December 23, 2015 § 1 Comment
Indoor bouldering is a body puzzle in a bubble. A game of balance and strength, of virtually endless attempts and cushy falls. If you get freaked out, you just climb down on some juggy holds or tumble roll on an endless mattress. It’s a community of helpful athletic hipster nerds cheering you on and giving you beta.
You can pee in a toilet and buy Cliff bars and eat them on a couch. It’s a constant 65 degrees.
When you’re done you do some finger pull ups and jump kicks for good measure.
Outdoor bouldering. Outdoor bouldering is an adventure.
You’re lost on the approach and your map isn’t helping because it’s a picture of a bunch of boulders and trees and everywhere around you is boulders and trees. You’re surrounded by endless boulders to top and you want to cry because you want to climb THEM ALL but you know that that’s not possible and that just makes you so sad. You got fixated on one boulder for an hour making up problems. You’ve been working on one problem all day. You’re trying to top all the 15 footers. Your buddy got diarrhea from the tacos yesterday and you’re stuck at camp.
The rock is gritty but it takes. It’s chossy and wet. It’s smooth as a baby’s butt and it grips like a vice. It stabby and all the crimps suck but the slopers are awesome. It’s heinous and you suspect someone has covered it in butter. It’s covered in glorious, beautiful jugs that feel like total cheating. It’s covered in dried mushrooms because it rained last week. It’s got cactus growing out of half the holds.
You can’t make the next hold because you’re off route. You can’t make it because you’ve been there for three days and your arms don’t work anymore. You can’t make it because you’re bleeding. You can’t feel your fingers because it’s 50 degrees. You can’t make it because you only slept for four hours. Because you drank too much around the camp fire last night. You can’t make it because you’re fucking terrified. You go for it anyways because you’re too high up to fall now and the only way to go is up.
You stick it and float through the crux and you feel heroic. You stick it and slowly calculate the rest of the way, full of fear, trying to get it over with. You stick it and it’s totally the wrong beta and you feel around to see what you missed.
You’re a few small people in a large expanse. You go home and agree that it was all pretty epic.