Climbing is a very diverse discipline, balancing between competitive sport, professional, amateur, recreation and qualified tourism, it can be simply a form of leisure, all depending on the approach of the person practicing it.
The discipline of climbing, mountaineering or mountaineering, to many uninformed people, is mainly associated with mountain and high-mountain expeditions to inaccessible snowy peaks of the Alps, Caucasus, Himalayas, conquering rocky cliffs, somewhere in wild and remote climbing regions of the world. Or with acrobatic feats of “muscular athletes” fighting the forces of gravity on a rock wall deviating from the vertical, so called overhanging, somewhere in the region of Krakow-Czestochowa Upland.
Climbing, or rather, the mountains, is also the subject of many accidents, most of which are caused by people who are not properly prepared for climbing, amateurs of thrills, without imagination, experience and training.
Climbing is less often associated with sports competitions, with rock climbing, recreational, family climbing, with more and more popular bouldering (climbing on boulders), climbing on bridges, walls and bunkers, artificial walls in specially prepared centers, climbing halls located in the heart of the cities, sometimes right next to our homes.
Maybe it’s worth to get interested in this discipline?
As a matter of fact, almost everyone can do it, it doesn’t require any special skills or physical predispositions, just a basic training including safety issues and necessary activities which can be carried out by an authorized instructor in as little as three days.
One of the varieties of climbing are sport climbing competitions, which are held on artificial climbing facilities – climbing walls, walls and sometimes rocks.
They are held in three basic competitions:
difficulty climbing (simplifying, what matters is the result of the highest point achieved on the wall – on a specific, adequately difficult route),
time climbing (in simpler terms, what counts is the best time of traversing a particular climbing route which is relatively easy for the competitors)
boulder climbing (i.e. overcoming short, very difficult sequences of a few movements on the so-called boulder – a low formation which is overcome without a rope, the only protection is a mattress under the wall and a person securing the falling climber so that he/she could safely land on the mattress, the so-called spotter – here, as in the competition on the difficulty, the highest achieved point counts – a grip on the wall).
Similarly to other sports disciplines, there are categories of seniors and juniors as well as women and men, for which separate classifications are held. There are also competitions in ice climbing – on frozen icefalls or artificial ice walls – although they are still not very popular.
In Poland, there are competitions in the series of Polish Championships and Cups organized under the patronage of the Polish Mountaineering Association, which takes care of their proper course, development and unification of the rules of organizing them, classification of the competitors in the rankings, issuing of the competitor’s licenses, etc. Moreover, we can find commercial competitions organized by various companies, institutions and organizations, academic competitions connected with university sections and local competitions organized by climbing communities from different cities. As part of recreational climbing, competitions for “everyone willing to participate” are also organized on the occasion of festivals, picnics and other mass events.