What is Climbing?
GYM CLIMBING: Climbing on artificial walls is giving more and more people their first taste of the exciting world of rock climbing.
Climbing in the controlled environment of a gym is a great way to learn how to climb, and is the proven way to enjoy vertical movement. Indoor climbing provides an excellent, full-body workout.
You will find a fun, social atmosphere at the Toronto Climbing Academy.
SPORT CLIMBING: Climbing style that features safety equipped routes, on which protection comes from pre-placed bolts. Things are always more demanding outside than in the gym.
BELAY: Meaning to secure. Belaying means managing the rope so you can stop a falling climber.
FOUR RULES OF SAFE BELAYING:
1. ALWAYS double-check the harness buckles, belay device, locking carabiner, tie-in knots before the climber leaves the ground.
2. ALWAYS pay close attention to the climber that you are belaying.
3. ALWAYS lower the climber slowly and in control manner.
4. NEVER take your brake hand off the rope.
TOP ROPING: Top roping works like a pulley system.
The rope runs from the climber to anchors atop the route, then back down to the belayer. As the climber ascends, the belayer takes in the slack. If the climber falls, the belayer locks up the rope. Once the climber reaches the top of the route or decides to come down, the belayer lowers him to the ground.
Top roping in a gym is convenient because the ropes and anchors are set up for you.
Top-roping provides a climber the same work out as bouldering, except now, the climber's range is increased in height. Beginners can have exhilarating climbing experience at the heights usually reserved for more experienced climbers. Advanced climbers can work-out moves on routes of extreme difficulty or climb a continuous series of endurance-building "laps" on more moderate routes.
BOULDERING: short routes or traverses usually called "problems".
The climber stays close to the ground, so no rope is needed. Bouldering is the simplest and purest form of climbing pleasures, and is the proven way to perfect technique and all-around workout.
Bouldering allows climbers to add new and difficult climbing moves to their repertoire. Some of the most technically difficult climbing moves in the world take place on non-descript boulders just a few feet off the ground!
With steep bouldering on roofs and caves, the climber is primarily positioned upside down while exploring the route. The routes run close to the ground with thick mats to provide soft landings. This setting allows climbers to work on tricky moves and technique with controlled landing.
Steep bouldering builds technique, strength, and a deeper understanding of body mechanics and balance issues.
LEAD CLIMBING: Style in which the first climber (the leader) clips the rope to the protection points as he climbs and is belayed from below.
Lead climbing affords experienced climbers the safety and freedom to explore the vertical realm with as much energy and intensity as they wish.
There are many differences between indoor and outdoor climbing. Most of which will be discovered after learning and practising the joys of both.
Major differences include:
1. Surface Indoors the surface texture is fairly consistent, holds are bolted into the wall and are very visible. This allows for quick route planning and a focus on performing the moves and making it to the top.
Outside, the terrain varies from climb to climb. The outdoor climber spends more time searching for the proper holds, planning the routes, and in the case of traditional climbing, placing safe and secure protection.
2. Distractions Indoors, there are very little distractions for the climber. The routes are easy to focus on aside from a good conversation with your friends.
Outside the climber has to concern themselves with wind, weather, bugs, falling rock, daylight, food, water and numerous other things.
3. Safety Indoor gyms provide as safe an environment as possible. Routes are checked throughout the day and constant maintenance assure that the protection is steadfast. Mats and other protective surfaces provide the climber the opportunity to focus 100% on developing technique and master certain moves without fear of falling.
Outdoor climbs are for the most part, assumed safe, but it is necessary to double check the equipment. On multipitch climbs you become more reliant on equipment and experience.
4. Accessibility/Equipment Indoors, you only need shoes, a harness and a chalk bag. Everything else is provided.
Outdoor climbs offer great adventure and scenic diversity. Outdoor routes require you to set up your own anchors and to place your own protection along the way. The gear used to climb outdoors requires a small investment to get started.