The 6 Weirdest (and Funnest) Climbing Games of All Time

Forget slacklining. Meet the most creative rainy day games ever.

Is the rock wet? Are spirits low? Do you have 36 milk crates laying around? Perfect. Let the faux-climbing competitions begin.

Suspended Sock Wrestling

For this game, you need two pairs of feet and one pair of woolies. Each contender begins wearing one sock. The victor is whoever emerges with two. The ancient Greeks would have participated in this noble test of strength if only they’d had socks. Conceivably, you can play this game on the floor, but why would you do that when you can suspend the competitors in their harnesses from overhanging bolts, rafters, or beams. Bring friends; this is a spectator sport.

Crate Stacking

Your goal is to ascend a tower made only of milk crates while building it underneath you, using the handles as toeholds. You’ll want a top rope for this one. Have a third party (not your belayer, who will have his hands full) toss crates, ferry by stick clip, or hoist them up to you on an adjacent top rope. Where people get dozens of milk crates these days, we have no idea. We suspect obtaining them isn’t a task for the faint of heart or the lactose intolerant. If you can’t find crates, you could just watch a few of the thousands of videos of crate stacking on the internet. Why so many?

Pad Stacking

Resembling a mix between life-size Jenga and an incredibly tense pillow fight stalemate, crash pad stacking is fairly similar to crate stacking. The differences? Worse footing, more awkward straddling technique, and way more expensive building materials. This is presumably what happens when boulderers see a rope for the first time.

The Chair Traverse

Your goal is to complete the traverse without breaking yourself or the furniture. Start in a seated position. Dive forward until your head is between your knees like you’re about to throw up in elementary school assembly and you’re in the middle bleacher. Rearrange so that your knees are on the seat and your head is underneath the chair, examining any gum stuck to the bottom. After contemplating the Double Bubble or lack thereof, reach out and up to the headrest of the chair and pull yourself through. Dabbing strictly prohibited. Heckling encouraged.

The Table Traverse

Similar to the chair traverse, you’ll want to start on top and end on top, but you’ll be employing a little more spanning technique and a lot more heel hooking. What goes on in between is completely up to you. Pro tip: Clear the beer pong setup before you start slapping around.


Arborists get up to all kinds of crazy shenanigans to prove their prowess, and the Secured Footlock is one of them. Attached to a rope by a prusik hitch or hand ascender (and on belay) competitors haul ass up the rope as fast as possible, wrapping one foot under the hanging strand of rope and standing up on it with the opposite foot to gain traction. Traditionally, competitors climb 15 meters (12 for women), often into a tree. The world record belongs to a Kiwi, who cinched a 15m win in 13.65 seconds in 2011.

Do you have any good [rainy-day/campfire/downtime] climber games? Add them to the comments below.

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