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Learn to climb: Ascending new heights


International climbers attempt to scale the wall at Siloso Beach, Sentosa in the IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships in August 2012. (photo by John Yeong/SportSG)

By John Yeong

This week we take a look at Sport Climbing, a form of rock climbing. Climbing is a sport that traditionally demands both physical and mental strength, and one that requires good endurance, agility, balance and control. 

While traditional rock climbing involved a certain element of risk, the artificial nature of modern sport climbing with its added features such as fixed anchors, bolts and belayers for safety has helped to reduce this risk while increasing its appeal, leading to its growing popularity in Singapore particularly amongst youth.

With the National Schools Sport Climbing Championships 2013 commencing this week at Onsight Climbing Gym, our editorial team paid a visit to Climb Asia recently to find out the reason climbers love this sport, and why if you haven’t already tried climbing once, you should do so soon.   

Lead Climbing

To lead climb basically means to ascend a route with a rope that is tied to a harness attached to the climber and belayer, with the belayer handling the loose end of the rope and acting as a counter weight for the climber to prevent a fall.

As a lead climber follows a given climbing route, he or she would attach a quickdraw to the bolts along the route, before clipping the rope through the end of the quickdraw – this is known as clipping in. When done correctly, clipping in serves to protect the climber from a fall.

To learn more tips on how novice sport climbers can pick up lead climbing, watch our Lead Climbing for Beginners video here.



Speed Climbing

Speed climbing is a form of sport climbing with speed as the ultimate determinant of who wins. In competitive speed climbing, how a climber goes up the wall is irrelevant, so long as he or she does so under the quickest possible time.

Greater emphasis is placed on upper body strength in this discipline of climbing, and climbers generally need to visualise the route they intend to take prior to the climb as there is little time for afterthought once the competition is underway.

To find out more tips about speed climbing, watch our Learn to Speed Climb video here.



Bouldering

A style of climbing that is done without the help of a rope and harnesses, bouldering usually takes place on very short walls or surfaces that are no more than 4 metres tall, and over padded mats called crash pads to prevent causing serious injuries to climbers when they fall.

Another style of climbing which places huge emphasis on upper body strength, bouldering commonly requires power, strength and dynamics. Style and technique is often judged as more important when one comes to bouldering and in competitive bouldering points are given to boulderers who successfully complete moves with a greater level of difficulty on the routes that are given.

To find out more about bouldering, watch this video on the Basics to Bouldering.



If you would like to pick up climbing as a sport, here are some popular venues where you can consider trying it out:

CLIMB ASIA
60 Tessensohn Road
c/o Civil Service Club
Singapore 217664

ONSIGHT CLIMBING
100 Guillemard Road, 
Gulllemard Village
Singapore 399718

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