You´ve probably heard of the term “cragging” before but you were never quite sure what it actually meant. We know how confusing this term can be, hence we decided to write about it and provide an in-depth article so you understand this activity better.
Apart from that, we are also going to take a look at the specicif gear and some common questions that climbers in particular have related to this activity.
Hopefully, we´ve got your attention so without any further due, let´s explore together what this term cragging actually implies.
What does Cragging mean?
As you can probably start to figure it out from the name, it implies the effort needed to ascend a cliff in as many ways as you can. The main difference is that Cragging is more about having and doing a relaxing activity whereas climbing is actually the opposite; you are pushing yourself from all points of view both mentally and physically on the wall.
The main goal is to reach the top as fast as you can. Indeed many people don’t even go for becoming climbers and just enjoy the more easy activities that you can actually perform when cragging.
People that like sports cragging usually go for easier levels of climbing and they end up typcally climbing three number grades below their normal onsight level. This means that they ensuring they will perform an activity but without actually pushing themselves too much. The best places for doing this kind of activity is around locations that are easier to handle. Usually, sport cragging involves getting together with friends having some snacks, doing some tanning, or just cruising through the route.
Anybody that is thinking of doing this kind of activity and is a pro climber should do it when they want to have a rest day or just not feeling in their best shape. Indeed challenging yourself promises a lot of fun and excitement, but sometimes being more relaxed is also an option to consider. This is because you don’t want to constantly push yourself too much. The body needs some time to rest and get its energy back after some top endurance activities. Therefore, trying this lower intensity activity might just be the solution that you were looking for.
What are the communities?
By being a different kind of activity, this means that also the people that form the community around it are going to be different. You are going to find newcomers that want to test their skill or even more advance climbers that have been devoted their entire life to climbing. Cragging brings together a lot of different people. This is one of the beautiful things about it, as you get the chance to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and skill levels which you will truly enjoy.
So expect to have some great times with this community, and besides that, it is also going to be a great opportunity for learning new things when you go out of the gym, for example. Many people that want to experience the idea of climbing usually tend to make their first steps in a gym. After they get the required experience and feel a bit more confident, they will usually start searching for outdoor locations to go out rock climbing. When this happens, to find a community that you can join, is probably the best choice that you can make.
By doing so, you will not only make new friends but also get insights into their experiences. It is something to consider!
What gear is recommended?
Typically you will want to have a light gear with you most of the time. Wearing a kit that is made from breathable materials that keep sweat away is going to make the experience a lot more comfortable. There are many brands that offer a lot of products to use but let’s also remember that each one of us has a certain budget for this activity. Nothing to worry though, as this is a competitive market and you will be able to find the right gear that suits your budget.
In addition, you also need to consider about the protection gear. Even though this kind of activity is not that dangerous, you should have at least a minimum of protective gear, like a helmet, for example.
In general you should consider the follogin gear:
- Helmet: This is another (must have ) gear either if you are climbing outside or in a gym. It’s one of those items that usually don’t look that cool but when it actually counts you will be more than glad to have invested on a proper helmet. Ultimately its your decision and you need to determine how much risk-adverse you want to be.
- Climbing shoes: Irrespective of what type of climbing you decide to make, climbing shoes are the first thing you need to get. They are basically the main gear you will need to invest on. There are heaps of options available for your first pair. When you are at your learning stage, I wouldn’t bother too much on getting anything fancy.
- Rope: If you are going for sport climbing or trad climbing then you will eventually need a rope. Typically as a beginner, it’s usually recommended to spend some time with more experience climbers (who tend to have ropes of their own). As you progress and become more experience, then you may start considering investing in your own rope.
Can you perform sport cragging with your kids?
The short answer is yes, but there are some general rules that any parent should know. First of all, the essential thing that should always be present is to have fun. Remember that you are there with your family to enjoy some good quality time together and don’t get swept away by being too serious about it.
Think about different rewards that you can give to the small ones once a checkpoint is reached. Usually, snacks do a great job for this, and they typically bringalong big smiles on their faces. Kids don’t want to climb all the time; sometimes, they just want to play around with other things. So it’s important to make them feel comfortable and not push them to do something that they don’t want just because you are there.
It’s also a great opportunity for them to test out their limits. Even though the approach is to have some fun, sometimes you might see kids going out for something more challenging than usual. That is a great ocassion to see how some of their limits are going to be challenged and many of the times tackled.
So the answer is a big yes! You can take your kids and practice together. It’s a great opportunity to take them into nature and have a great time with each other. As a parent you are going to enjoy this a lot and your kids are going to be really thankful to you.
Can you bring your dog?
First of all, you need to make sure that your pet is aware of basic commands like to sit or stay. Ideally, they should be calm and quiet, and depending on the location that you choose, they need to be friendly as well with other people. If you have the time ,you can consider doing a visit to the place you want to go together with your family and pet. This is going to help as you can see how your dog reacts to the new environment. You should keep him with you all the time and not let your dog off the leash.
There are also some other items that you need to consider. If there are people around, then he should also be quiet and not bark all the time. Remember to pack water and food bowls, a leash, an emergency kit, and the important poop bags.
On a funny note, most of the time, there shouldn´t be any issue to bring along your dog on your adventure. Just make sure to follow the basic rules that we have outlined.
What are some common rules for cragging in a crowded location?
This topic is important for many climbers. This is why it is important to be aware of some common-sense rules that the community respects and follows. By knowing them you will reduce any risk of getting into trouble, especially if this is the first time when you are thinking about trying to go out cragging.
First of all, the noise should be kept down. You can’t do a party and bring speakers or any other similar equipment. Noise can be a lot of times distracting and disruptive, making the climbers get into uncomfortable situations.
Secondly, when a route is finished moving you need to ensure to move the the top ropes as fast as possible. There might be other people excited to do their things. Finish the tour and then move to the next stage. Another thing that has been annoying in recent years are drones. Climbers tend to get really annoyed and uncomfortable with them, hence I recommend to avoid utilizing them.
There are probably more non-official rules like this that we haven’t included but overall this are the most important ones to follow. Being aware of them is important and why not sharing them to your climbing friends is only going to help the community.
Cragging is still an underrated term that is not used so often in the climbing world. Knowing what it stands for and what we should expect from people that do this kind of activity is important. We hope that now we made it a bit easier for you to actually understand what it means.
Sport cragging is definitely a very interesting activity to consider and engage on those days that you are feeling a bit tired/hungover or need some rest but still want to perform an activity. You will get a nice tan, sweat a bit and ultimately enjoy yourself!
Therefore, why don´t you give cragging a shot and share your experiences with us! We would love to hear back from you.