Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Rock climbing in Czech Paradise: Historical development of the frequency of traditional ascents at selected sandstone towers

David Chaloupsky



Sandstone rock climbing in Geopark Czech Paradise. Overcrowded by climbers or sustainable?  The main aim of the research is to analyse the frequency of rock climbing ascents on sandstone rocks in the Prachov Rocks in Czech Paradise from the year 1944 till now. In quantitative research were processed data acquired from summit books, which are installed on the top of each individual sandstone tower, and from older archived summits books. For the latest records it was necessary to ascend each tower and process the data straight in the field. Over 23 000 records were evaluated in total. The most frequently climbed towers with routes of different levels of difficulty were selected intentionally, because they provide comprehensive archival records. The research proved that the frequency of ascents increased rapidly in the early 60s. The period 1969-89 can be regarded as a peak frequency of climbs. The ascents each year exceed the number 600. Maximum in 1979 was 1022 ascents, minimum 631 in 1989. Further developments had a downward trend and the number of outputs was moving around the values of 500 per year. The rise can be observed since 2009 till recent, when the value fluctuate around 640 ascends per year. The hypothesis, that there is a continuous increase in the frequency of climbing towards the present, has not been confirmed. This work shows that rock climbing does not load local rocks in recent days more than in the past.


climbing ascent, history, geopark, tourism management


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