llewellyn, D. J. (2012). Efficacy of pre‐ascent climbing route visual inspection in indoor sport climbing. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 22(1), 67-72.

Sheel, A. W. (2004). Physiology of sport rock climbing. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 38(3), 355-359.

Stiehl, J., & Ramsey, T. B. (2005). Climbing walls: A complete guide. Champaign (IL: Human Kinetics.

Watts, P., Newbury, V., & Sulentic, J. (1996). Acute changes in handgrip strength, endurance, and blood lactate with sustained sport rock climbing. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 36(4), 255-260.

Whipplesnaith. (2007). The night climbers of Cambridge. Cambridge [U.K.: Oleander Press.