Perhaps it's instructive to start with what rock climbing is not: The hanging-by-a-pinky extreme pursuit depicted in Cliffhanger and Mountain Dew commercials. But for those with high reservoirs of physical and mental might, rock climbing may be the supreme all-at-once test of agility, endurance and balance. The sport is both technical and not: technical in the sense that technique matters, not technical in the sense that the ultimate goal is to get from here to there. Participants "win" by reaching the formation of a summit or the end of a pre-planned course ahead of their peers. Plus you gotta love the natural vistas and the echoes they sustain, which lend an awesomely reverberating twang to post-climb trash talk.