Disciplines in climbing in germany

Disciplines in climbing in germany

1. The German Alpine Club (DAV)

Image result for mountaineeringThe DAV was founded on May 9, 1869 and is the largest mountain sports association in the world with over one million members. It is made up of 355 independent sections in Germany. The number of DAV members has risen in each of the past years by around five percent, in 2012 the growth rate was even 5.25 percent. As a leading association for alpinism, the German Alpine Club has been a member of the German Olympic Sports Association since 1995. The DAV, as the responsible trade association for sport and competition climbing in Germany, has the sports leadership in all national ranking competitions in Germany and together with the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) for the international competitions taking place in Germany. Also in the introduction of the sport in the Olympic mode, the DAV plays an important role.

2. How many climbers are there in Germany?

As the member surveys of the DAV show, the climbing sport in Germany recorded strong growth. While around 18 percent of the then 730,000 members regularly went to climbing gyms in 2004, in 2013 around 25 percent of the approximately 1 million members took part in indoor sport climbing and another 11 percent admitted to indoor bouldering. Since these figures only include indoor climbing, but not climbing outdoors, the DAV currently counts on at least 500,000 active climbers in Germany.

3. Disciplines in climbing

There are basically two different types of climbing: indoor climbing and rock climbing. Previously, indoor climbing was mainly used as training for the big walls or the competition; In the last 15 years, however, it has become more and more established as an independent form of climbing. In contrast to rock climbing, indoor climbing is much safer: Objective dangers such as falling rocks, changing weather, changing conditions on the rock or breaking handles play no role in the hall.

In competition climbing, the three disciplines each have different requirements for the athletes:


Is the most famous discipline of climbing and has been established as a competitive sport for more than twenty years. Climbing with rope after the beginnings of the “real rock” in the eighties meanwhile only at about 10-20 meters high art walls, where above all strength, endurance and technical and tactical finesse are in demand. The aim of the lead is to master a route within a fixed time limit as free of falls as possible, or climb in this route as higher as possible than the competitors.


Bouldering means climbing at jump height without rope, with soft floor mats catching a possible fall. Bouldering is about mastering the heaviest individual moves or movements. However, difficulty in bouldering is no longer synonymous with the smallest possible grips: those who want to be in the forefront of bouldering competitions need not only a high level of athleticism but also a very good flexibility and a pronounced coordination ability.


When speed climbing, the name is program: the speed decides the victory. Especially fast and maximum power as well as high grip and tread precision are required despite the highest speed. In the course of a competition over several knockout rounds, in which the climbers each compete against each other, the speed strength endurance decides on hop or top.

4. Target group

Image result for mountaineeringAround 60 percent of all beginners are between 12 and 20 years old. The most active are the age groups between 20 and 39 years. Almost half of all climbers are female. Especially girls can quickly achieve good results in sport climbing, because not raw power, but the ratio of strength to body weight and skill are crucial. This also applies to competition climbing

5. Difficulty levels

Beginners today reach much higher difficulty levels than they did ten years ago. This is due to the better material, better training options and a change in the self-image. While climbing first stood for adventure and nature experience, in recent years, the sporting component has increasingly prevailed. The two most common scales for indicating the difficulty are the scale of the UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme – the International Union of Mountaineering Associations) and the French scale. The easiest climbing routes begin after UIAA at III (French 3a), the most difficult routes are at XI + (French 9a +). Currently, the breakthrough to XII. Degree.

6. Climbing facilities in Germany

In total there are currently about 400 climbing facilities in Germany – about 200 plants are operated by the sections of the DAV, 200 by commercial providers. The large climbing facilities are complemented by smaller walls, which were built, for example, in fitness centers, schools, universities or rehabilitation centers.