Rope Climbing is a sport in which competitors climb up a vertical rope using their hands only. The fastest to the top of the rope is the winner.
Rope climbing has been part of the Olympic Games on several occasions as one of the gymnastics events, but it has not been on the program since 1932. Currently, there is a regular rope climbing competition at the World Police and Fire Games, and competitions are held in Czechia where national competitions on the 8 meter rope have been held since 1993.
The length of rope used for competition has varied a little. Early last century, competitive climbing events in the USA were regularly held on both 20 ft and 25 ft length and 1.5 inch diameter natural fiber ropes. At the Olympic games, competitors climbed a 25 ft (7.62m) rope, or the metric 8 m (26.3 ft) rope was used.
The usual starting position is with the participant seated on the floor. Stopwatches can be used to time the climb, though nowadays an electronic timing device is used for competitions.
- Pole Climbing — involves climbing very high wooden poles.
- Tree Climbing — competitions in which competitors climb trees as fast as possible using various techniques based on the daily working conditions of arborists.
- Fierljeppen (also called Canal Jumping) — contestants using a long pole, vault across a canal (which requires some pole climbing)
- Abseiling — an adventure sport where the participants descend a steep formation using a rope.
- Rings — gymnastics routine using a pair of rings, that are suspended by straps.
- Speed Climbing — athletes climb a set route on a vertical wall in the fastest time possible.
- Greasey Pole Climbing — attempting to climb a slippery pole for a prize at the end. [unusual]