Free climbing

Free climbing is a type of rock climbing, in which the climber uses no artificial aids to make upwards progress. In this way, the climber will use only hands, feet and other parts of the body. Ropes and protective equipment are used only for protection against the consequences of a fall. The term is used in contrast to aid climbing, a much less prevalent practice in which equipment is used directly (i.e. pulled or stood on) in order to make progress.

Styles of free climbing include traditional climbing, sport climbing, free soloing and bouldering.

The term free climbing is commonly confused with free soloing by non-climbers. Free soloing is a type of free climbing where no rope or protective equipment is used for protection, and a fall would clearly be disastrous. In contrast, the vast majority of free climbers will make use of such equipment as a safeguard when climbing at height.

Another common misunderstanding is that the term soloing means free soloing. This is not so. Soloing simply means climbing without a partner. This can be done safely by using one of a number of self-belaying systems.

Free climbing "guidelines" from a U.S. perspective (Stonemaster's, et al.): the adventure of exploring the unknown, living on the cutting edge of the possible and the impossible, and striving to go one better. In light of those ideals, the climbing community espoused a goal of avoiding behavior that sullies (makes less challenging in any way beyond personal improvement) a climbing route.

Rules

The goal is to climb the route first try on-sight as if the rope (if one is being used) is not there. Therefore, "true" free climbing prohibits:
*Pre-climb inspections to learn more about the climb before starting (however one should always perform a safety inspection on any face that they are about to climb)
*Hangdogging (resting on gear or the rope)
*Pre-placing gear (pinkpointing)
*Pulling or stepping on gear (french free)
*Prior top roping of the lead climb (most common in trad climbing, frequently termed 'headpointing')
*Practice through falling (i.e. failing) on previous lead attempts (most common in sport climbing, frequently termed 'redpointing')

Although an on-sight attempt is the most coveted, in practice all of the above tactics are common practice to greater or lesser extent. This is especially the case in sport climbing. Ordinarily, the traditional climber will only resort to aid as a last resort, in order to complete a hard climb. The aid climber strives to free climb as much of the route as possible.

References

Further reading

*"How to Rock Climb", John Long

External links

* [http://www.falesia.it/ Falesia Free Climbing World - Arrampicata Sportiva] - Free Climbing Falesia, a climbing portal with a forum, a gallery, and topographical maps of routes and crags all over the world. it icon en icon gr icon


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • free climbing — noun Rock climbing using ropes but no spikes, ladders or other fixed aids • • • Main Entry: ↑free * * * ˈfree climbing 7 [free climbing] noun uncountable the sport of climb …   Useful english dictionary

  • free climbing — /friˈklaimbin(g), ingl. ˈfriːˌklaɪmɪŋ/ [loc. ingl., propr. «arrampicata, scalata (climbing) libera (free)»] loc. sost. m. inv. arrampicata libera …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Free Climbing — Free|clim|bing, das; s, Free Clim|bing, das; s [ fri:kla̮imɪŋ ; engl. free climbing]: Bergsteigen ohne Hilfsmittel wie Seil, Haken o. Ä …   Universal-Lexikon

  • free climbing — free clim·bing loc.s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} TS sport tecnica alpinistica in cui il rocciatore si arrampica senza l aiuto di attrezzi, sfruttando soltanto gli appigli naturali della roccia Sinonimi: arrampicata libera. {{line}} {{/line}}… …   Dizionario italiano

  • free climbing — {{hw}}{{free climbing}}{{/hw}}locuz. sost. m. inv. Tipo di arrampicata in cui lo scalatore sale aggrappandosi agli appigli della parete con le mani, senza l aiuto di piccozza, chiodi e martello …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • free climbing — noun rock climbing without the use of devices such as pegs placed in the rock, but occasionally using ropes and belays. Compare with aid climbing. Derivatives free climb noun & verb …   English new terms dictionary

  • free climbing — /fri ˈklaɪmɪŋ/ (say free kluyming) noun (in mountaineering, rock climbing, etc.) the action or practice of climbing without artificial aids, such as ropes, harnesses, etc., to assist with the climb and provide protection …   Australian English dictionary

  • Free-Climbing — Freiklettern Unter Freiklettern versteht man das Klettern an Felsen oder Kunstwänden, bei dem nur Hände und Füße zur Fortbewegung verwendet werden. Künstliche Hilfsmittel sind zur Fortbewegung nicht erlaubt. Zum Freiklettern zählen das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Free climbing — Freiklettern Unter Freiklettern versteht man das Klettern an Felsen oder Kunstwänden, bei dem nur Hände und Füße zur Fortbewegung verwendet werden. Künstliche Hilfsmittel sind zur Fortbewegung nicht erlaubt. Zum Freiklettern zählen das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • free climbing — noun rock climbing without the aid of ropes and other equipment …   Wiktionary


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