Topo (climbing)

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Topo image of cliff Toix Est in the Costa Blanca region of Spain, by climber Chris Craggs from a Rockfax guidebook Toix Est Topo.jpg
Topo image of cliff Toix Est in the Costa Blanca region of Spain, by climber Chris Craggs from a Rockfax guidebook

In climbing, topo is the graphical representation (sketch drawing or a photograph with routes depicted) of a climbing route. [1] Topo is also a climbing guidebook of a crag or climbing area in which most routes are described graphically by such topos. [2]

Each individual topo gives the approximate shape of the route, the important rock formations close to the route and details of the grade, lines of the various rock climbs, and protection of each section of the climb. Topo guides usually also include the length of the climbs, where exactly each climb starts, and how to get to the area of the climb. It will usually specify if a climb is a sport climb (with fixed protection) or a trad climb (traditional, e.g. needing gear to install protection during climb). Some topo guides also include extra information such as parking, approach times, sun or shade, and type of climbing (powerful, sustained etc.).

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bouldering</span> Form of rock climbing

Bouldering is a form of free climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses. While bouldering can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and to provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. Unlike free solo climbing, which is also performed without ropes, bouldering problems are usually less than six metres (20 ft) tall. Traverses, which are a form of boulder problem, require the climber to climb horizontally from one end to another. Artificial climbing walls allow boulderers to climb indoors in areas without natural boulders. In addition, bouldering competitions take place in both indoor and outdoor settings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Climbing</span> Activity to ascend a steep object

Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or other parts of the body to ascend a steep topographical object that can range from the world's tallest mountains to small boulders. Climbing is done for locomotion, for sporting recreation, for competition, and is also done in trades that rely on ascension; such as rescue and military operations. Climbing is done indoors and outdoors, on natural surfaces, and on artificial surfaces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mountaineering</span> Sport of mountain climbing

Mountaineering, mountain climbing, or alpinism, is a set of outdoor activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas that have become sports in their own right. Indoor climbing, sport climbing, and bouldering are also considered variants of mountaineering by some, but are part of a wide group of mountain sports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grade (climbing)</span> Degree of difficulty of a climbing route

In rock climbing, mountaineering, and other climbing disciplines, climbers give a grade to a climbing route or boulder problem, intended to describe concisely the difficulty and danger of climbing it. Different types of climbing each have their own grading systems, and many nationalities developed their own, distinctive grading systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Longs Peak</span> Mountain in Colorado, United States

Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,259-foot (4346 m) fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 9.6 miles (15.5 km) southwest by south of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States. Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is featured on the Colorado state quarter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scrambling</span> Walk up steep terrain involving the use of ones hands

Scrambling is a mountaineering term for ascending steep terrain using one's hands to assist in holds and balance. It is also used to describe terrain that falls between hiking and rock climbing.

The Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) is a three-part system used for rating the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs, primarily used by mountaineers in the United States and Canada. It was first devised by members of the Sierra Club in Southern California in the 1950s as a refinement of earlier systems, particularly those developed in Yosemite Valley, and quickly spread throughout North America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glossary of climbing terms</span> List of definitions of terms and concepts related to rock climbing and mountaineering

This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Free climbing</span> Climbing without using aid climbing

Free climbing is a form of rock climbing in which the climber can use climbing equipment for climbing protection, but not as an aid to help in their progression in ascending the route. Free climbing therefore cannot use any of the tools that are used in aid climbing to help overcome the obstacles encountered while ascending a route. The development of free climbing was an important moment in the history of rock climbing, including the concept and definition of what determined a first free ascent of a route by a climber.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solo climbing</span> Style of climbing performed alone

Solo climbing, or soloing, is a style of climbing in which the climber climbs alone, without the assistance of a belayer. By its very nature, it presents a higher degree of risk to the climber, and in some cases, is considered extremely high risk. Note that the use of the term "solo climbing" is generally separate from the action of bouldering, which is itself a form of solo climbing, but with less serious consequences in the case of a fall.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sport climbing</span> Form of rock climbing

Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors, permanently fixed into the rock for climber protection, in which a rope that is attached to the climber is clipped into the anchors to arrest a fall; it can also involve climbing short distances with a crash pad underneath as protection. This is in contrast to traditional climbing where climbers must place removable protection as they climb. Sport climbing usually involves lead climbing and toproping techniques, but free solo and deep-water solo climbing on sport routes is also sometimes possible.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lead climbing</span> Competitive discipline of sport climbing

Lead climbing is a climbing style, predominantly used in rock climbing. In a roped party one climber has to take the lead while the other climbers follow. The lead climber wears a harness attached to a climbing rope, which in turn is connected to the other climbers below the lead climber. While ascending the route, the lead climber periodically connects the rope to protection equipment for safety in the event of a fall. This protection can consist of permanent bolts, to which the climber clips quickdraws, or removable protection such as nuts and cams. One of the climbers below the lead climber acts as a belayer. The belayer gives out rope while the lead climber ascends and also stops the rope when the lead climber falls or wants to rest.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Piton</span> Metal tool used in rock climbing

A piton in climbing is a metal spike that is driven into a crack or seam in the climbing surface using a climbing hammer, and which acts as an anchor for protecting the climber against the consequences of falling or to assist progress in aid climbing. Pitons are equipped with an eye hole or a ring to which a carabiner is attached; the carabiner can then be directly or indirectly connected to a climbing rope.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rock climbing</span> Sport in which participants climb natural rock formations

Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up, across, or down natural rock formations. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. Knowledge of proper climbing techniques and the use of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Redpoint (climbing)</span> Type of free climbing

In rock climbing, redpointing means to free-climb a route from the ground to the top while lead climbing, after having previously practiced the route beforehand or after having failed first attempt. Climbers will try to redpoint a route after having failed to onsight it, or flash it. The first successful redpoint of a route, in the absence of any prior onsight or flash, is recorded as the first free ascent (FFA) of that route.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cerro Torre</span> Mountain in Southern Patagonia in South America

Cerro Torre is one of the mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America. It is located in Argentina and Chile, west of Fitz Roy. The peak is the highest of a four mountain chain: the other peaks are Torre Egger, Punta Herron, and Cerro Standhardt. The top of the mountain often has a mushroom of rime ice, formed by the constant strong winds, increasing the difficulty of reaching the actual summit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of rock climbing</span> Key chronological milestones

In the history of rock climbing, the three main sub-disciplines—bouldering, single-pitch climbing, and big wall climbing—can trace their origins to late 19th-century Europe. Bouldering started in Fontainebleau, and was advanced by Pierre Allain in the 1930s, and John Gill in the 1950s. Big wall climbing started in the Dolomites, and was spread across the Alps in the 1930s by climbers such as Emilio Comici and Riccardo Cassin, and in the 1950s by Walter Bonatti, before reaching Yosemite where it was led in the 1950s to 1970s by climbers such as Royal Robbins. Single-pitch climbing started pre-1900 in both the Lake District and in Saxony, and by the 1970s had spread widely with climbers such as Ron Fawcett (Britain), Bernd Arnold (Germany), Patrick Berhault (France), Ron Kauk and John Bachar (USA).

<i>Salathé Wall</i> Technical climbing route up El Capitan

The Salathé Wall is one of the original technical climbing routes up El Capitan, a 3,000-foot (900 m) high granite monolith in Yosemite National Park. The Salathé Wall was named by Yvon Chouinard in honor of John Salathé, a pioneer of rock climbing in Yosemite. The route is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and considered a classic around the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lost Arrow Spire</span> Detached pillar, Yosemite

Lost Arrow Spire is a detached pillar in Yosemite National Park, in Yosemite Valley, California, located immediately adjacent to Upper Yosemite Falls. The structure includes the Lost Arrow Spire Chimney route which is recognized in the historic climbing text Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. The spire is the location for a dramatic Tyrolean traverse, which has since become an iconic slackline.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crack climbing</span>

Crack climbing is a type of rock climbing in which the climber follows a crack in the rock and uses specialized climbing techniques. The sizes of cracks vary from those that are just barely wide enough for the fingers to fit inside, to those that are so wide that the entire body can fit inside with all limbs outstretched. Many traditional climbing routes follow crack systems, as they provide natural opportunities for placing protective equipment.


  1. Lourens, Tony (2005). Guide to Climbing. Stackpole Books. pp. 93–94. ISBN   9780811701525 . Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  2. Pesterfield, Heidi (2007). Traditional Lead Climbing: A Rock Climber's Guide to Taking the Sharp End of the Rope. Wilderness Press. pp. 107–110. ISBN   9780899975597 . Retrieved 11 September 2017.