The term “Traditional” rock climbing (or as many often refer to as “Trad”), wasn’t really used until the ’80s when there needed to be distinction between trad and sport climbing (e.g. bolting of rock routes). Up until then, everything was what we call now call “Trad” climbing.
Trad, which is the practice of placing “gear” in rock features, cracks or other nooks for protection, and then removing the pieces after the climb is finished, is often seen as a more pure way to climb.
Although sport climbing has grown worldwide and has allowed climbers to attempt climbs that were previously inaccessible, there are still more areas that can be climbed traditionally—and knowing how to climb trad always give climbers more options.
We spoke with a two of the world’s top climbers and guides at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy to get tips on…