Has the fad of bouldering left us?


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 21 - 40 of total 294 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Big Wall climber
A cube at my soul sucking job in Oregon
Sep 3, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
I think we have seen a general softening of the 'chic' of climbing. Not long ago it seemed like we had climbing walls as backdrops of sitcoms, Mathew McConaughey falling off sport climbs as a plot device, and so on. Either I'm watching less TV (sadly not true), or climbing has faded out of our national fascination a bit.

Bouldering still has a lot of ethics to overcome, driven largely by the low cost of entry, IMO. A pair of shows and a pad, and your good to go. Little to no mentoring required. Braided trails andflattened foliage results.

Not dead, but thankfully it looks from my meager perspective like the explosive growth of climbing in general has slowed.

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2010 - 01:06pm PT
nice philG! thread stopper in 3 posts. :)

killer response everyone btw.

this one wins a prize!

I'm going to start a munge climbing fad, 51% of the route
must be covered in moss or rapidly decomposing
choss to qualify.


I kid and pot stir in the OP...

However, I've always thought bouldering was the most democratic form of technical climbing, essentially scrambling or what John Gill calls 'option soloing'

Yet, I find myself bouldering less and less, tho no less inspired by folks sending the shiz and was partly curious as to whether we just hang with the crusties or whether bouldering numbers have dropped?

given the number of young kick ass folks sending at planet granie on a tuesday night or thursday in the winter, the answer is a resounding ' fuk no, it's still going strong and more so than ever'

the barrier to entry is low, and as said above, the ethics and adoption of ethics may not be there just yet.

carpet swaths will return!!!

Old Pueblo, AZ
Sep 3, 2010 - 01:29pm PT
The fad will fade
the soul will remain.

you know,
kinda like fanny packs.

Sep 3, 2010 - 02:57pm PT
That's a great story, wes.

San Mateo, CA
Sep 3, 2010 - 04:05pm PT
All climbing is fun.

That said, this trend of hiking out to alpine areas like Mt. Evans and similar RMNP bouldering spots to do 7 heinous crimps on a pebble...kinda weird. Go climb a mountain! To each their own though.

I boulder in the gym for strength/fun, and would probably have a blast in bishop. But I have yet to make the drive all the way out to the east side with a pad in the back of my ride instead of a rope.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Sep 3, 2010 - 04:43pm PT
I sure hope the fad of bouldering is over...I'm tired of you clowns greasing up my boulders
Credit: it ain't me babe

Wes-best you've ever posted.

Sep 3, 2010 - 05:51pm PT
The latest Climbing has an article on bouldering in the Sequoia back country (With Angel Wings right there!).

'never had picked-up a climbing rag for years and see this at a friend's house last month. Impressively. the most ridiculous thing I'd ever seen.

Then, while 4-wheeling out of Bald Mountain (near Shaver Lake, CA) after climbing, we see a ToyoTruck coming in with pads in the back...


Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:08pm PT
Modern boulderers do some amazing stuff, and the focus on bouldering over the last 15+ years has probably generally advanced climbing standards. (And gyms, and ...) Plus it's a pretty good entry-level drug for other kinds of climbing.

There are concerns in terms of the impacts of boulderers, who seem often to travel in herds. All the usual - trails, trampling, waste. Plus noise, and the presence of "uncouth" groups. All disturbing to land managers and some of the public.

It is sometimes hard to take boulderers seriously, given their group behaviours, the ever-present videocameras and cameras, their uniforms, and the idea that we have to treat it like it's a BFD.

ps Liked Wes' story.

from where the anecdotes roam
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:11pm PT
^^^wes goes platinum, hanky please

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2010 - 06:12pm PT
First boulders are always free Anders!

Nice rambling Wes
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:15pm PT
Good story, Wes.
I didn't even know there was a fad goin' on!
It's ALL just climbing, right? Just a flava you fancy.

Trad climber
Swimming in LEB tears.
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:43pm PT
This thread makes me SO ANGRY
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 3, 2010 - 07:19pm PT
If you would have told me ten years ago that I would end mostly a boulderer, I would have laughed at you.

Now, with kid and job, it's pretty much the only climbing I do. You know what, it's not that bad.

I'll never be just a boulderer, but it has all the good elements of climbing but compacted into a short distance.

As for popularity, I can't speak for other areas, but Bishop seems to be getting more popular with boulderers rather than less.

They are catching on that the season is longer than advertised.

The new guide book may play a role too.

In short, if it's a fad- I don't see it. It's popular because it's good.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Sep 3, 2010 - 07:21pm PT
I have a nice beanie now, too.
Score! ;-)

Ice climber
Happy Boulders
Sep 4, 2010 - 02:26am PT
at my age, bouldering is about the only thing I can do

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Sep 4, 2010 - 10:24am PT
Lambone says:

"are you kidding? no munge you just hang out with the crusty supertopo vets.

The Circuit is building the largest indoor bouldering gym in the country right now in Portland. "

Because there's so much bouldering in Portland right?

Plenty of decent roped climbing in town, but PDX is a bouldering black hole...except for Carver which basically has five decent problems all of which i've done a million times.

I used to go to the circuit's original location and can tell you it was gumby central. On most nights I'd say easily 75% of the clientele had never climbed outside...and they're pulling down hard.

Having said that...the place had good route setting and was a pretty good place to train...except for the music which was usually godawful Euro house crap.

Old Pueblo, AZ
Sep 4, 2010 - 01:25pm PT
Fanny pack bump.
Thanks for the story Wes.

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Sep 4, 2010 - 01:33pm PT
i have never seen so many climbers, period.

between the gyms and the crags,

i mean there has never been so many boulder freaks at crsp, and i have been going there since 1971.

there used to be no parking lot, you could drive all the way up to the out house.

now the only car you see up there is the meat wagon.

i talk to the rock the whole time i am climbing,

kind of like mark fydrich, the pitcher, anybody remember him?

so everybody thinks i'm a freak to be avoided, hey man,

Boulder climber
East Side
Sep 4, 2010 - 02:34pm PT
I had thought that bouldering was dead back in the mid-Nineties. Then pads became popular...

But judging from all the chalk-smeared footholds and chalk-caked, unbrushed handholds I've been seeing since I returned to California (I'm not saying it only happens here), I'd say that boulderers have certainly gotten dumber.

I just visited Indian and Mortar Rock in Berkeley for the first time in ten years, and I've never seen it so ill cared for: dirt all over any hold within five feet of the ground and glass shards in what dirt has actually remained on the ground. I'm not sure if such neglect indicates an increase or a decrease in the amount of boulderers however.

Sep 4, 2010 - 11:07pm PT
Also, someone recently did a piece on Himalayan high country bouldering.

Oscar Eckenstein conducted a bouldering competition for natives in a village in the Kashmirs in 1892. He gave prizes of one rupee for each "winner", and commented the best there were far superior to any Swiss guide he had known. He might have mixed feelings about the beanies these days, however . . .
Messages 21 - 40 of total 294 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews