rydra_wong: Angelica Lind stretches for a hold during a bouldering competition (climbing -- reach)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
An interesting article on spotting at indoor bouldering walls, and whether (and when) it's actually necessary:

The Climbing Business Journal: Should You Spot? Maybe Not.

It arrives at pretty much the same conclusion my bouldering friends and I seem to have: indoors, with a fully matted floor, you generally only need spotters for unusual moves where (for example) you might fall head-first or with a limb wedged in place.

(Outdoors, we have come up with complex multiple-spotter arrangements: one person here, one there to cover that rock, you drag the second mat round as soon as they've traversed across ...)
emperor: Photograph of me climbing. (climbing)
[personal profile] emperor
I'm probably the wrong person to plug this here, since I have yet to climb on a boulder outside [unless you want to count The Arete at Castle Naze :p ], but I saw the UKC Review of Boulder Britain by Niall Grimes, and thought it might be of interest to the pebble-climbers in this community ;-)

The review concludes:
For your local or favourite bouldering areas you will more than likely have a bouldering guidebook or phone app but Boulder Britian is essential if you like to travel to climb small rocks whether you wear a beanie or not. It is a beautiful well-crafted showcase to the high quality bouldering we have in the UK and within its pages is the information and inspiration for many great days out. How lucky we are.
rydra_wong: "i like to climb alot". The xkcd stick figure climbs up the side of Hyperbole and a Half's yak-like "alot." (climbing -- alot)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Yesterday was a southern sandstone day. So while I nurse my grazes and nettle stings and work on removing the amazing quantities of sand that made it back on the train with me, I thought I'd post some of the things I've learned about outdoor climbing so far, for anyone else who's working on the great indoor-to-outdoor transition.

Should you wish, you can amuse yourself by guessing how many of these I learned the hard way (hint: most of them).

If you've got tips of your own (re: bouldering or route-climbing), please share in the comments.

Check the downclimb.

Indoor bouldering does not prepare you to think about downclimbing once you've sent a problem. Some boulders outdoors have nice gentle slopes on the other side that you can walk off; some are short enough that you can jump comfortably onto the ground, even without a mat below you.

Some don't and aren't.

Cut for length )
rydra_wong: stick figure on an indoor climbing wall -- base image taken from the webcomic xkcd (climbing -- xkcd)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
My favourite climbing wall, the Arch near London Bridge, has expanded into the railway arch next door; they opened the new section today. I promised [personal profile] juliet a write-up, so here goes.

Cut because this is probably not going to be of interest to anyone outside London, unless they're particularly entertained by hearing about my adventures.

Also cut because possibly I may have had too much espresso and am babbling )
rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Climbing in London is a weird business, since there's a notable shortage of actual rock in the vicinity.

I've been climbing indoors for a couple of years now, but have never managed to make it outside -- all my attempts to organize a trip or tag along on someone else's have been foiled for reasons ranging from "someone forgot to e-mail me" through "sprained ankle" to "five months in hospital". I was starting to suspect that the universe was conspiring to ensure I never made it outside.

A couple of weeks back, I finally snapped. I looked at the weather forecasts, decided this might be my last chance this year, and cadged a lift down to Bowles Rocks on my own.

Cut for length )
ingo: a suave skeletal sleuth (skullduggery)
[personal profile] ingo
This is a really daft post, but I kind of need some gentle hand-holding.

I've been indoor climbing twice, with a partner, harness & ropes. I enjoyed it a lot, and there's one particularly tricksy looking climb I want to do--there are no holds! You're climbing inside a walled-up triangular shape and have to brace your back against the wall behind you so you can 'walk' up the wall in front! My friend could not complete it when he tried! I am DYING to try it! I am a leggy person, rather than an arm person, and it reminds me an awful lot of the way I used to climb up door frames and the like when I was a kid.

BUT that's not the point of this post.

I really want to go more regularly, but the trouble is that I can't just up and go climbing when the fancy takes me because I don't always have a partner available. I would like to go right now, but there is nobody to belay for me and due to anxiety issues, I'm not up to asking total strangers.

But! The climbing gym near me has a BOULDERING CAVE. Apart from sounding awesome, this could be the answer to my problems. Except I have this little Thing about trying new things on my own in public where people can see me. I need to plan every new expedition with military precision or it's a no-go.

So, here are some stupid questions about bouldering:

1) When you go bouldering, do you just... turn up and start climbing? I'm really used to the harness and rope combination so find the thought of going without a bit intimidating.

2) I wear glasses. Am I likely to break them if I fall? If I take them off, I won't be able to see clearly enough to plan a route in advance.

3) Are you able to do it solo, or is the gym going to turn me away for being on my bill?

4) If you are comfortable doing so, please describe your first ever bouldering experience in EXCRUCIATING step-by-step detail!

5) Does anyone else want to turn their entire house into their own private rock climbing gym? Or is that just me?
rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via UKclimbing.com:

Alex Puccio rocks out on The Centaur, V12

(Excuse me, I'll just be ogling admiring her arm muscles for a while. *fans self*)
rydra_wong: Angelica Lind stretches for a hold during a bouldering competition (climbing -- reach)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
As promised, the write-up.

Okay, context. Two things you should know:

*The Arch is a small bouldering wall, which is noted for creative route-setting and a chilled-out and friendly atmosphere.

*I hate sporting events and competitions. I have never taken part in one except under duress, by which I mean school.

And I didn't plan on doing this one -- I don't like pressure, and I like being able to spend ages working quietly on a bouldering problem. And given my Asperger's and sensory issues, crowds and noise are not my friends.

But I was talked into it at the last minute by one of the Arch staff, who knows my issues and nevertheless thought it'd be manageable and I might enjoy it. He promised me that there'd be lots of easy problems, and that I didn't even have to turn in my scoresheet if I didn't want to.

I decided that I'd count it as an achievement if I participated at all, and that if I joined in, did one problem, and didn't run out of the door screaming, I'd declare a victory.

Cut for length )
rydra_wong: stick figure on an indoor climbing wall -- base image taken from the webcomic xkcd (climbing -- xkcd)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I woke up today and I was stiffer than I've ever been since my first climbing session.

I did my full set of stretches after I finished climbing in the comp yesterday, and dumped myself in a hot bath when I got home, so I don't know what happened there.

Apparently adrenaline makes me pull harder.

It's the good kind of stiffness/soreness, no strains or damage, but WOW.
rydra_wong: Angelica Lind stretches for a hold during a bouldering competition (climbing -- reach)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I went to my first ever bouldering comp! I competed! I did not make my tweaky finger any worse! I did way, way better than I expected! I had ridiculous amounts of fun! I cheered wildly for everyone in the finals! It was fucking fantastic!

More detailed write-up to occur once I've decompressed and calmed down a bit.

(I stayed in a place full of people interacting for over seven hours, holy crap. For me, that may actually be the most remarkable achievement of the whole event.)
rydra_wong: stick figure on an indoor climbing wall -- base image taken from the webcomic xkcd (climbing -- xkcd)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I just registered for my first bouldering competition.

Okay, it's really not a big deal; it's a friendly comp-and-barbecue at the wall where I usually climb, and I have been promised that there will be easy problems, so my cunning plan is to turn up, bumble around on some V0s and V1s, avoid tweaking my tweaky finger any further, and then eat food and watch the hardcore people in the finals.

Still. For me it's a big deal to voluntarily go somewhere where there will be lots of people and noise. So participating at all will be an achievement.

sixbeforelunch: a stylized woman's profile with the enterprise and a star field overlaid (p&p '05 - darcy & bingley)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
Does anyone here have experience with outdoor bouldering? Nature and climbing both being rather helpful to my mental health, I'd really love to combine the two, but I don't have the first idea where to start. I know that there are bouldering problems out there *waves in the general direction of the unpaved world* but I don't know how to find them or where to start with them or what sort of equipment I might need. (Crash pad, yes, but anything else?)

Help? (Help can come in the form of "Here's a book/website, go read it". I'm not averse to doing research.)


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