Sport climbing is a style of climbing where the basic aim is to climb as difficult routes as possible. It is typically done at single-pitch routes either on natural rock or artificial climbing walls. It follows the idea of freeclimbing, i.e. only natural structures or in artificial climbing walls the structure of the wall and holds are allowed to move forward while the rope and other gear are only for fall protection.
It has to be distinguished from
- bouldering, where climbs are not as high as to cause serious injury when falling off and which is therefore done ropeless;
- alpine climbing, where not necessarily high difficulty but the ascent to a mountain peak is goal and typically the routes are several pitches long;
- technical or aid climbing, where the climber uses not only natural structure but also ropes and gear attached to the wall to move up the wall.
Sport climbing is done for recreational purposes as well as in competitive fashion with championships.