Bouldering as an art form

I see Bouldering as an art form. By watching people climb you see that they have learned to use their bodies as well as the environment to get any mechanical advantage they can find. In some cases it requires the use of a leg wedged in to a space. In other situations it involves hanging upside down and in yet another context it requires leaping and hoping to grab the next hand hold.

The video above demonstrates the beauty of bouldering. It would be easy just to show the three seconds when the person completes the move but to keep the exploration available, to show the trial and error provides us with a deep understanding of just what is required to complete certain moves.

You can watch to see where they place their feet to prepare, how they prepare their legs to provide that boost of energy, how they switch from one hand to the other and how they use limbs to get the required mechanical advantage.

You see people arrive at one hold hanging upside down, let go with their feet, swing their body around and then stabilise that position. Imagine the strength and agility required for those moves. Three minutes in to this video you see a French athlete lean his body against the wall and swing his left arm around and up to grab hold of the next hand hold. They demonstrate great skill and mastery.

When I watch these videos my desire to become as good as them increases and it encourages me to experiment more, to take advantage of the lessons that I am being taught by watching these videos. As a climbing friend says “we are all here teaching each other to climb”. This exchange occurs because we have different levels of skill, adrenaline and body size and shape. Climbing is a collaborative effort.

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