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27 February 2011

Geology and rock climbing

As a novice rock climber who’s also a geologist, I’m just as interested in the rock I’m climbing as the route. The type of rock you’re climbing on can have big impacts on the difficulty of the climb, since the way that a rock weathers and erodes determines what kinds of holds are available, whether there are cracks or ledges, vertical faces or overhangs, and what safety concerns you should be aware of. I haven’t had a huge amount of experience with outdoor climbing, but from the scrambling I’ve done on mapping excursions, I certainly know which rocks I prefer to climb on – but what do more experienced climbers prefer?


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