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Sport climbing

Type of rock climbing / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sport climbing (or bolted climbing) is a type of free climbing in rock climbing where the lead climber clips into pre-drilled permanent bolts for their protection while ascending a route.[1] Sport climbing differs from the riskier traditional climbing where the lead climber has to insert temporary protection equipment while ascending.[2]

Sport climbing dates from the early 1980s when leading French rock climbers wanted to climb routes that offered no cracks or fissures in which to insert the temporary protection equipment used in traditional climbing. While bolting natural rock faces was controversial — and remains a focus of debate in climbing ethics — sport climbing grew rapidly in popularity, and all subsequent grade milestones in rock climbing have come from sport climbing.

The safer discipline of sport climbing also led to the rapid growth in competition climbing, which made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics. While competition climbing consists of three distinct rock climbing disciplines of lead climbing (the bolted sport climbing element), bouldering (no bolts needed), and speed climbing (also not bolted, but instead top roped), it is sometimes confusingly referred to as "sport climbing".