When most people think of rock climbing, they think about harnesses, ropes, and heights. As the sport has gained momentum over the last few years, and with more gyms popping up, a different style of climbing has become popular: “Bouldering.”
Bouldering is a type of climbing that doesn’t require a harness, a rope, or a partner. The “problems,” or routes, are often shorter, and protected by pads and mats. This style of climbing still requires strength, technique, and unconventional problem solving methods associated with roped climbing. It has gained popularity for its communal feel, as well as its accessibility.
Problems range in difficulty from V-0, the easiest, to V-15, the hardest in the world. Setters create boulder problems with a variety of intricate moves and sequences, with an intended “solution” to the problem. Many are drawn to the mental aspect of “beta-intensive” problem solving associated with this type of climbing. As the routes are shorter, they can often by more cryptic and challenging.
The way each person approaches a bouldering problem will depend on his or her height, strength, and technique. It is exciting to see how different climbers approach the same climbs, almost invariably finding their own “beta,” or solution, to a climb.
Bouldering is incredibly social; due to the short and sweet nature of each bouldering problem, there is more of an emphasis on groups. No, not like high school groups. We’re all climbers :). Its fun to discuss different “beta” for different climbs, and cheer on fellow climbers whether or not they reach the top.
Bouldering provides the climber with an incredible workout that isn’t available in other traditional training programs. The strength required to complete the more difficult climbs will leave even the most seasoned of climbers with an amazing workout from head to toe.
The Rock Club in New Rochelle, NY in Westchester County provides its patrons with over 100 bouldering routes for all levels. Stop by and experience bouldering for yourself.