UBC Undergraduate Research

Characterizing Route Strategy in Professional Speed Climbing With Respect to Athlete Height Kassirer, Erez; Salitra, Samuel


Speed climbing is a relatively new sport gaining international attention due to the rapid expansion of the sport of climbing, and speed climbing’s inclusion in the upcoming Summer Olympic games. Therefore, it is important that resources are made available to new climbers that would like advice on how to train for the sport. Our project deals with the identification of techniques in speed climbing that are used more often by certain heights of climbers than others. This study was accomplished through observation and analysis of the routes chosen by professional climbers competing in IFSC-regulated competitions over the last three years. The studied climbers were grouped by height, then consistent route variations and climbing techniques within each height group were identified. Tall climbers were observed to utilize variations that minimize the number of contacted holds, even at the expense of energy intensive movements like hold skips. Conversely, Short climbers were found to opt for route strategies that contacted more holds and travel a greater total distance. This is a potential consequence of the previously established idea that fluency of one’s centre of mass is crucial for successful speed-climbing. These principles lay the groundwork for more intelligent training of potential speed-climbing athletes.

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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International