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Rock Climbing in Sri Lanka

Uncover Sri Lanka

Types of Rock Climbing

Rock climbing in Sri Lanka starts with decide on what you really want to do based on your liking, physical ability and skill level. Knowing the different terminology will help you find exactly what you want to do during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Free Climbing:

Free-climbing refers to the act of climbing the rock face without using the ropes, protection, webbing and other equipment to assist or “aid” the ascent of the rock. When free climbing climbers use ropes and gear, but only to protect themselves in the event of a fall.  Free-climbing is essentially what all climbers are doing when they are physically climbing with only their own physical skills to get them up the rock.

Aid Climbing: 

Is a term applied when climbers decide to use gear, slings, or other devices to bear their weight while ascending the rock. Aid climbing is a typical practice for “Big Walls”, or routes that are so long in length that there are multiple sections that the climber cannot physically “free-climb”.

Traditional Climbing: 

Traditional climbing, or “Trad” climbing, refers to climbing natural cracks or features on the rock face, in which the climber can place removable protection in order to protect the ascent. Traditional climbing requires the climber to use gear such as camming devices and wired stoppers, to temporarily place in the rock to protect them if they fall.

Sport Climbing: 

Sport climbing is probably the most popular type of rock climbing. This term refers to a rock face that has pre-placed bolts in the rock, in which the climber can simply clip as they move past them to protect a potential fall.


Bouldering is probably the fastest growing sector of the rock climbing community. This is mostly due to the simplicity and low cost of getting into this activity and the accessibility and amount of climbable boulders. All you need for bouldering is a crash pad, shoes and a chalk bag. The act of bouldering refers to anytime a climber, without a rope, climbs up a large boulder or face.


Free-soloing is what a non-climber would typically mistake as “free climbing”. Free-soloing is the ascension of a route without a rope or any protection. A fall during free-soloing could result in death. This is an aspect of the sport that should be reserved for only the most daring and experienced individuals.

Why Rock Climbing in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a ideal place to experience rock climbing as the country has loads of natural rock formations. These rock formations are surrounded by beautiful surroundings such as lush green forests and exotic wild animals.  In Sri Lanka you will find various established climbing routes around the country. Some are sport climbing routes while most are traditional.

For the adventure seeking experienced professional, there are may challenging mountain peaks and waterfalls one could attempt to take on.

Popular Rock Climbing Locations

Adam’s Peak

Adams peak Sri lanka 1Adams peak Trail Sri LankaAdams peak Sri Lanka 2

Adam’s Peak is a 2,243 m (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, i.e., “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) rock formation near the summit, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Islamic and Christian tradition that of Adam, or that of St. Thomas.

The difficulty of climbing Adam’s peak is considered easy to moderate and it will take you 5 to 10 hours to complete the climb. The best time to climb will be between January and May.

There are several roads one can choose to take

  1. Hatton road via Hatton ,Maskeliya, Nallathanniya ( this is the most popular and easiest route to take)
  2. Kuruwita road
  3. Rathnapura road via Siripagama
  4. Malibada road via Daraniyagala, Ihala Malibada
  5. Balangoda (may be it takes 4 days to travel via mountain)



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