Aside from the division of mountaineering into individual disciplines according to their various aspects, as mentioned in the previous section, we should also mention the differences in the concept behind climbing techniques. When we choose specific climbing techniques for a climb, we thereby significantly define the character of the climb. Certain techniques of climbing are so specific that their use can be described as a separate mountaineering discipline. By climbing technique we mean a particular method of acting which the mountaineer uses to move about in the terrain. While the climber progresses directly along the rope (single rope technique) with rope techniques used in speleoalpinism, work at heights or rescue work, in mountaineering or rock climbing the mountaineer moves along climbing terrain during the ascent.
At the same time the mountaineer has a choice of two climbing techniques: either free climbing or aid climbing. With free climbing the climber overcomes gravity using only her own strength and progresses uses only natural rock formations. At the same time certain methods of protection techniques, meaning accessories and gear, are used simply to protect her from a fall.
In comparison to this, during aid climbing artificial resources are used for progress, intermediate points protection (pitons, nuts, etc.) are grasped with the hands and runners and other stirrups are hung from intermediate points of protection placed in the rock and stepped in. Indeed, aid climbing is so specific that it is often perceived as an entirely independent mountaineering discipline.
The participation of the individuals is closely associated with the techniques of climbing. We ca climb with others in a team, or by ourselves. It is simpler to climb as part of a team, as the climbers can share a series of activities, and thereby ease their progress. Of course it is also possible to climb alone, and such a method of ascent is called solo climbing, during which a solo ascent is performed. And again there are two possibilities how to perform a solo ascent – either to self-belay, or to climb without belay.
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