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Discover climbing

Among the fashionable sports, rock climbing or "climbing" as it is commonly known by enthusiasts, is a great success with practitioners from all walks of life.

Indoor or outdoor sport, its extreme side seduces more than one, as does its main purpose:to practice in a natural environment once you have sufficient technique. Here are the main aspects of this discipline.

The block

The bouldering practice consists of climbing low passages, not requiring the use of a rope to ensure the safety of the climber. This type of climbing is practiced on artificial sections or blocks, or on natural blocks

In the natural environment, the safety of the practitioner will therefore be done using crash pads (foam blocks that are placed at the foot of the route) and his/her spotters:a teammate who will come and parry the fall with his hands. There are various spots (places) of blocks in a natural environment, for example in the park of Fontainebleau.

The way

The route is a more risky practice, which requires a lot of equipment to be well insured throughout the crossing. The route has anchor points along its length that allow climbers to secure themselves, as well as several belays:the climber uses them either to descend or to stop over in order to secure his teammate to him and then be able to continue the ascent.


Equipment is absolutely essential in the practice of climbing. The climber's equipment consists of a harness, a descender, a lanyard, quickdraws and other accessories as appropriate:

The harness, also called a "harness" is the equipment that connects the climber to his rope. The descender is a braking system, which allows you to belay or lower your teammate.

Quickdraws are a system made up of a strap that connects two connectors at each end:they will be used to belay all along the route by hooking one end in one point and passing the rope through the other. . Connectors, also called carabiners, are an openable mechanism that allows the climber to connect directly or indirectly to an anchor point.

The lanyard, usually made of rope, has one end connected to the harness and the other to a connector. It is used to connect to any anchoring or mooring point. It is also necessary to have an additional rope, a helmet (to deal with any eventuality of falling rocks in the natural environment) and a pair of climbing shoes:they allow you to have a better grip on the wall and to be more precise in the positioning of the feet.

Good to know

The different climbing sites are listed by region in small official booklets, the Topos, indicating the difficulties of each route and the paths to follow along the various cliffs. Further information on the practice of climbing, clubs, climbing rooms, etc., can be found on the website of the French Mountain and Climbing