Types Of Climbing: What They Are And How To Differentiate Them

There are different types of climbing that it is convenient to know for those who want to start in this sport or have already begun to practice it. These can be classified according to the types of climbing meetings, the surface on which it is done, the types of climbing rope used or others. If you enjoy outdoor sports or have started climbing, stay tuned. Knowing the most common types of climbing will help you choose your next challenges. Or to decide which discipline is more appealing to you.

Types Of Climbing According To The Surface On Which They Are Done

Rock Climbing

There are different types of rock climbing. It is the most common type of climbing in our geography for obvious reasons. Resistance, agility and balance are three qualities necessary to practice this type of climbing. There are different disciplines within this type of climbing. But it is always necessary to have adequate equipment and to know the rock climbing techniques that will help you in your progress.

Ice Climbing

To practice ice climbing you need special equipment. As the name suggests, in the different types of ice climbing, progress is made on this surface. So having crampons, ice axes and breathable thermal underwear is essential. It doesn’t matter whether you are free, sport, group or solo ice climbing. The equipment and refined techniques are essential for the safety and enjoyment of the climber.

Mixed Climbing

When an ascent (or advance) is done on both rock and ice, it is called mixed climbing. It is advisable to gain experience in both rock and ice climbing before embarking on mixed climbing. The difficulty and the need to carry equipment for the different sections makes it advisable to practice it with previous experience in both modalities separately.

Climbing Wall

Currently there are a large number of indoor and outdoor climbing walls. For many athletes it is a way to prepare themselves daily, without leaving the city, to later practice different types of climbing. In addition, climbing walls are ideal facilities to get started in climbing, put into practice the climbing tips of the experts and learn the basics of this sport.

Main Climbing Types, Which Disciplines Are The Most Popular?

Free Climbing

Free climbing is a modality that is gaining more and more followers. For many it is the purest and most authentic type of climbing. In free climbing, the athlete uses only his own strength to ascend and descend. That is to say, it is his hands and feet that do the work of progression and allow him to rest during his progress.
The free climber does not rest by hanging on to the belays between belays. He does not use rope rings or pegs. Only his own strength and grip. It may seem simple to begin with, because it does not require knowledge of climbing knots. But it does require a great knowledge of climbing techniques and significant strength training. And equipment to facilitate progression, such as the necessary climbing shoes.

Classic Climbing

Of the different types of climbing, classic climbing is the most traditional. And also the most practiced. It is convenient to know the types of climbing rope and the types of climbing knots to practice it. In addition to the basic climbing techniques. Because in this modality it is allowed to use different types of climbing meetings, with different insurance and anchors.

Sport Climbing

This type of climbing can be done on rock as well as on artificial walls. In this type of climbing, the objective is to ascend by means of artificial structures arranged at different inclinations and heights. The objective is both to reach the top and to do so with clean and aesthetically beautiful movements. Precision and polished style are valued.

Big Wall

One of the most spectacular types of climbing is big wall climbing. These climbing routes usually last several days, so it is necessary to climb with a backpack with provisions and hydration systems for this time. But it is not advisable to carry an excess load so as not to make the climb even more difficult.
In big wall climbing you sleep on suspended hammocks. Unlike other types of climbing in which, although you climb for several days, the nights are spent camping, with sleeping bags under the open sky or in a tent.


Among the types of integral or natural climbing, this is the most popular. It consists of climbing without ropes or artificial supports on walls or blocks of a few meters. Normally the equipment includes some kind of mattress to cushion falls.

Psicobloc or Deep-water soloing (DWS)

Among the most fashionable types of climbing is psicobloc. Do you know this discipline? Psicobloc is a type of bulder climbing that consists of climbing without a rope over the sea. The water replaces the cushioning action of the mat. Although it entails a certain danger superior to traditional bulder precisely because it falls on the sea surface. The cliffs to be climbed are usually between 10 and 20 meters on walls with an inclination of more than 90º. In this way, the falls take place over the water without the danger of falling on the rocks.

Physical endurance and experience in other types of free climbing are essential to practice psicobloc safely. But also the weather and sea conditions, because falls over water require a water exit. In addition to the climbing tips, it is important to master swimming and to have a safe place to return to the surface. Or with the support of equipment and a boat.

These are not the only types of climbing, but they are the most popular. If you want to get started in climbing or advance in your progression in this activity, consider them. Evaluate which one is more attractive to you. Or which one is more accessible. So you can decide your next steps in the world of climbing and you can enjoy climbing in the chosen discipline or disciplines.