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Climbing

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Mountaineering

Mountaineering is the sport of mountain climbing. While some scholars identify mountaineering-related activities as climbing and trekking up mountains, others are also adding backpacking, hiking, skiing, via ferrata and wilderness activities, and still others state that mountaineering activities also include indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering. However, to most of the scholars, the term mountaineering is understood as climbing and trekking. Hiking in the mountains can also be a simple form of mountaineering when it involves scrambling, or short stretches of the more basic grades of rock climbing, as well as crossing glaciers.

 
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Free climbing

Free climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber may use climbing equipment such as ropes and other means of climbing protection, but only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress. The climber makes progress by using physical ability to move over the rock via handholds and footholds. Free climbing more specifically may include solo climbing, traditional climbing, sport climbing and bouldering.

 
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Bouldering

Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls, known as boulders, without the use of ropes or harnesses. While it can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Unlike free solo climbing, which is also performed without ropes, bouldering problems are usually less than 6 meters tall. Traverses, which are a form of boulder problem, require the climber to climb horizontally from one end to another. Artificial climbing walls allow boulderers to train indoors in areas without natural boulders. In addition, Bouldering competitions take place in both indoor and outdoor settings.

 
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Rock climbing

Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Due to the length and extended endurance required and because accidents are more likely to happen on the descent than the ascent, rock climbers do not usually climb back down the route. It is very rare for a climber to downclimb, especially on the larger multiple pitches. Professional rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the quickest possible time or attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route. Scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations, is similar to rock climbing. However, rock climbing is generally differentiated by its sustained use of hands to support the climber's weight as well as to provide balance.

 
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Via ferrata

A via ferrata is a protected climbing route found in the Alps and certain other locations. The term "via ferrata" is used in most countries and languages except notably in German-speaking countries including Switzerland and Austria, which use Klettersteig.

 
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Sport climbing

Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection. This is in contrast to traditional climbing where climbers must place removable protection as they climb.

 
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Ice climbing

Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. For the purposes of climbing, ice can be broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Most alpine ice is generally one component of a longer route and often less technical, having more in common with standard glacier travel, while water ice is selected largely for its technical challenge. Technical grade is, however, independent of ice type and both types of ice vary greatly in consistency according to weather conditions. Ice can be soft, hard, brittle or tough. Mixed climbing is ascent involving both ice climbing and rock climbing.

 
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Buildering

Buildering describes the act of climbing on the outside of buildings and other artificial structures. The word "buildering" sometimes misspelled bildering is a portmanteau, combining the word building with the climbing term bouldering. If done without ropes or protection far off the ground, buildering may be dangerous. It is often practiced outside legal bounds, and is thus mostly undertaken at night.

 
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Tree climbing

Tree climbing is a recreational or functional activity consisting of ascending and moving around in the crown of trees.

 
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Dry-tooling

Dry-tooling involves climbing rock with ice axes and either crampons or rock shoes. It has its origins in mixed climbing, ice climbing and more recently sport climbing. Dry tooling is controversial among many climbers. Some favour it as a new and exciting kind of climbing, while others dislike it for its nontraditional methods and the permanent damage it can cause to certain, generally softer, rock formations.