Extreme Sports Series – Bouldering

Bouldering is widely-known as the purest and rawest form of rock climbing. Athletes climb rock faces with no security ropes or harnesses. Starting from the floor, they test their skills with short climbing routes on specifically designed climbing walls that are at a low height, allowing the athlete to climb without a huge risk of injury from a fall. This form of climbing can be done without any equipment, but most will use climbing shoes and chalk to allow for extended climbing and completion of difficult routes.

Originally coming to life as a training method for roped climbs, bouldering has evolved throughout the 1900s to become a sport in itself. With athletes traveling from around the world to compete in the Bouldering World Championships. The competitions are split into three rounds; the qualifiers, semis and the finals. Each round is made up of five bouldering problems that feature a fixed time for completion. Competitors are then scored on the number of completed problems to become the champion. In the event of a draw, the competitors will be marked on the number of attempts on each problem.

The beauty of bouldering is that it can be done all around the globe with little risk. You don’t have to trust that someone has inserted the bolts correctly, or that your belayer is paying attention to your climb. You can just get out and climb the toughest of boulders and improve your climbing day in and day out.

See for yourself why bouldering is awesome:

If all this bouldering talk has you in the mood to give climbing a go for yourself, head down to your local climbing wall and get a walk through.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the extreme sports series at the same time next month.


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Alan Lund

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