What is Bouldering? It’s a simple form of climbing, without a harness, rope, or hardware over short rock faces and boulders. It’s an easy introduction to rock climbing and it’s fun!
It’s affordable, too. You don’t need as much gear. You can start with appropriate rock shoes, a crash pad, chalk, brush, finger tape, and a guidebook if needed.
Accessibility is an advantage. Many bouldering areas are accessible by car or require only a small walk to get to. It can be a social experience, too which is why my buddy over at Atlanta Locks goes so often to get out of the house with friends.. A lot of rock climbing is solo or one at a time up the rock face, bouldering means you can have multiple people trying different ways up the rock face and can lead to fun competition!
Most bouldering route take you only as high as you can jump off comfortably. Climbers can climb horizontally or across the boulders without being exposed to a long fall.
When you go bouldering, injuries are common as the traditional safety equipment of rock climbing isn’t used. But you can make your experience a lot safer by using spotters and crash pads. Spotters aren’t really there to catch you, but they are there to ensure you do not injure your head if you fall. The more spotters the better. Crash pads are thick mats used to cushion a fall. They’re placed strategically anywhere a fall is likely. If you climb inside in a gym, there are permanent pads below you in case of falls.
Being in physical shape is key. Work on strength exercises as well cardio throughout your week. Also make sure you spend time in a climbing gym, to work on technique in various situations so you can be prepared mentally if it seems like you have gotten stuck on the rock face. You need to be strong enough to climb backwards and backtrack if you need to. Being in good physical shape has all kinds of benefits!