Climbing is a pretty crazy sport. Hanging off giant drops by your just your finger tips is literally taking your life in your hands and when you do that you find that you're capable of some truly incredible things, pulling off amazing contortions, beasty muscle ups and outright gnarly climbing moves.
Your ability to shift your body when you think there's a good chance you may never see it again is pretty impressive, but just imagine what you can do if you've put in the hours of climbing training in the gym repeating the movements again and agin. There are climbers out there who pull off the most insane climbing moves every day, just for fun, and when they get going the results have to be seen to be believed.
From technical maestros to dodgy Batman impersonators these are the climbing moves that will leave you scratching your head and wondering what sort of mischief you could get up to down your local climbing wall.
Canadian rock climber Sean McColl seems to be made entirely of muscle. The way this guy can power up a wall makes it look like gravity has taken the day off. In this clip from the 2015 Canadian Bouldering finals, Sean used pretty much every part of his body to complete the fourth problem in the competition, even pausing at one point to take a quick break and do a slow motion, one arm spin just to rub in how good he is.
McColl is one of the world's best climbers and at 5'6 he's one of the shortest too. As a result of his smaller reach the Canadian has developed a fast and explosive style of climbing which has seen him win numerous competitions in bouldering, lead and speed climbing destroying routes like the phenomenally difficult Psicoblock wall with his amazing climbing moves:
Hail To The King
It sounds like a superhero origin story but Jyothi Raj learned to rock climb from monkeys. A victim of abuse, the Indian athlete decided to end his life by jumping off the rocks near Chitradurga fort in Karnataka, India. Jyothi couldn't figure out how to make it to the top but after studying the local monkeys for a while he learned how to climb the steep cliffs and discovered a passion that gave his life hope again.
Today Jyothi, known locally as the Monkey King, can be found scrambling around Chitradurga Fort without ropes or anything vaguely resembling a crash mat. The King's climbing moves and style clearly owe a lot to his hairy climbing instructors, though we never seen a monkey or even James Kingston, pull crazy moves like Jyothi's signature wall spin.
You've all been there, making out like your favourite super hero with a towel wrapped round your neck or a couple of forks stuck between your fingers. However, when you do that you don't usually video yourself and slap the results on YouTube.
That didn't deter this plucky boulderer though, who decided that his homage to the Dark Knight should be immortalised on the web. Posted by Bud Loomis, this climbing move is definitely unique, getting your feet above your hands on the bouldering wall, but we're not sure how useful it'll be when it comes to fighting crime.
Taking The Michi
Dynos are among the most show stopping moves in climbing. Leaping with your whole body leaving the wall to try and catch a hold further up require total commitment and at least a small dose of the crazies.
German climber Michi Geissler seems to have a double helping of both these qualities which led him to attempt this unbelievable dyno. Jumping almost 3m vertically, Michi even added in a reverse grab finish because when you're going for a seriously tough world record you might as well make it a stylish one too.
You Got A Friend In Me
In 2015 at the ProLo Event at Momentum climbing wall in Lehi, Utah, competitors were faced with a challenge they had never seen before. Dubbed 'the friend problem', this little head scratcher would have had solo climbers stumped as the holds were too far apart for a single climber to reach.
The trick to completing the friend problem is in the name. Climbing with a buddy allows both climbers to reach the holds as long as they hold hands. Counterweighting each other climbers could reach the crux move where one had to slingshot the other to the final climbing hold to complete the route. We have no idea how to grade this section of the wall or even what the climbing grade would be, but it would be awesome to see more comps that encouraged creative thinking and climbing moves like these.
To anyone that climbs, Chris Sharma needs no introduction, to anyone that doesn't he climbed the toughest route in America at the age of 15 and just got better from there. Since then Sharma has pushed the boundaries in all styles of climbing from sport and bouldering to deep water soloing. He founded the Psicoblock contest way back at the beginning of this list and also puts in an appearance on the Friend Problem too.
Back in 2014 the Californian decided to throw down against a tonne of the world's other top climbers at Red Bull Creepers, a deep water solo comp in Puente la Reina, Spain, which saw contestants scale the underside of a gigantic old stone bridge that forms part of the Christian pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. The guts and strength it takes to go for a one handed dyno over 30ft up can not be underestimated, but Sharma pulled it off earning him the win and a chance to rather unsmoothly fall off the wall in celebration. It just goes to show that even the guys with the most amazing climbing moves stack it sometimes.
Czech That Out!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or just some lanky guy dressed in cycling shorts racing up a wall?
What you've just watched is Danny Boldyrev, the Usain Bolt of speed climbing scale a 15m high wall in under 6 seconds. The Ukranian athlete posted this time back in 2014 at the IFSC World Championships in Gijon, Spain, making him officially the fastest climber in the world.
All competitive speed climbing records have to be recorded on an IFSC approved wall with the exact same set up of holds. The last couple of years have seen the world speed record getting chipped away and just last year an unofficial record of 5.578 was set by Czech climber Libor Hroza. It makes you wonder just how much faster these guys can get.