What is climbing?

A challenge that gets more and more extreme. This in essence is climbing, an emotional world where man misures with mountain through gestures and spirituality, body and mind closely in contact with rock, limits and possibilities that swing and make it one of the most comprehensive sports.

A sport activity complementary to alpinism and practised in close contact with the environment, but the goal of mountaineering is the achievement of the peak while the climber's aim is to overcome difficulties. Subtle differences that generate different climbing philosophies.

In the same area there are various ways of climbing: while in mountain climbing protection points are fixed during the progression (furniture), in sport climbing, the climbing wall is already equipped with fixed security points.

Moreover mountain climbing can be practised on rock so progressing on the wall with the help of hands and feet or on ice, using ice axes and crampons, on different ice formations such as seracs goulotte (Rocky chimneys) or icefall. The dry-tooling is mixed climbing on rock and ice only using ice axes and crampons and safety is guaranteed mainly by the presence of fixed protections.

Then there is the bouldering, climbing on boulders few meters tall without using protection points but anticipating small portable mattresses to reduce falling dangers. Finally it's important to mention the "trad" climbing, practised on rock cliffs, with the exclusive use of movable protections.

This specific discipline is inspired by British climbers that, in the Peak District National Park, Wales, make the progression "all clean", that is with the exclusive use of movable protections in order to ensure all climbers the same climb conditions of the first hiker.

The climbers world is getting wider and in search of challenges, silence and history. The Gran Paradiso National Park is frequented by various Italian and foreign sportsmen, coming from all Europe but also overseas, looking for wild places and unique experiences.

But what involves climbing in a protected area? Surely it's a sport very close to an eco-tourism's idea but only if who climb knows that environments and the species that inhabit them, understand the reasons for protection and respect them. Walls and waterfalls are not abandoned and if plant and animal species have chosen these environments so difficult and unwelcoming is because they're looking for peace and security, let's try not to disturb them in these extreme shelters.

A National Park is not an ordinary place: to avoid causing unintentional damages it's always good to get informations.