Speed climbing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Speed climbing is climbing in which speed is the ultimate goal.[1] Speed Climbing is done on rocks, walls and poles. Competition speed climbing, which takes place on an artificial standardized climbing wall, is the main form of speed climbing, however, there are other variations of speed climbing which take place out doors. In pure speed climbing, time is everything but it is also common to record speed ascents while observing a particular climbing style or ethic. For example, there are many speed records in which the climb was done according to free climbing ethics. In popular culture speed climbing may be best known for a viral video featuring Dan Osman climbing Lover's Leap via the Bear's Reach route (5.7, 400+ feet) in 4 min 25 sec.[2] This clip was originally featured in the movie Masters of Stone IV.

Competition speed climbing[edit]

Reza Alipour setting new world record

Competition speed climbing as governed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing takes place on 15m artificial walls. Competitors climb a slightly overhanging IFSC certified wall, with belaying from the top. Since 2007 the IFSC has created a standard wall for the world record. The holds and order are always identical, and the difficulty rating is around F6b, which is a level most recreational climbers could complete.

The climbing time is determined by mechanical-electric timing (the competitor strikes a switch at the top of the route) but manual timing is also possible. When mechanical-electric timing is used, the climbing time shall be measured with an accuracy of 0.01 second. As of 04/28/17, Iranian climber Reza Alipourshenazandifar holds the men's 15 meter speed world record; 5.48 seconds.[3] Iuliia Kaplina from Russia holds the women's 15-meter speed record at 7.46 seconds.[3]

Speed climbing World Champions 2016 are Marcin Dzieński from Poland (5.83 seconds) and Anna Tsyganova from Russia (7.52 seconds). IFSC Climbing World Championships took place in Paris, France.[3]

Standardized Speed Climbing Wall[edit]

Speed Climbing Wall - World Championships Bercy 2012.jpg

Speed Climbing World Records[edit]

Speed World Record Requirement

Men's World Record History
Date Time (s) Person Location
April 30, 2017 5.48[4] Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRA) Nanjing, China
September 13, 2014 5.60[5] Danylo Boldyrev (UKR) Gijon, Spain
August 30, 2014 5.73[6] Libor Hroza (CZE) Arco Italy
October 13, 2012 5.88[7] Evgenii Vaitcekhovskii (RUS) Xining, China

Outdoor Speed Climbing[edit]

Pure speed climbing[edit]

Full speed climbing is done in such a way that maximizes speed and minimizes danger. When climbing with a partner the climbers will alternate between regular free climbing, simul climbing, aiding, and at times sections of roped soloing. Speed climbing can also be done by an individual in which they alternate between forms of rope soloing, aiding, and free soloing. Strictly speaking this type of speed climbing is not a style but a combination or perhaps a type of aid climbing. However the complexity of combining all the styles together leads to what can be recognized as a separate style with its own particular techniques used in no other style.

Style climbing[edit]

Records can be recorded while climbing in a particular style. Each of the methods ultimately handicap the rate of progress with the exception of free soloing.

Free soloing[edit]

The simplest way to increase the speed of climbing is to shed all safety precautions such as belaying and placing protection. This leads to free soloing as rapidly as possible. While strictly speaking this qualifies as full speed climbing or a type of style climbing it is different enough to be recognized as its own category of speed climbing.

Outdoor Records[edit]

Most speed climbing records lack the standards normally associated with objective records. Hans Florine has written "I will be the first to say that climbing is silly. To make rules about it is just piling ridiculous on top of silly."[8] There are no sanctioned speed climbing competitions on significant rock features. Nearly all climbing goals and records are self-designed, self-timed, and self-officiated; few are well documented, and many are disputed.

The collection that follows abides by these loose standards.[8]

Time formate either hrs:min or hrs:min:sec.


The Nose, El Capitan

Regular Northwest Route, Half Dome

Snake Dike, Half Dome

Joshua Tree National Park

Jackson Falls, Illinois

  • 10 climbs 100 feet tall 45 minutes free solo Dennis George
  • 600 feet car to summit with a steep approach of half mile Idyllwild, CA
  • 10,000 feet in 24 hours Joshua Tree, CA climb for breast cancer


Bastille Crack

Third Flatiron



Cat In The Hat

New York[edit]

The Gunks

  • 50 Routes 13:30 Peter Darmi solo 2004.
  • 46 Routes 13:30 Eric Weigeshoff and Peter Darmi 2004. 3400' of climbing and descent.
  • 51 Routes 13:30 Eric Weigeshoff and Peter Darmi 2006 3400' of climbing and descent.


Grand Traverse

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, Swan Hill Press; 6th Revised edition (14 Oct 1997) ISBN 1-84037-001-7,978-1-84037-001-0
  2. ^ Dan Osman- Lover's Leap
  3. ^ a b c http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php/news/item/924-more-records-broken-in-china
  4. ^ Jan Kříž (2017-04-30), NEW World speed climbing record - 5.30seconds! WC Nanjing 2017, retrieved 2017-05-22 
  5. ^ Jan Kříž (2014-09-13), NEW World speed climbing record - 5.60 seconds! WCH Gijon 2014, retrieved 2017-05-22 
  6. ^ International Federation of Sport Climbing (2014-09-01), IFSC Climbing World Cup Arco 2014 - Speed - Hroza Breaks World Record, retrieved 2017-05-22 
  7. ^ International Federation of Sport Climbing (2012-10-18), Men's Speed Climbing World Record 5.88 - IFSC Climbing World Cup Xining 2012 - Speed, retrieved 2017-05-22 
  8. ^ a b Speed Climbing!: How to Climb Faster and Better 2nd edition, By Hans Florine, Bill Wright Published by Globe Pequot, 2004, ISBN 0-7627-3095-1, 978-0-7627-3095-7
  9. ^ http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web12s/newswire-florine-and-honnold-are-very-fast