Instrumented Climbing Holds

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Climbing is still a fast growing competitive and recreational sport, attracting athletes of different age groups and with different aims who train regularly at artificial climbing walls mounted in an increasing number of indoor climbing gyms. Despite of the popularity of climbing, research on biomechanical aspects of climbing, and particularly the measurement of contact forces, is still in its infancy.

Picture shows Force development displayed on instrumented hold
Force development displayed on instrumented hold

Although contact forces between climber and hold have been emphasized as an important component in successful climbing, these forces have rarely been investigated. In our project, we aim to develop instrumentation that can measure contact forces at almost any type of hold to fully instrument a climbing route This instrumentation will contribute to a comprehensive performance analysis in climbing. In particular, we seek to quantify the characteristics of “perfect” climbing during common moves in order to formulate training objectives and in order to document progress in training.

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