The third branch of competition climbing is speed climbing. A single speed climbing route is set and regulated to be identical at all facilities that offer it, allowing athletes across the globe to train on an even playing field. Bouldering, lead, and speed competition climbing are regulated by the International Federation of Sport Climbing.
Free climbing refers to any type of moves executed under the climbers’ own power to gain upward progress. Free climbers often use ropes and gear to top rope or lead climb but these are not explicitly required.
Bouldering is a branch of climbing that is centered purely on movement.
While only climbing shoes and chalk are necessary, most people use crash pads to absorb the impact of a fall. Boulderers mitigate the risk of climbing without a rope by placing their crash pads in expected fall zones, and using spotters. When climbing outdoors, sending a boulder problem typically requires that the climber mount the boulder, known as “topping out”, after following the specified path.