Rock climbing traditions


Roxanne Holden, Katherine Adelman, Max Barrett, and Henry Chamberlin examined the folklore associated with modern American rock climbing. The climbing community started in the 60s as a counterculture movement. The community is growing exponentially as the popularity of the sport increases. The community stays connected through social media, climbing together, and competitions. The folklore we collected falls into three main categories: climbing vernacular, climbing status symbols, and beliefs. These categories are prevalent in many different places in the world but vary based on cultural identity and language, so we chose to narrow our view to modern American climbing folklore. The functions of the folklore we collected were reinforcing group identity, values, hierarchy, and promoting bonding. A wide range of climbers were interviewed for this project. Most of the people interviewed were in their 20s and have been climbing for a couple of years. 


Modern American Climbing Folklore Presentation



  • Roxanne Holden
  • Katherine Adelman
  • Max Barrett
  • Henry Chamberlin


  • Rock Climbing
  • Dartmouth Mountaineering Club
  • Status Symbols
  • Vernacular Folklore
  • Customary Folklore