Climbing is a joyous, instinctive activity. As children, we scurry up trees, garden walls, building facades, and anything else steep and enticing. Then we grow up. For some of us, however, the adult urge to climb finds a beautiful outlet in rock climbing.

It's an exciting activity you can go at in many different styles and many different settings. For many, the ultimate pleasure is scaling steep solid granite in an isolated alpine setting far from the city. For them, the crags close to home are only a practice ground to hone skills in preparation for an escape to the mountains. For others, the primary pleasure is the kinesthetic joy of moving on rock, executing the most difficult and gymnastic moves. Mastering the challenge of the rock may be more important than the setting, and a long alpine approach a nuisance rather than a pleasure. And there are those who treasure the whole range of rock-climbing experiences, from working out a single move in a difficult bouldering problem or training on an artificial climbing wall, to completing sustained challenging pitches on a towering rock wall or climbing short sections of rock during an alpine climb on a glaciated peak.

The joys of rock climbing are found in all these ways, and despite their differences, the skills and techniques are essentially the same.

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