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Free Solo Climbing

Free solo climbing is a form of rock climbing performed without the use of ropes or a harness.. This form of climbing is considered free-form, as the climber has complete freedom in their chosen route and movements. Unlike bouldering, solo walls or natural cliffs are high above the ground and falls may therefore be fatal. Consequently, this form of rock climbing can be extremely dangerous and is often reserved for experienced, bold climbers. In outdoor settings, points of contact are often unpredictable and navigation requires pre-planning. Participants may therefore climb a route first with a rope to plan and memorize their movements, before replicating these during a solo-climb. Participants usually wear climbing shoes that are light-weight and fitted around the foot to make climbing maneuvers easier, and carry a bag of chalk to maintain grip.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Free solo climbing occurred during mountaineering expeditions as early as the 1400s. As a sport, solo climbing has existed since at least 1950. Its arrival to Canada is unknown, although climbing clubs have existed since the 1970s.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Indoor competitive and recreational solo climbing occurs year round in the GTA, while outdoor climbing usually occurs between the spring and fall.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Basecamp Climbing; Toronto Climbing Academy; The Rock Oasis Climbing Gym

Cultural Significance


Is there anything else we should know?



  • Basecamp Climbing
    677 Bloor St W
    Toronto, ON M6G 1L3
  • Toronto Climbing Academy
    11 Curity Ave
    East York, ON M4B 1X4
  • The Rock Oasis Climbing Gym
    388 Carlaw Ave
    Toronto, ON M4M 2T4
  • Scarborough Bluffs
    7 Brimley Rd South
    Scarborough, ON M1M 3W3

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