What is Crack Climbing?

Posted: July 3, 2013 by kirisyko in Climbing, Rock Climbing
Tags: , , , , , ,

Joshua Tree - Right V Crack.jpg

Crack climbing in Joshua Tree


Crack climbing is the technique and process of ascending various sized cracks or fissures that split rock faces. Progress is made by jammig or wedging a climber’s fingers, hands, arms, feet, and legs into the crack, depending on its width. Cracks are often described by the appendage used to climb it, such as a hand crack, fist crack, or finger crack. Wide cracks are called off-width cracks and chimneys.

Cracks used in climbing vary in size from ones you can barely fit a pinky finger to those that fit an entire body. Climbers use techniques such as jamminglaybacking, and stemming.

Crack climbing is contrasted with slab climbing and face climbing.

In February 2012, two British climbers were the first to scale a 160 feet (49 m) crack in Canyonlands National Park after spending two years training specifically for the climb.


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