The Mystery Of Bouldering

Clever, Ally. She’s knows the way to a man’s heart is through tasty Mapo Tofu!

I must admit, the scene depicted in panel 2 is pretty much exactly what I thought of when I first heard the term, “bouldering.” Bouldering is awful damn fun, although it can be really intimidating the first few times you approach a big ass rock. Gym climbing is a fairly safe introduction to climbing. It’s a controlled environment, the floors are well padded, and the people are generally supportive of newbies.

When you look up climbing on the YouTubes, you’ll see a lot of climber guys and girls doing some crazy sick moves on really shitty rocks with holds that are almost invisible in exotic locations that you’ll never get a chance to visit. You almost never get to see a well produced video about gym climbing which is why this short by Big Up Productions is so awesome. Of course, it doesn’t quite capture the noises and smells of a busy gym on any given night, but it’s a really great intro to gym climbing. I highly recommend it and this is coming from someone who’s deathly afraid of heights.

  • DanL

    So does this mean you actually are a climber or just know a ton? BTW if yes, what gym do you go to?

    Local to DC so I think I know most of the ones around..

  • Jamie

    Yuppers! Though I’m still too chicken shit to take a lead class. We climb at Earthtreks Rockville, usually Thursdays.

  • Kaji

    Last time I saw one of those climbing walls I really wanted to climb it but I didn’t want to be beaten to the top by a small girl. So I didn’t.

  • Jamie

    @Kaji, yeah, those little girls can freaking climb some insane shit. It’s annoying to see 12 year olds climbing routes rated higher than their age. Makes me wish I started climbing earlier.

  • Drezz

    I went to a film festival a couple of years ago that showcased the best short movies featuring man and the surrounding environment – they had some wicked flicks about river kayaking, mountain biking, extreme climbers, and there was a great segment on bouldering.

    This lady would drag her friend out to these boulders out in Colorado at daybreak, and she would scale while he sat below with this pad that looked like a mini mattress in the event she fell. The rocks she went up were absolutely nuts.

    At first I was thinking – big deal, a boulder – and then watching her shimmy around and muscle her way up, I was thoroughly impressed. I wish I had the finger and upper forearm strength that some of those people have. You need a hell of a grip for climbing.

  • DisposablePal

    looks fun but i get dizzy standing on a chair, i’d probably pass out trying to climb a wall. Stupid brain and its fears.

  • Jamie

    @Drezz, do you happen to recall the name of the short? Sounds awesome! Also, I hope the dude was a climber as well cause it would kinda suck to just sit on the crashpad all day.

    @DisposablePal, I was terribly afraid of heights when I first gave it a try. And to tell the truth, I’m still well afraid of heights. There are some climbs that I just won’t do. But it gets better the more I go.

  • Shawn Handyside

    Rock climbing without gear? That sounds like a bad idea… don’t a lot of people die just from normal rock climbing? >____>

  • Jamie

    @Shawn, the typical bouldering problem (bouldering “routes” are called “problems”) doesn’t go much higher that 10-12ft. So even if you fall off, a regular crash pad will protect your parts. The gym we climb back in the bouldering area, no problem goes above 12ft.

    Now the crazy fucks who do high ball bouldering that goes up 30-50ft., that shit will break you. Are you going to Intervention? Maybe we can organize a climbing trip!!

  • Drezz

    I wish I could remember the name of the short – it was part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, but since it was a traveling tour, the lineup changed from venue to venue. As for the dude on the crashpad, I think it was her coach helping get back into form after an injury or something.

    You should definitely check out the flicks they showcase – amazing stuff.

  • Anon.

    It appears all the cool kids want puppy cows now. Congratulations on getting halfway to your bovanine goal!

  • Jamie

    Slowly but surely. Thanks @Anon!