Is Rock Climbing a Competitive Sport?

Is Rock Climbing a Competitive Sport?

Rock climbing can be a competitive sport. If it’s done outdoors, it’s more of a competition with yourself, it’s more about pushing yourself to your own limits. Indoor rock climbing, on the other hand, can be a competition between you and other climbers. Here, there are rules and strategies; and, of course, some prizes.

Is rock climbing a competitive sport?

Rock climbing is a popular sport. It can be done indoors and outdoors. However, aside from the location, both types of rock climbing also differ from each other as one can be considered as a more competitive sport.

In outdoor rock climbing, needless to say, you can explore the great outdoors. However, it’s usually done due to personal things, such as testing your own limits. If talking about competition, outdoor rock climbing offers more opportunities to compete with nothing but yourself.

Indoor rock climbing, on the other hand, offers a different experience. Here, you can also climb to compete with yourself. But, competitions between other climbers are also done. And they’re being hosted more frequently compared to outdoor rock climbing locations.

You can loose a lot of calories doing rock climbing, like really a lot.

How much do competitive rock climbers make?

How much do competitive rock climbers make?

Rock climbing is one of the great sports to do out there because you don’t only do what you love, but you can also earn a living from it. If you decide to compete, your salary may hover from $6,000 up to $300,000.

Majority of professional climbers, who don’t have the audience, earn about $6,000 or less. Many of them receive low income and little recognition despite the popularity of the sport. However, the ones who can get by while doing the sport earn between $20,000 to $50,000, such as Matt Bush, Ben Hanna, and Will Stanhope.

Meanwhile for mid-tier climbers, who are recognizable to people who follow rock climbing, they earn between $50,000 and $100,000. Jonathan Seigrist, Sebastien Bouin, Cedar Wright, and Ashima Shiraishi are some of them.

For the top-tier climbers, it’s possible to earn from $100,000 to $300,000. These climbers are usually the best climbers in the world who are cruising 5.13s at a young age. Some of the notable climbers who earn this much are Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Emily Harrington, Lynn Hill, and Chris Sharma, to name a few. Aside from these digits, their trips are often sponsored too.

Is rock climbing a sport in the Olympics?

Is rock climbing a sport in the Olympics?

When talking about the sports included in the Olympics, gymnastics, swimming, soccer, figure skating, diving, and weightlifting are some of the first sports that will be mentioned first. But, the Olympics has included more sports than those.

Just last year, the international sporting event included rock climbing for the first time. Just like other sports, rock climbers will also vye for the gold medal.

There are three different events in the Olympics for the rock climbing category: lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing.

What grade is Olympic climbing?

Rock climbing has different grades. In the Yosemite system, 5.1 to 5.9 is for beginners, 5.10a to 5.11d is for intermediate, 5.12a to 5.13d is for advanced, and 5.14a to 5.15c is for pro. And if you plan to join the olympics, it’s best that you’re well-prepared for all the levels as the organizers will not let climbers know the grade prior to the event.

In the previous Olympics, all climbers were placed in an isolation zone before their turns, in the bouldering category. Hence, no one knew what grade awaits them. Therefore, the problem-solving element is there. Also, you need to show how well you execute your plan.

So, in the next Olympics, the grade might probably change again. Thus, if you plan to try your luck in the Olympics, it’s always best to expect the most difficult grade.

Meanwhile, in the other categories, competitors have an idea of what kind of climb to expect. In lead climbing, the 2020 Olympics challenge its rock climbers on a 20-meter climb. As for the speed climbing, competitors climbed a 15-meter tall wall.

There is no word if the Olympics will change the height of the walls for lead climbing and speed climbing in the next Olympics, though. In the meantime, if you plan to join the next event, you might want to prepare for the worst first. So, you’ll be more prepared in case they change the grade and height of the climbs in the three categories.

How do they score in Olympic rock climbing?

In the 2020 Olympics, climbers must compete in three different levels: lead climbing, bouldering, and speed climbing. Each of these events have a different set of rules and settings.

For lead climbing, the height you’ve reached is important. While you’re tied on a rope, you need to race against other climbers to get the highest hold. Here, you will climb a wall that’s about 15 to 20 meters tall.

In bouldering, on the other hand, you will be isolated in a certain area first, so you won’t see what grade you’ll be climbing. This will show the judges how you do the problem-solving part of the sport, as well as the execution of your plan. You need to have both of your hands firmly matched on the top handhold. You’ll also get credit for reaching one schored handhold midway.

As for speed climbing, as its name suggests, you’ll need to race against your competitors on the same route, which is 15 meters tall. The first one to tag the buzzer at the top wins and advances to the next event.

To win, you need to place high in all of these categories. Your score is multiplied in the three disciplines. If you placed fourth in lead climbing, for instance, first in bouldering, and third in speed climbing, your score would be multiplied like this: 4 x 1 x 3. If your overall score is the lowest, you’re the one who’ll take home the gold medal.

Rock climbing is not just a recreational sport. It can also get competitive and can even help you make a living.

About David Miller

Passionnate about extreme sports since a young age, I started my journey with brazilian Jiu Jitsu and skydiving. After 2000 jumps, I’m now a professionnel skydiver focus on wingsuit flying. I’m writing about all kind of extreme sports, trying to find the best spots in the world to do it.

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