What are the Different Types of Rock Climbing Classes?

Donn Saylor

Traditional climbing, aid climbing, sport climbing, and indoor wall climbing are among the many different types of rock climbing classes. These classes may be offered by a gym or health club, a rock climbing club, or an outdoor adventure group. Since climbing can be a tricky and potentially dangerous undertaking, obtaining proper instruction is a vital step in preparing for a climb.

Rock climbing classes start out with beginner-level material, then work their way up to more advanced forms of climbing.
Rock climbing classes start out with beginner-level material, then work their way up to more advanced forms of climbing.

Rock climbing training classes in traditional climbing utilize protective gear to safeguard the climber against possible falls. Also known as trad climbing, these rock climbing courses may be conducted in an indoor gym or in the great outdoors. Trad climbing students learn the details of this type of climb, including how to work with the pulley system that protects the climber from falling, how to best place the safety gear to ensure it works properly and when needed, and how to navigate the challenging rocks of the wall through the use of various holds.

Aid climbing trainings are types of rock climbing classes that instruct climbers on how to ascend a rock wall using only body strength and gear. While trad climbing classes will utilize traditional holds in the rock wall, aid climbing involves using various devices as holds, such as bolts, chocks, and pins. Aid climbing is typically done on large rock walls and is considered a more advanced form of the pastime.

Rock climbing classes are also taught on the subject of sport climbing. Sport climbing makes use of permanent bolts or anchors embedded in the rock wall. Those learning this type of climbing focus more on the workout element of the climb, concentrating on working the muscles, raising the heart rate, and increasing stamina and coordination.

Indoor rock climbing trainings have become popular classes. Many gyms have artificial rock walls inside the gym and offer wall climbing classes of varying degrees of difficulty. Indoor climbing allows participants to keep in shape on a year-round basis and hone their skills before approaching outdoor rock walls.

Rock climbing classes start out with beginner-level material and gradually work their way up to more advanced forms of climbing techniques. The safety aspect of climbing is generally the first lesson that is taught and serves as the foundation for all future climbing training. Students also learn about anchoring, belaying and communicating. Instructors teach knots and individual technique, as well as the rating system and specific rescue maneuvers unique to rock climbing.

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