Rock Climbing in Kashmir

In adventure sports there is no substitute for the Himalayas. Rock climbing as a sport is not very old it started around 1960's in the United Kingdom. But over the years it has grew as one of the most popular adventure sport. And what can be the best place for it than the Himalayas. The mountains have such varied topography that it has become the hottest destination for the rock climbers. In India this new sport is catching up very fast as different clubs and institute is providing rock-climbing courses. Rapid expansion is going on in creating basic infrastructure and facilities for the sport. The sport of rock climbing is not very different from mountaineering. The only difference between the two is that instead of snow there are rocks involved in this adventure sport. The basic features of this sport are climbing a rock face, using only hands, feet and a safety rope
Rock climbing is one of the best outdoor activities. When you are ascending you concentrate on your moves and can't think of all the everyday stuff. You are in a different "world" and it's a great feeling

Climbing activities include the following :

Rock climbing :

Ascending rock formations, often with climbing shoes and a chalk bag. Equipment such as ropes, bolts, nuts, hexes and camming devices are normally employed, either as a safeguard or for artificial aid.

Bouldering :

Ascending boulders or small outcrops, often with climbing shoes and a chalk bag or bucket. Usually, a safety rope from above is not employed - instead, a crash pad (a combination of high and low density foam, within a heavy duty fabric structure, often transported on the back) and a human spotter (to direct a falling climber on to the pad) are used to avoid injury.

Rope climbing:

Climbing a short, thick rope for speed. Not to be confused with roped climbing, as in rock or ice climbing. Rock, ice, and tree climbing have a common feature: all three normally employ ropes for either safety or aid. Pole climbing and rope climbing were among the first exercises to be included in the origins of modern gymnastics in the late 18th century and early 19th century. The sport of Mountaineering usually requires rock and/or ice climbing.

Types of rock climbing:

Rock climbing may be divided into two broad categories: free climbing and aid climbing.
> Free climbing requires the climber use only natural features of the rock formation.
> Aid climbing involves using artificial devices placed in the rock to support all or part of the climber's body weight, and is normally practised on rock formations that lack necessary natural features suitable for free climbing

Free climbing may be further subdivided as follows :

Traditional lead climbing, or "Trad lead climbing":


Uses mostly removable protection, but also may employ fixed bolts if these were put in on the lead. The climbing team begins at the bottom of a climb and ascends to the top, with the leader placing protective devices in the rock as he or she climbs. If the climber falls, he/she does not rest on the rope and instead lowers to a stance or the ground to start over. This approach of protection and climbing progress emphasizes the exploratory aspect of the sport and requires a certain amount of boldness. Trad leading is considered by many to be the cleanest style, as the climber to follow the leader, called the cleaner, removes the protective devices (except any fixed bolts put in on lead) and leaves but marginal traces (if any at all) of their passage.

Sport lead climbing:


Sport Lead Climbing involves the use of pre-placed, permanent bolts for protection. This frees the leader from carrying excessive gear - he/she merely clips in to the bolts with quickdraws. However, permanent protective devices, like bolts and fixed pitons, are subject to dislodgment or decay over time and thus may become an insidious hazard for a leader. In case of a fall, sport climbers often rest on the rope before beginning again. Hard sport climbs often entail many falls and rests before being completed without falls and rests. In contrast, traditional style employs no rests on the rope, starting over after falls without rope tension and generally a minimal number of falls.

Top rope climbing:


Top-roping, involves suspending a rope from an anchor located at the top of a short climb. The climber is then safeguarded by his belayer who holds the rope either at the top of the route or at the base of the climb.
Bouldering may be described as climbing short, severe routes on boulders or small outcrops. While safety ropes from above are occasionally used, most boulderers feel that the most ethical form of protection is a bouldering mat or pad similar to those used by gymnasts. In addition, other climbers standing on the ground may "spot" the boulderer, to help break his fall.

Indoor climbing:


Climbing a short, thick rope for speed. Not to be confused with roped climbing, as in rock or ice climbing. Rock, ice, and tree climbing have a common feature: all three normally employ ropes for either safety or aid. Pole climbing and rope climbing were among the first exercises to be included in the origins of modern gymnastics in the late 18th century and early 19th century. The sport of Mountaineering usually requires rock and/or ice climbing.

Free solo climbing:


Usually describes free climbing without a rope or other protective gear. Free solo climbing is distinguished from solo climbing where a climber progressing alone uses a rope and protection devices including a self belay system.
Free climbing is a style of climbing in which the climber uses no artificial aids to make progress upwards, but just hands, feet and other parts of the body. Equipment is used only for protection against the consequences of a fall. The term is used in contrast to aid climbing, in which equipment is used directly to make progress. Styles of free climbing include traditional climbing, sport climbing, some forms of solo climbing and bouldering. Free soloing is a type of free climbing where no rope is used for protection and falls would be disastrous.