Rock climbing is a kind of active outdoor activity, which involves free climbing on natural (rock) formations or artificial (climbing) walls. It is a separate type, which emerged from alpinism, but is connected with it. There are usually permanent (static) points of support - hooks, concreted into the rock, in rock climbing whereas all such points in mountaineering are usually temporary. Rock climbing allows usage of special tools and additional equipment. In Ukraine the French system of evaluation of the difficulty of climbing routes is used according to which there are sixteen categories of difficulty: elementary - 1, the most difficult - 9, each category is divided into three sub-categories - A, B, C.
Climbing can be divided into the following types depending on the rope system:
- Traditional climbing – involves rock climbing routes in which protection against falls is placed by the climber while ascending and some gear is used to protect against falls.
- Climbing without a protection system is a real extreme, for very well-trained climbers who rely on their own physical strength to accomplish the climb.
- Deep-water soloing is a relatively new kind of climbing that doesn’t have a set name yet. The peculiarity of this kind is that a climber is unprotected and without a rope, but if the climber falls, it is into deep water instead of on to the ground.
Among the other criterions of climbing are also speed and complexity, where the core issue is the height of climbing. There is also a criterion of "style." The most "pure" style is an on-sight (OS) – going along the route on the first try, even without previous visual assessment of a route.
Bouldering is a kind of rock climbing. It may be described as climbing undertaken without a rope usually limited to very short but difficult climbs on the boulders or small outcrops. Unlike other types of rock climbing, bouldering is performed without ropes, carabiners and other protective devices. To reduce the risk of injury from falling the climbers do not climb higher than 3.5 meters above the ground (very rarely up to 7 meters). The special bouldering mats are used for protection. Competitions and training for bouldering can take place both on natural and artificial terrain. Among the necessary equipment are the rock shoes, magnesium (even if hands do not sweat), rosin (can sometimes be useful for drying the wet terrain).
Ice climbing refers to ascending the inclined ice formations using special equipment. Such ice slopes may be of natural origin: frozen waterfalls, big icicles, or artificially generated ice formations. Ice climbing was distinguished as a separate type not long ago. It is popular in Ukraine as an active kind of rest. Climbers consider the ice routes to be among the safest as ice usually doesn’t crack as stones. Special training walls and towers are prepared with pouring water.