Monday, June 15, 2009

Bare-footed Rock Climber

I spotted this bare-footed rock climber in an exhibition recently held by a local rock climbing club on Jalan Braga.

Being ignorant about this kind of sport, I sought to find out if bare-footedness was a common practice among rock climbers. It turns out that it is not. A rock climber has to wear a special pair of shoes that is especially designed for that.

Rock climbing has become a more and more popular sport here. Many high school and university campuses have a rock climbing club and climbing board like this.

Before assuming the status of a sport, rock-climbing had been a practice of necessity for different peoples in many parts of the world. Some Chinese paintings dated as far back as 400 BC, for example, depicted men climbing rocks. The Anasazis Indians of North America who built dwellings on steep cliffs in the 1300 CE must have done it with quite a sophisticated skill of rock-climbing. In Indonesia, such a skill has been practiced by bird nest collectors who often have to climb steep cliffs and rocks in the mountains or seaside rock formations. As a kind of sport, however, it has generally been agreed that it began in England in the last decades of the 19th century. More historical details of this sport can be found here.

As with any other estabalished sports, rock climbing has also developed its own set of terminology and techniques. If you are interested to learn about them, this wikipedia article might be quite useful to start with.


Dina said...

A dramatic photo!
I like it, how every new thing you see makes you want to research and understand it. Guess that's why you are a teacher.

Fadhli said...

Sir, I'm sorry. Can you change my web in your blogroll ( with

Because i change the address site. Thanks before... said...

This looks difficult, especially when it goes beyond vertical. I posted some photos of a rock clibming wall in a real cliff a few days ago.

Layrayski said...

Looking at this photo makes me want to take up wall climbing again.

I didn't know about the history of the sport/skill--very interesting. I think I'll go check it out some more.

melanie said...

Whaou ! C'est difficile ça !

melanie said...

Et bon anniversaire !

luna said...


Thanks for visiting me and I posted a comment to yours on my blog.

Goes like this:


First .. it's been a long time and I was very happy to see your post.

Thanks so much for your input on the photo.

I also think the b&w is better.



I've taken a look at yours and I have to say your photos and their resolution as well as color are outstanding.

Have you been taking photography classes,


Natural talent?

Anyway ... kudos to you.

Thanks for not giving up on me and for keeping me on your blog.

Life has been a little chaotic and I don't see an end to the tunnel just yet.

Take care Eki,


Hilda said...

That's a tough wall to climb because of the overhang. If one just sees a wall by accident and is not ready with climbing shoes, barefoot is the way to go. Have you tried climbing in formal leather shoes?! ;D

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Mo said...

I love that this sport has become popular in cities everywhere so people who might never see a mountain to climb can partake in the sport.

Babooshka said...

I have done this indoor and actual coastal rocks-but with sturdy boots. As far as I know it is indeed crdeited with being a strange British hobby but I'm someone somewhere was doing this long before it was recorded. Great image.

Laurie said...

AH yes, my husband's favorite sport next to cycling. This is a wonderful shot! I've never seen barefooted climbers before.