Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where is the adventure in bouldering?

My climbing is moving focus at the moment. Though I'm still very interested in bouldering I think I will start doing more routes especially multi-pitch i.e. the kind of climbing that would be considered adventurous.

Climbing isn't fundamentally adventurous. No activity is. Take driving a car, at one end of the spectrum there is nipping to the shops, at the other, I don't know, driving across siberia in my piece of shit Polo. Or in climbing terms toproping Paradise Lost versus soloing a new route on a big wall in Antartica.

I looked up the definition of adventure cause thats what you do. Here it is

"An adventure is defined as an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome."

Not very satisfactory for me its lacking something about pioneering or isolation. Adventure isn't just about risk taking nor novelty. Anyway.

With the world mapped and well enough trod there is no new, only new to you. Which should be enough for most people. I link bouldering and exploring/searching for new boulders unextractably. The physical side of it holds less for me but I do get it. Walking around wondering what around the corner, hidden in the hollow or over the ridge is exciting. Usually turns into disappointment but that's just the way it is.

I suppose adventure is wandering around outdoors and whether you have a pad or rope or kayak on your back is secondary. So if you don't think there is any adventure in bouldering you are just doing it wrong.


  1. Nice post. From my experience you kind of make your own adventure. I once had more of an adventure in one wet afternoon walking round the Commeraghs than I did on a week long sport climbing trip to Spain

    Its also due to how you react to a situation. e.g. for most climbers abbing in to Fair Head would be pretty passé, but it would be a pretty epic undertaking for my mum. Anythings going to feel more adventurous if you're well outside your comfort zone.

    Give me a bell if you fancy doing any multipitches in the cold some weekend. Got a really nice day in Glendo in November last year.

  2. I would be well on for some cold multipitch. I work Sunday but any dry Saturday...