There are lots of different styles of climbs around the world. People climb everything from boulders to mountains, and everything in between including buildings and trees. The challenge is deciding when does a high boulder problem become a solo? Or what is the boundary between an alpine route and an ice route?
Our system of climbing styles simply asks the question:
Or put another way, if I only have a certain amount of gear - what routes can I climb?
Below is the list we came up with, and some rough differences between the gear needed. It is also colour coded and you will see these colours used throughout the site to help you quickly identify different styles.
|Style||What you'll typically need|
|Trad||A rope or maybe twin ropes, and a trad rack - wires, hexes, cams etc|
|Aid climbing||Trad gear plus more: etrier's, bashies, sky hooks, RURP's, etc|
|Sport||A rope and quickdraws|
|Top Rope||Barely more than a rope. This is a special case where a route can ONLY be done as a top rope.|
|Bouldering||A crash pad, spotters, bananas|
|Alpine||Snow stakes, 1 straight shaft tool / axe|
|Ice||Ice screws, two tools, front point crampons|
|Deep water soloing||Spare shoes, spare chalk, a boat!|
|Via ferrata||Shock absorbing sling, crab claws. You might climb in sneakers or approach shoes.|
|Unknown||An unknown style - only used when you don't actually know. If a route is maybe trad or sport, and definetly not the others, then set it to trad rather than unknown and then change it to sport later if needed. If you've invented some new style that you think should be here let us know!|
So what about 'mixed' routes? ie a route that needs trad gear and also has bolts. By our definition a mixed route need's trad gear so it should be marked as trad AND also have the number of bolts needed for the route.
Note This is not an exhaustive list of equipment you will need. This list is just to demonstrate the core differences between the gear used in each style.