top of page

IRCRA Multi-Centre Trial

The assessment of climbers fitness, what constitutes fitness for climbers and which parameters are the most important for climbers have been a concern for climbers, coaches and researchers for many years.  Traditionally tests of climbing fitness have been developed in isolation by interested climbing groups, based on their perceptions of the key parameters of fitness for the sport. A number of these tests have been published in research journals or climbing magazines, while other have spread by word of mouth to be used by other groups.  Consequently, a widely agreed upon battery of tests to measure climbing-specific fitness remained to be developed.


The second International Rock Climbing Congress, held in Pontresina, Switzerland in September 2014, brought together many of the leading rock climbing researchers and a number of national coaches, providing an opportunity to discuss and start work on the development of a battery of climbing-specific tests for rock climbing.  This document provides details of the battery of climbing-specific tests, as well as associated experience and training questionnaires that can be used for future studies or for monitor the progress of climbers training for specific events or to improve their climbing fitness.


Members of the International Rock Climbing Research Association (IRCRA) have worked together to develop the battery of tests and the associated climber questionnaires.  A list of all those involved is provided at the end of this document, but thank you to all involved and also for those who will be members of the team who will complete a multicentre trial of these tests to evaluate further their validity and reliability for climbing.


Nick Draper


The aims of the IRCRA test battery and this multicentre trial are to:


  • Assess the validity of each of the tests in the battery to rock climbing – their sport-specificity

  • Evaluate the reliability of each tests in the battery for use in rock climbing to – assess the consistency of results

  • Examine the predictive potential of the tests individually and as a battery of tests for climbing

bottom of page