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Granite

Definition of a Climbing Word

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Many of America's best climbing areas are composed of granite formations.

Brian Shelton tiptoes up a rough granite slab in the McDowell Mountains near Phoenix, Arizona.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green

Granite

Granite is a common intrusive igneous rock with a generally coarse and crystalline texture that widely occurs throughout the world.

Granite, usually an ancient rock that forms continents and mountain ranges, is an excellent medium for rock climbing with clean crack systems, face holds like chickenheads, and offers superlative friction for slab climbing. Some of the best climbing areas in the United States are composed of various types of granite, including Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Joshua Tree, Cochise Stronghold, Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain National Park, and Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges.

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