Advanced bouldering techniques - jumping problems
Jumping is an exciting way to play with the rock. It offers high adrenaline action and great potential for new problems and challenges in areas previously thought to be worked out.
Jumping a problem (bouldering route) is a quirky, but fun, extension of bouldering that takes dynamic principles to the extreme. Basically it is just a jump from a hands-off position to a handhold or to another hands-off position. This may be between boulders in Fontainbleu, between towers in the Czech Republic or the ledges on El Capitan. Jumping problems offers a new way to enjoy the rock and is a potential key to unlocking many free climbing treasures in the cliffs.
Jumping is a potential key to unlocking many free climbing treasures in the cliffs.
Look before you leap
Jumping problems can be dangerous. It is very easy to pull a hamstring, twist an ankle or even lose a tooth! Be aware of this before you leap. Practise over small gaps before building up to bigger gaps. Do warm up well, especially if you are attempting a jump that will obviously put strain on your body.
Falling with style
Refer to the Spotting and High ball problem article within this Bouldering sections for tips on safe falling. If you are a long way off the ground use a rope.
Jumping problems revolves around focus and commitment. The focus required to overcome your fear as you build up to the moment of commitment releases an intense rush of adrenaline. The moment you commit it is all over whether you make it or not. If you do make it obviously you will be pleased but the real fun in this game comes from overcoming mental barriers not clearing big gaps.
- Check and prepare everything before you start thinking about the actual jump.
- It is important to judge the distance of the jump accurately.
- You must be in control and anticipating the impact when you land.
- Make sure you are familiar with the position you are going to land in.
- If necessary go round and feel your landing position and holds before you leap.
- When building up to jump, focus on your destination hold and go as soon as possible.
- If you keep psyching-out it's probably your subconscious mind telling you this is not a good idea(!)
- Jump with absolute conviction. 'Bottling it' after you commit will inevitably end in failure.
- Some people may laugh at your pointless antics. If they do, ask them why they climb.