fueled by the climb

Do you know all the ways petroleum helps climbers reach their summit — no matter the altitude or conditions?

Do you know all the ways petroleum helps climbers reach their summit — no matter the altitude or conditions?

What was once a fringe sport, climbing has become a very popular pastime. Some researchers have said climbing is one of the best total-body workouts on the planet because it demands a complex series of physical movements that simultaneously confront muscle memory and cardio fitness.

No matter the kind of climber you are — hittin’ an indoor gym across town or free soloing from Half Dome — petroleum fuels the experience.

The cool thing about climbing is that there are so many different approaches to the sport — alpine climbing, mountaineering, bouldering and cragging. But The New York Times says indoor is the most popular iteration in America. There are several hundred climbing gyms with manufactured walls constructed out of materials such as fiberglass, as well as plywood, granite, concrete and steel.

And affixed to every climbing surface are synthetic climb holds, which are made out of lightweight yet durable polyurethane resin. Inflatable and easily transportable nylon climbing walls have also become popular at public events, music festivals and college campuses. No matter what environment climbers choose to take on, one thing that unites them: petroleum-based gear.

Did you realize just how much climbers rely on petroleum-powered gear? The list includes:

  • Chalk bag
  • Climbing shoes
  • First-aid kit
  • Gloves
  • Harness
  • Headlamp
  • Helmet
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Moisture-wicking synthetic clothes (shirts, pants or shorts)
  • Polyresin and polyurethane climb holds
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Rope
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottles (or a wearable hydration pack)