On The Top Of Physical And Mental Limits : Rock Climbing

For many people, sport is a combination of physical activities and movements. This is not wrong, of course, when you’re doing sports, you are aiming to get physically better and push physical limits. But there is an important factor which is ignored when we’re thinking in this way : The mental side of sport. Sport is a mental activity as much as a physical activity. The definiton of TDK (Turkish Language Society) deals with sport in these two sides: “”All acts performed according to some rules, performed individually or collectively to improve the body or mind”.

Each type of sport has mental difficulties as well as physical difficulties. But for some kind of sports, staying mentally fit is as hard as staying physically fit, maybe even harder. We can give the following sports as an example: Long distance runs, road cycling, football and basketball which sometimes made under the great pressure of spectators. One of these sports is undoubtedly climbing. It is a sports which takes hours, even days. It mentally demands intelligence, experience and patience as well as physical strength, endurance and agility.

The most preferred type of climbing is rock climbing. The goal in rock climbing is simple : Reach the highest possible point along natural or artificial rock walls. In professional rock climbing competitions, the goal is to finish a course as soon as possible or go to the most advanced point of the course which becomes more difficult towards the end. The goal is simple, but rock climbing is very difficult and a dangerous sport. Therefore, it is important to have the knowledge of climbing techniques and to have climbing equipment which varies according to each track. However, rock climbing is done in different styles, in different disciplines and in different subcategories because of variety of rock formations around the world.

The styles determine the ascension methods in rock climbing and there are three main styles: The first one is the so-called “on-sight”, in which the climber climbs up as an improvisation. The other style is “flash”. In this way the climbers have prior knowledge of the route. The “red point”, the last of the main climbing styles. In this style, the athlete climbs up a course after he has tried it beforehand.

However, rock climbing methods are also different in rock climbing. Today’s most used method is free climbing. In free climbing, the athlete climbs with only the help of his own physical force and with the help of protective devices, without getting power assistance from any vehicle. Another method, named “Aid” is used to climb big walls. It is the method by which the athlete raises his altitude by helping the various devices where climbing is very difficult or impossible for free climbing. If climbers are climbing alone, without the help of another person, it is called a “solo climb”.


As far as we know, rock climbing occurs in the following three regions at the end of the 19th century: Elbe Sandstone Mountains in Germany, the Peak district and Lake District in the north of England, Dolomite Mountain in Italy. After the first solo ascent of the Napes Needle by Walter Parry Haskett Smith, who is known as the father of rock climbing, rock climbing attracted increasing numbers of participants. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 500 active athletes in the Sandstone region. In the 1930s, there were more than 200 climbing clubs in the same area. The first solo ascent in 1887 by the 17-year-old Munich high school student, Georg Winkler, encouraged the acceptance and development of the sport in the Dolomites.

Nowadays, this sport is popular in the following regions in Turkey: Geyikbayırı region in Antalya, Kaynaklar village in Izmir and Aladaglar in Nigde. The Sahinkaya Canyon in Vezirköprü, Samsun will be also popular like these regions in the following years. Zorbey Aktuyun and Abdül Samet Yıldırım climbed for the first time in this canyon in October 2016 and they named this course “Ilk Adım”. In May of 2017, Zorbey Aktuyun and Arda Mert Poslu formed a new climbing course in Falcon Fest and named it “Nomad”. There will be many climbers in the 2nd Falcon Fest, which will be held between 4-9 August 2018 and will try to overcome difficult courses with their physical and mental powers.