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When I acquired the climbing axe, I tried climbing my first wall. Easy enough, just do as the game says: approach a wall, jump, hit the use/action key (E on the PC version) to attach to it, then move with the directional keys/buttons.

As an experiment, I tried jumping mid-climb, while still holding up/forward to keep myself against the wall, then hitting use/action again to reattach to the wall. Jumping seems to cover a significantly greater distance in the same amount of time than climbing normally, so whenever I need to climb straight up I just spam jump and E over and over again. Even if I need to move in another direction I imagine I can just do the same, only in that direction instead of up.

Now, there's a skill called Climber's Agility which I've gone ahead and mastered, which says:

Increase your climbing skills to traverse the environment with more speed and resist falling damage.

This would imply that the skill increases my climbing speed, but does anybody know if it's faster than the spamming-jump-and-reattach technique, if it makes no difference (i.e. spamming is still faster), or if it even speeds that up?

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I could time my climbs manually, but I'm not sure how I can record accurately. – BoltClock Mar 14 '13 at 22:13
As far as I can tell, you don't climb any faster than you did without that skill. Your movement speed felt roughly the same. – Jeff Mercado Mar 15 '13 at 3:38
It seems like, for the straight paths at least, jump climbing is faster than normal climbing. It's one of those where you have to kind of weigh the risks, though. The climbing axe is occasionally buggy, so you may miss a grab and fall to your death. – Fluttershy Mar 16 '13 at 16:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The skill doesn't really increase normal climbing speed all that much, and given that jumping basically means you're not climbing with the axe but with jumps, the skill doesn't affect jump-climbing at all.

While this means it's still fastest to jump and reattach repeatedly, it's still worth learning the skill as it also increases your ability to withstand fall damage.

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