Since the 1880s, rock climbing has evolved to become not just a thrilling adventure that beckons adventure lovers, but also a sport which has taken different forms.
In this rock climbing information article, we have bouldering climbing, ice climbing, which features the basic rudiments of rock climbing.
Climbing is fast becoming a part of mainstream culture, which spans every continent. This comes as no surprise, as the same motivation which fuelled Walter Parry Haskett Smith, to climb the Naples Needles and then 17-years old Georg Winkler to conquer the Die Vajolettürme.
All of what happened in the late 19th century has found its way into the heart of climbers. That motivation has been the driving force behind the search of untouched stones, which grants these climbers, the thrill of being the first man ever to climb the most challenging terrains successfully.
This is evidenced by the actions of Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell. They reached the summit of the El Capitan foot rock, located in the Yosemite National Park in January 2015, after more than two weeks.
The two men who undertook climbing the 3,000-foot rock completed the task, which is 19 days and attracted significant attention from the global audience. Read on to know more about some rock climbing information.
Rock Climbing Facts and Information
To correctly understand how rock climbing thrills became of great importance in the 21st century, we’ll review a few facts and rock climbing information that gives insight into the sports.
1. Rock Climbing is an extremely ancient activity: Before the late 19th century, climbing had already been embraced by humans. In 2010, archeologists stumbled on burial caves in the Upper District of Mustang, Nepal, which stands as high as 13,800 feet above sea level.
These burial caves of the Himalayas could only be accessed by climbing vertical cliffs. There exist evidence of ancient dwellers in the cliffs of Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park.
It is believed to be the prehistoric dwelling of the Anasazi people, now known as Pueblo tribes.
2. There are three places credited with the birth of modern-day sports climbing. Namely; the Peak and Lake Districts of England, the Dolomites of Northern Italy, and the Elbe Sandstone region of Southeastern Germany.
3. By the early 20th century, climbing enthusiasts had begun the innovation of climbing gears. A suitable instance, is English climber, Oscar Eckenstein, a pioneer of bouldering, who manufactured the modern crampon.
Aside invention of climbing gear, Oscar Eckenstein also laid down principles from climbing. He assisted fellow English climber, Geoffrey Winthrop Youngin, in writing the 1920 mountaineering manual, Mountain Craft.
4. Walter Parry Haskett Smith, is famously regarded as the father of modern rock climbing. Haskett Smith achieved the title following his successful climb of the Napes Needle in 1886. His ascent was notable as he eschewed protective gear, including ropes.
5. American climber and Mathematician John Gill, an ardent supporter of bouldering, introduced chalk in climbing. Gill also is credited with establishing bouldering as a different discipline of rock climbing and conception of the B grading system in bouldering.
6. The first recorded climb in history was the ascent of the Mont Aiguille by famously known as “Mountain inaccessible” by Antoine de Ville, a servant of the French king, Charles VIII in 1492.
Following an order by Charles VIII, that the mountain is climbed, Antoine de Ville, successfully climbed the mountain, with the aid of ropes, ladders, and other artificial gears.
7. The tallest artificial climbing wall is located in BaseCamp Climbing Gym in Nevada, USA. The wall attached to the 16-story Whitney Peak Hotel stands as tall as 51.67-m and offers 49.85 m climbing experience.
There is beginner- to expert-level routes, an IFSC-certified 15-m speed wall route, and a 50-m two ledge-separated pitches route.
8. The tallest indoor artificial climbing wall is located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The wall, which stands as tall as 138 feet, belongs to CLYMB.
9. The most difficult climbing route in the world sits at the Hanshelleren Cave in Flatanger, Norway. The route named Silence, by Czech climber, Adam Ondra, one of the world’s best climbers were rated a 9c (5.15d).
Ondra, who climbed the route twice in 2012 and 2017, had to practice for his second ascent for four years. Silence, which was previously named Project Hard, by Ondra, is 45 m long and features curved caves.
10. The Annapurna I mountain located in Nepal is regarded as the deadliest mountain to climb. The mountain, which stands as high as 26,545 ft, is the 10th highest mountain in the world, and first, of the 14, 8000 ft mountains have successfully been climbed.
According to Guinness World Records, as of January 31, 2018, of the 261 people who have attempted climbing the mountain, only 251 succeeded. Eleven people have died while climbing back from the top of the mountain, and 58 have died while attempting the climb.
11. The tallest freestanding climbing wall is located in Groningen, Netherlands. The climbing wall, named the Excalibur, stands as high as 121 feet.
12. At the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, rock climbing will be debuting as a medal sport. The sport was approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in August 2016.
13. 27 years old Czech climber, Adam Ondra, is currently regarded as the best rock climber in the world. Ondra, the first man to climb the hardest climbing route in the world, located at Flatanger.
Which he named Silence, has won several tournaments, including the world cup series in lead climbing and bouldering. He is the first climber to achieve the feat.
14. The fastest solo climb in history is held by late climber Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds, who complete The Nose section of the El Capitan rock formation in 2 hours, 19 minutes and 44 seconds.
15. There are 14 mountains in the world which stand more than 8000 feet above sea level. The first climber to successfully climb all 14 mountains was Reinhold Messner, who did it without supplemental oxygen.
16. The hardest climbing route ever successfully climbed by a woman is the Planta de Shiva in Spain, which is graded 9b (5.15b). The climb was completed by multiple lead climber champion, Angela Eiter in October 2017.
The feat of becoming the first men ever to free climb the notorious Dawn Wall section of the El Capitan must have been a high resemblance to the emotions, the famous climbers of the late 19th century felt, except for the media attention and celebration.
To some, the motive behind undertaking this exhausting physical task stays crystal clear; to others, it leaves them in bewilderment.
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Featured Image Source: Dolomite Mountains