List of Climbing Sports A-Z

List of Climbing Sports

Climbing sports first started as an ancient activity where people likely climbed for safety. However, over time, it has become a modern recreational activity that has caused many different climbing sports to emerge. The objective is to see how much strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance a person has when climbing a route in the shortest amount of time possible. This has sparked competitions for climbing, such as the IFSC Climbing World Championships and climbing sports in the Olympics. As a result, there are numerous athletes who have become known for their ground-breaking climbs, such as Alex Honnold and Lynn Hill. Athletes like them have learned their skills and abilities by practicing and training on indoor climbing walls, which are accessible to many. 

Climbing Sports List A to Z


What are climbing sports?

Climbing sports are any sport that involves participants climbing up, down, or across real or artificial formations or walls. People who engage in climbing sports must utilize specific techniques, equipment, and knowledge on their expedition and usually have a route that they plan to travel with the goal of not falling. Oftentimes, climbing athletes will have a safety harness attached to them in order to prevent potentially fatal falls. These dangerous and climactic sports require lots of strength, agility, balance, and mental fortitude in order to perform well. 

What equipment do you need for climbing sports?

There are a few pieces of equipment that people who engage in climbing sports must purchase. High-performance climbing shoes, a harness, rope, helmet, quickdraws, a braking device, and rope bag are some essential items that people who go on expeditions of sport climbing should own. Additionally, many climbers bring other items such as sunscreen, hand protection such as tape or gloves, and first aid supplies, which can all prove useful when in the middle of a climb. 

There are various climbing sports that are popular, but the three most popular types are bouldering, top rope climbing, and lead climbing. These are very popular because they are easy to access, somewhat safer than others, and very commonly practiced in climbing gyms across the globe. 

Are there climbing sports in the Olympics?

The 2020 Olympics marked the first time that climbing sports were included in the Olympic program. Olympic sport climbing events were divided into three disciplines for both men and women: speed, bouldering, and lead. Speed climbing features two participants climbing against each other on a route of a 15-meter wall, while bouldering requires athletes to climb a 4.5-meter wall in a certain amount of time. Lastly, for lead climbing, players must try to climb as high as they can on a 15-meter wall in the same limited-time format. Climbers are required to complete all three disciplines, which they are then ranked on collectively to decide medal placement.