What is bouldering?
Over recent years, rock climbing has grown to the point where it is now seen as a mainstream sport, top climbers such as Dave MacLeod regularly appear in the national press. Bouldering is a branch of rock climbing, performed at low level, usually above crash mats, and without the hindrance of equipment normally associated with climbing. This allows the participant to fully focus on the techniques and movements without risk of injury and makes it easier for those wishing to climb to gain a safe entry into the activity. The growing popularity of bouldering has led to the creation of indoor boulder-specific climbing walls which provide year round participation for this growing sport.
Boulderers come from all walks of life. The art of climbing is a normal activity for most humans from a very early age – kids love climbing trees, rocks, walls and indeed almost anything that can be, will be climbed. Unfortunately as most of us grow older, our participation in what was once a natural desire is often removed by the needs and habits of our society. When re-acquainted with this natural process, it brings many benefits; mentally, physically and socially. Climbing in one form or another is practiced by both the young and old and there is no one perfect body shape to limit a participant’s enjoyment.
Bouldering brings many benefits to those who partake in it. These are both seen (physical conditioning) and unseen (positive mental health) through enjoying the process of bouldering and the camaraderie and interaction with others. It is one of the few activities that truly crosses all barriers and wholeheartedly engages those within its fold.
- is a total body exercise
- works both anaerobic and aerobic systems
- causes increases in strength, agility, endurance and flexibility, balance, eye and body co-ordination
- increases muscle tone and promotes better dietary habits and lifestyle choices
- focuses the mind and allows people internal escape from their everyday stresses
- promotes positive mental, emotional and social health
- creates a network of like minded individuals
- provides experiential (hands on) learning
- teaches attainable goal-setting
- empowers participants to reach beyond their personal limits
- teaches decision making involving risk and courage
- promotes awareness and preservation of the natural environment
- builds confidence, and self esteem
- is fun – it makes people smile and feel good.
For more information see this very informative article on UKC.
How to get started
If you are new to bouldering then the easiest way to enter the activity safely is via one of our induction sessions. Alternatively, you can be brought to the centre as a guest by experienced friends, who can look after you until such time as you are competent to become a registered member yourself. Kids can start through our dedicated sessions.