“To me onsight climbing is the ultimate, the perfection; it’s putting it all together and making the best ascent you can on a route” - Lynn Hill
We are often asked by people unfamiliar with rock climbing what the word “onsight” means. We wanted to take a moment to explain the terminology and reasoning behind using it in the name of our climbing gym.
Onsight (noun or verb): A successful lead ascent of a climbing route on the first attempt, without falling or resting on the rope, and without any prior knowledge or specific information about the route.
An onsight is the purest form of ascent and the ultimate test of climbing mastery. A climber who is attempting to onsight a climb does not know where the difficult sections are or what moves might be used to get through them. The climber must rely solely on their own climbing skill, mental aptitude, and physical ability to climb the route while quickly solving difficult crux sections and intricate sequences as they arise. One wrong hold, a foot slip, or a mistake in a particular sequence could cost the climber the onsight.
In many ways, an onsight of a route translates well to the creation of Onsight Rock Gym. In a project of this magnitude, there are many unforeseen challenges and seemingly impossible cruxes to surmount along the way. The Onsight team will continue to meet and overcome each crux using our combined skills, mental perseverance, and unwavering determination. We will continue to push onward and upward to build the best climbing gym possible for the Knoxville community.