Sport Rock Climbing
Sport Rock Climbing developed as a popular form of recreation within the last 25 years. As a sport this is a relative newcomer to the climbing scene. There is a slight difference between recreation climbing and sport rock climbing, but not much. The terms are usually used interchangeably. However, recreation climbing includes indoor climbing walls, whereas sport rock climbing specifically refers to outdoor climbing. Sport climbing developed from traditional climbing but is now its own form of the sport and differs in an important way.
The protection for sport climbing is permanently anchored into the rock. With trad, the protection is placed using cams and nuts, which are carried with the climber, and wedged into cracks. Since protection is bolted into the cliff, sport rock climbing is considered much safer than trad. It takes less investment of personal time. The routes can be scaled quicker and the climbing areas are easier to access. Several people can get out to a local crag and back in an afternoon. The routes themselves are not as long. As a general rule they are about half the length of a rope. By contrast, trad routes often have belay anchor points and multiple pitches which continue sometimes for several hundred feet. The equipment required for sport climbing is less extensive and less expensive. If you're in the market for gear, see climbing gear for excellent variety on sport rock climbing equipment.
With the popularity of sport climbing taking hold, climbers began finding closer more convenient locations to climb to get their fix. City parks and recreation departments began to regulate access. It became a safe but exciting recreational activity for the family. Boulders and in parks and short rock faces got their routes named published in books. Climbing gyms and walls located within the city make it easy to work out all year round.
See the world wide climbing wall listing. Thousands of relational climbing competitions take place every year around the world. Climbing gyms are located in many schools and colleges, exposing people to the sport at an early age.
Links for recreation climbing and sport climbing: