Introduction to bouldering
Mark Baker defined bouldering as 'climbing on relatively short sections of cliffs, boulders and walls usually less than 4 metres in height, without the use of safety equipment such as climbing harnesses, ropes and helmets.'
John Sherman described it as 'The most sensual discipline of climbing, which involves explosive and powerful movement requiring strength and power but also the ability to have the body in tune with the rock.'
Bouldering normally takes place on overhanging rocks, boulders, and sections of cliff or on specifically manufactured panels known as 'boards', where the emphasis is on the 'move'.
Reasons to go bouldering
- Highly social activity allowing groups of climbers to enjoy each other's highs and lows.
- Unlike other climbing disciplines, bouldering promotes interaction between climbers of all abilities, as there is often many types of climbing in the same area.
- Bouldering incorporates all aspects of climbing, both the physical and the mental.
- Some see bouldering as the purest form of climbing - without the restriction (or aid) of a rope or any other equipment.
- You can just go out either alone or in a large group.
Andrew Earl is a professional climber and climbing coach for regional and national teams. For many years he has been at the forefront of the British climbing scene. Andrew was British Bouldering Champion for three consecutive years, competed for Great Britain at international level for 5 years and was winner of the 2007 World Cup round in La Reunion.
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