The Science of Climbing and Mountaineering: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Science of Climbing and Mountaineering

1st Edition

Edited by Ludovic Seifert, Peter Wolf, Andreas Schweizer


308 pages | 96 B/W Illus.

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This is the first book to explore in depth the science of climbing and mountaineering. Written by a team of leading international sport scientists, clinicians and climbing practitioners, it covers the full span of technical disciplines, including rock climbing, ice climbing, indoor climbing and mountaineering, across all scientific fields from physiology and biomechanics to history, psychology, medicine, motor control, skill acquisition, and engineering.

Striking a balance between theory and practice, this uniquely interdisciplinary study provides practical examples and illustrative data to demonstrate the strategies that can be adopted to promote safety, best practice, injury prevention, recovery and mental preparation. Divided into six parts, the book covers all essential aspects of the culture and science of climbing and mountaineering, including:

  • physiology and medicine
  • biomechanics
  • motor control and learning
  • psychology
  • equipment and technology.

Showcasing the latest cutting-edge research and demonstrating how science translates into practice, The Science of Climbing and Mountaineering is essential reading for all advanced students and researchers of sport science, biomechanics and skill acquisition, as well as all active climbers and adventure sport coaches.

Table of Contents

Preface (Ludovic Seifert, Peter Wolf and Andreas Schweizer) 1. A Cultural History of Mountaineering and Climbing (Olivier Hoibian) Section 1: Physiology 2. Physiology of Climbing (Luisa Giles and Jason Brandenburg) 3. Economy in Difficult Rock Climbing (Phillip Watts) Section 2: Medicine 4. Sport Climbing Related Injuries and Overuse Syndromes (Volker Rainer Schöffl and Andreas Schweizer) 5. High Altitude Medicine and Cold Effects in Mountaineering (Jean Paul Richalet and Emmanuel Cauchy) 6. Hypoxic Training (Grégoire Millet and Olivier Girard) Section 3: Biomechanics 7. Postural Regulation and Motion Simulation in Rock Climbing (Franck Quaine, Lionel Reveret, Simon Courtemanche and Paul Kry) 8. Grip Capabilities of Climbers' Hands and Fingers (Laurent Vigouroux) 9. Muscular Strength and Endurance in Climbers (Jiří Baláš) 10. Biomechanics of Ice Tool Swinging Movement (Annie Rouard, Thomas Robert and Ludovic Seifert) Section 4: Motor Control and Learning 11. How Expert Climbers Use Perception and Action During Successful Climbing Performance (Ludovic Seifert, Dominic Orth, Chris Button and Keith Davids) 12. What Current Research Tells Us About Skill Acquisition in Climbing (Dominic Orth, Chris Button, Keith, Davids and Ludovic Seifert) 13. Visual-Motor Skill in Climbing (Chris Button, Dominic Orth, Keith Davids and Ludovic Seifert) Section 5: Psychology 14. Climbing Grades – Systems and Subjectivity (Nick Draper) 15. Psychological Processes in the Sport of Climbing (Gareth Jones and Xavier Sanchez) 16. Exposure and Engagement in Mountaineering (Eric Brymer and Erik Monasterio) Section 6: Equipment, Technology and Safety Devices in Climbing 17. The Engineering of Climbing Equipment (Franz Konstantin Fuss and Peter Wolf) 18. Simul-Climbing Progression and Falls Analysis (Philippe Batoux)

About the Editors

Ludovic Seifert is Professor at the Faculty of Sport Sciences at the University of Rouen in France. He gained a PhD in expertise and coordination dynamics in swimming at the University of Rouen in 2003, then a certification to supervise research in 2010. He conducts his research in the field of motor learning and motor control. He is a mountain guide certified by IFMGA.

Peter Wolf studied sports engineering at the Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, and carried out his PhD thesis on foot biomechanics at the Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. For the last few years, he has been the Scientific Coordinator of the SMS-Lab, ETH Zurich. His research interests include (i) the design of sport simulators in virtual environments, (ii) the development of devices measuring performance in sports and motor learning and (iii) the establishment of augmented, real-time feedback displays facilitating motor learning of complex tasks.

Andreas Schweizer is Deputy Head of Hand Surgery at the Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. He is adept in wrist surgery, surgery on peripheral nerves, surgical treatment of hand fractures, ultrasound on the hand, and 3D computer aided analysis of malunions. Currently, he is also the medical advisor for the technical committee of the Swiss Alpine Club.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science

The Routledge Research in Sport and Exercise Science series is a showcase for cutting-edge research from across the sport and exercise sciences, including physiology, psychology, biomechanics, motor control, physical activity and health, and every core sub-discipline. Featuring the work of established and emerging scientists and practitioners from around the world, and covering the theoretical, investigative and applied dimensions of sport and exercise, this series is an important channel for new and ground-breaking research in the human movement sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Sports Medicine
SPORTS & RECREATION / Mountaineering