What is Bouldering?
Bouldering is a style of climbing emphasizing power, strength, and dynamics movements. Its focus is on individual moves or short sequences of moves, unlike traditional climbing or sport climbing which generally demand more endurance over longer stretches of rock where the difficulty of individual moves is not as great. Boulder routes are commonly referred to as problems, because the nature of the climb is often short, curious, and much like problem solving.
To reduce the risk of injury from a fall, climbers rarely go higher than 10 above thto 15 feet off ground. Anything over 20 feet is generally considered to be free-soloing (or simply ‘soloing’), although such climbs might also be termed high-ball bouldering problems. For further protection, climbers typically put a bouldering mat (crash pad) on the ground to break their fall. Lastly, climbers often have one or more spotters, who work to direct the climber’s body toward the crash pad during a fall, while protecting the climber’s head from hazards.
What equipment do I need to boulder?
One of the major appeals of bouldering it requires very little equipment. It is not uncommon to see people bouldering with shoes, a chalkbag, and a small mat to wipe their feet on. Although nothing is actually required, common equipment includes:
- Loose, powdered chalk and chalk bag as a hand drying agent while climbing.
- Climbing shoes, for better traction and edging capabilities.
- A bouldering crash pad (for climbing outside).
Safety Requirements for Bouldering
- Use a ‘spotter’ for difficult moves.
- Position foam crash pads beneath crux moves to cushion a potential fall.
- No Bouldering higher than 10 feet on the roped walls.
- Do not boulder underneath another climber.
- Never move mats being used by someone who is climbing.
- Do not boulder in areas of heavy top-rope and lead climbing.
- All Children under the age of 13 must be supervised by and adult.
- Please do not sit on the crash pads or underneath the bouldering walls.
- Climbers should always assess their comfort level in spotting another climber, or in being spotted. Nobody is ever obligated to spot!
Personal Responsibility. All Climbers and Boulderers are informed that climbing is inherently dangerous and can result in injury. All participants must be willing to take personal responsibility for their own safety.
Top Roping and Sport Climbing
Top-Roping is a style in climbing in which a rope, used for the climber’s safety, runs from a belayer at the foot of a route through one or more carabiners connected to an anchor system at the top of the route and back down to the climber, attaching to the climber by means of a harness. Assuming that the route is predominantly bottom-to-top; that the anchor holds; and that the belayer pays attention, the top-rope climber generally will not fall more than a short distance and can thus safely attempt even the most difficult routes.
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