Get a Grip!
You have to be strong to be a rock climber, but that’s not all it takes. You also have to know about gravity and friction and how to use them to your advantage.
Why It Matters
- Maybe you’ve never gone rock climbing but would like to try it. Or maybe you’re already an experienced climber.
- Regardless of your rock-climbing status, it’s unlikely you can do the amazing rock-climbing feats that Brooke Radoutou does with such apparent ease. The daughter of two world-class rock climbers, Brooke started climbing around the same time she learned to walk. She’s already shattered several world records, and she’s only 11 years old!
- You can see her awesome rock-climbing technique in this video:
- Brooke makes rock climbing look easy because she knows how to use gravity and friction to her advantage.
- You can learn some tips for using these forces while rock climbing by watching this video:
Can You Apply It?
With the links below, learn more about gravity, friction, and rock climbing. Then answer the following questions.
- What is gravity? What is the center of gravity?
- Where is the center of gravity of the human body? When you move your arms of legs, what happens to your center of gravity?
- How does knowing the location of your center of gravity help you rock climb?
- When rock climbing, you should try to keep the side of your body turned toward the rock wall. Explain why.
- What force allows your hands and feet to cling to holds without slipping? Why do you think that climbers put powdered chalk on their hands?
- What is the technique called smear? What force does it use to help counter gravity?