Cool facts about Climbing

Despite Mt. Everest being one of the most difficult mountains to climb in the world, it has been climbed time and time again.  The current world record holder for fastest climb is Pemba Dorje Sherpa with a time of 8 hours and 10 minutes!

Rock climbing first became a sport in England in the late 1880's. Its popularity grew after adventurer William Perry Haskitt Smith made the first successful climb of the Naples Needle. Following his successful climb, others decided to attempt the climb.

Rock climbing can burn between 500 to 900 calories per hour making it a great sport for keeping in shape!

Many famous rock climbers have learned their skills on indoor climbing walls. Climbing indoors is a lot of fun and can teach you valuable skills and allow budding climbers to develop their techniques before tackling outdoor climbing.

With indoor climbing you get the best possible workout – both mental and physical. You’ll learn mental control along with improved climbing skills. As an exercise you get benefits from both endurance and strength training. Climbing exercise engages and works all muscle groups simultaneously, while improving balance and coordination.  Some of the benefits of indoor climbing include a sense of achievement and an improvement in your physical and mental well-being along with even an improvement in the social aspects of your life.

The first artificial climbing wall is believed to be Schurman Rock in Seattle, which was built in 1939.

Sport climbing has been recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Last year sport climbing was chosen by the IOC as a demonstration sport at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Climbing walls are now present in more than 140 countries around the world with more than 35 million climbers practising the sport! 40% of all climbers are under 20 years old!

Lead climbing is the oldest of the three disciplines, with the first organised competition, known as “SportRoccia”, taking place near the Italian city of Turin in 1985. The first Speed Climbing World Cup was staged in 1989, while the maiden bouldering event, dubbed the “Top Rock Challenge”, took place in Chamonix (France) nine years later.

The first IFSC World Championships were held in Frankfurt (Germany) in 1991, attracting 110 climbers from 22 countries. The Championships featured lead and speed climbing events, with bouldering finally introduced in 2001. Unlike the 2018 YOG in Buenos Aires, however, medals were awarded for the individual disciplines. The most recent competition was staged in Paris (France) last September.

There will be a combined format for sport climbing at the 2018 YOG featuring three disciplines – speed climbing, lead climbing and bouldering, with the winner decided by the highest cumulative score. Forty athletes will take part, including 20 girls and 20 boys, exactly the same number as in Tokyo 2020. Speed climbs are against the clock while lead climbing is more technical. Although the athletes are secured by a safety rope, the event requires them to navigate up the wall without the help of pre-placed anchor points above them. Bouldering, by contrast, involves climbing on low, short routes without a safety rope.

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