International rock climbing experts converge at UC

29 November 2011

Rock climbing researchers from around the world have converged at the University of Canterbury's College of Education this week for the first International Rock Climbing Research Congress.

Rock climbing researchers from around the world have converged at the University of Canterbury’s College of Education this week for the first International Rock Climbing Research Congress.

Event organiser Dr Nick Draper (Sciences and Physical Education) said the event is a great opportunity for rock-climbing researchers from around the world to get together, discuss their research and to plan future collaborations.

“Sampling some of Canterbury’s greatest outdoor adventure spots is a very attractive bonus,” he said.

The congress features expert keynote speakers presenting on subjects including acute injuries to the hand in rock climbers, rock climbing and environmental education, personality characteristics of alpine climbers and BASE jumpers and the accidents they have and the psycho-physiological demands of rock climbing.

“The Congress is the first of its kind in more than a decade and it is long overdue.  Research in the field of rock climbing has increased dramatically since the last similar event. While this is a smaller gathering than some research conferences, we believe those attending are getting a great deal out of it,” said Dr Draper.

Professor Franz ‘Tino’ Fuss from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at RMIT University, Melbourne, is one of the keynote speakers. Professor Fuss is a specialist in sports equipment innovation, design and testing. He will speak on advanced performance analysis in sport climbing with instrumented holds and walls, graphical visualisation of performance parameters and possible applications for objectively quantifying route difficulty.

Other keynote speakers include Professor Will Hopkins, Professor of Exercise Science in the School of Sport and Recreation at AUT University, Auckland and a world expert in the field of magnitude based inferenceAssociate Professor William Helton from the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury whose current research is focusing on human factors issues in search and rescue, including high-angle search and rescue and Dr Erik Monasterio, a forensic psychiatrist and Senior Clinical Lecturer with the University of Otago, Christchurch School of Clinical Medicine. Before completing his specialist training Dr Monasterio spent many years mountaineering and mountain guiding in all the major mountain chains of the world.

In addition to the keynote addresses and presentations, attendees are engaging in various optional activities, including indoor and outdoor rock climbing, mountain biking and a field trip to Bealey Spur. On the final day of the congress (Friday 2 December) attendees at the research congress will go to Akaroa for a very New Zealand-style congress dinner - fish and chips on the waterfront.

For more information on the International Rock Climbing Research Congress visit

For more information please contact:
Jacquie Walters
Public Relations Consultant
University of Canterbury
Ph: 027 503 0168

UC Connect

Public talk: pandemic lessons on healthcare, tech & reality

Learn about marketing medicine and lessons on healthcare, technology and reality in a pandemic from international experts at their upcoming public ...


UC team smashing City2Surf

The University’s community came together to participate in Ōtautahi Christchurch’s famous City2Surf race over the weekend.