Rope Access Technicians and other workers who use PMI ropes to access their workspaces generally know quite a bit about Rock Climbing. Not all Rock Climbers know about Rope Access.  Here are some fun and general differences between Rock Climbing and Rope Access. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule!


Rock Climbers use dynamic rope, which has a lot of stretch, to absorb the impact of big falls

Rope Access Technicians use two ropes at a time; they are suspended from one, while the other provides a safety backup. These ropes don’t have much stretch.

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Rock Climbers use a technique called lead climbing, moving past anchors as they place them. If they fall, they can really take a whipper.

Rope Access Technicians typically rig secure anchors above the work they’re doing.

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Rock Climbers use lightweight seat harnesses.

Rope Access Technicians  use full body harnesses.

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Rock Climbing is a sport.

Rope Access is work, but not usually done behind a desk.

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What other differences can you think of? 

Feel free to share in comments!