Outdoor rock climbing is more of a group sport than a solo sport. While there are no defined teams in rock climbing, climbers usually take on natural rock formations in small or large groups.
The activity involves considerable risks, and attempting to do it alone in secluded spots can lead to even fatal injuries. Climbers interact with each other and share strategies even while climbing or bouldering.
Rock climbers depend on factors like physical strength and flexibility to complete the climb. Experts believe that climbers with a positive ape index have an advantage over climbers with negative and neutral indexes. An ape index calculator can help you calculate your ape index accurately.
Significance of Ape Index in Climbing
Your ape index refers to your arm length or wingspan length relative to your body height. If your wingspan length is more than your height, then you have a positive ape index. Apes, gorillas, and several other animals who are efficient climbers have positive wingspans.
Studies show that animals with negative or neutral ape indices are not excellent climbers. People with longer arms can reach higher than others. Therefore experts believe that people with positive ape indices find it easier to scale natural rock formations.
However, the climber’s muscle mass and strength should match the ape index. Climbers balance their body weight on their arms while climbing up and down rock formations. Inadequate physical strength can lead to severe issues like ligament tears and joint dislocations. Climbers with positive gorilla indices also have more freedom and flexibility to carry out complicated moves and scale challenging routes.
Studies show that even climbers who are the same height could have different ape indices. Rock climbers sometimes create formations while climbing. The formations enhance safety and speed while climbing. Most elite rock climbers have ape indices that are equal to or greater than 1.
Measuring Ape Index
There are two distinct methods to calculate a person’s ape index. Alternatively, you can use an efficient ape index calculator to compute the index precisely.
Wingspan to Height Ratio
To compute the ape index using this method, you should first measure your wingspan. The second step is to divide the wingspan with your height. For example, if your wingspan is 70 inches and your height is 68 inches, your ape index is 1.05 inches. Most people have neutral or positive wingspans.
Wingspan to Height Difference
To compute your ape index using this method, you may first measure your wingspan and measure your height. Your ape index is the difference between your height and wingspan. Computing your ape index will help you decide on which climbing strategies and formations will work best for you.
There are close to 10 million rock-climbing participants in the US. Most people have an ape index equal to 1. This means that their wingspan is equal to their height. Studies also show that climbers with short fingers have an advantage over climbers with long fingers.
Rock climbing or bouldering has several physical and mental health benefits. However, bouldering is a potentially dangerous sport. Knowing your ape index and having well-thought-out strategies for bouldering can help improve your climbing efficiency and safety.