To the inexperienced, the difference between rock climbing and mountaineering might seem murky at best. After all isn’t climbing a mountain just another form of rock climbing. The difference between the two is important for practitioners of these two disciplines, however. Here is a quick highlight of some of the key differences between rock climbing and mountaineering.
Rock climbing has seen a rise in popularity as a means of staying fit and having fun. Many outdoor areas are starting to include maintained rock climbing areas as part of their attractions. In addition, many cities have started to spring rock-climbing gyms, giving rise to an entire division of the sport only practiced indoors. With so many different ways to practice this popular sport, it is no wonder that so many are starting to pick it up as a means of recreation.
Mountaineering, on the other hand, is a much broader discipline that explores a much wider range of skills. In general, any activity that takes place on a mountain is a form of mountaineering. This includes mountain biking, rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing, and hiking as well as the specific practice of mountaineering. As far as the specific sport of mountaineering, this is the practice of scaling or summiting the peak of a mountain or mountain range. This includes wide-ranging skills from rock climbing, orienteering, survival skills, endurance, and ice climbing.
Connor Baldwin is a public relations agent with an interest in mountain sports and mountaineering in and around the city of Vancouver, British Columbia.