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why do people bash bouldering so much??
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xanx


Aug 28, 2003, 10:36 AM
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ok first off, i'm a boulderer. there. i said it. now, i am just curious why boulderers get bashed so much. people tend to look down on boulderers and characterize them as young punks with big pillows who don't have the balls to lead. they disrespect boulderers. and they very seldom give good reasons why.

personally, i prefer bouldering for a number of reasons. one is b/c it is easy to do: you don't need much gear or technical expertise. i also like the emphasis on purity of climbing and on pushing yourself as hard as possible and overcoming ur limitations. however, i have respect for other types of climbing as well. i respect sport climbers for pulling absolutely disgustingly hard moves on lead and doing some of the sickest lines possible. i respect trad climbers for the balls to actually trust that tiny chunk of metal wedged into that micro crack with a big whipper. i respect ice climbers b/c i can see the purity in it and the beauty of it (plus the balls to trust a screw u put into the ice by hand to save ur life!). Aid climbers are just insane. A5 climbing sounds to me like a very good way to get a free trip home in a timber box. and, apparently, A5 climbers have to be veritable encyclopedias of technical knowledge. And then there are the "jack of all trades" alpine hardmen who do it all in mega-epics up the most formidable peaks.

i just want to hear people actually give reasons why they don't like boulderers. i also want to point out pre-emptively that, currently, the hardest moves that have ever been pulled on rope are around V11 or so (Realization crux). the hardest boulder problems are around V15. i don't think i need to point out that it is going to be quite a while before anyone even thinks about pulling a V15 50' off the ground.... so for shear difficulty of moves, bouldering wins hands down.


beercanclimber


Aug 28, 2003, 10:50 AM
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i can hear the flame throwers click on from a block away.


craggy


Aug 28, 2003, 10:55 AM
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It's cause of people like you that non-boulderers bash boulderers. I'm a boulderer and I need no reason as to why I boulder. Why should I give a rats ass what a lead climber thinks? Why should it get to you so much? Hell just climb and f**k em all.


ikefromla


Aug 28, 2003, 10:58 AM
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because they're weak.. yeah, i said it.


karmaklimber


Aug 28, 2003, 11:00 AM
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Xanx brings up a good point in a humble manner. I don't think its a matter of whether or not other climbers' opinions will get to you or not, but more so out of curiosity and interest. Whatever people say, whether they'll hate or support, you'll still boulder regardless.

I think he's just looking for reasons why other people dislike bouldering rather than looking for a particular reason to boulder himself. (please correct me if I'm wrong)


xanx


Aug 28, 2003, 11:02 AM
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Hell just climb and f**k em all.

right... that's a great attitude to have.... really gonna make a lot of friends like that....

this site has really gone down hill in the last few months.... when i first came here trolls and flames came every now and then... now real responses come every now and then in between the flames and trolls.


boulderman


Aug 28, 2003, 11:05 AM
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Xanx,

Before coming to RC.com I would have thought you were crazy for saying boulderers are bashed. But here it seems to be the rule. I spend time training in a gym and get outside to boulder too. I will use the gym as an example, since it is much more of a social activity. In the gym, it seems like boulderers are the best climbers, any moderate to hard boulderer in the gym could get on a sport route and cruise what most of the regular route climbers would shy away from. I think most sport climbers respect boulderers.

I think one reason boulders are bashed is jealousy. Most boulderers are young, strong, and talented climbers pulling moves that most route climbers will never see 50ft. of the ground. I think that technically, bouldering is what will push climbing to new levels in the future. Some of the hard-core boulderers will some day put on a harness and send sport routes or even trad routes that may be impossible now (i.e. Chris Sharma). Some will never put on a harness, but will send a V16 with moves that even the best trad climber couldn't hope to make in their lifetime. Maybe some of the older climbing community doesn't want to realize this and are in denial.

Another reason is just the climbing culture. As people get older, they become set in their ways. I would say on average that most trad climbers and aid climbers are a little older than the average boulderer. Maybe their bodies won't allow them to continually punish there bodies on a boulder so they choose to take it easier physically and focus on the mental aspect of climbing. Some of these old purists just don't understand the new trends of climbing. Although they may be very good climbers, they will bitch and moan about every new person they see at "their" crag. They will make fun of your slippers while they climb in the old big wall high tops, and they will call you a gym rat even though you are outside! Either the mock what they do not understand, or they may just be a little bitter.

Maybe a little more respect for all styles is due. At this point I have o interest on getting on a trad route, just as they may not want to touch a boulder problem. Bottom line is, Bouldering is rock climbing! And it is very, very hard rock climbing.

BTW, as a side note about the hole plastic vs. rock thing. Some of the hardest routes I have ever seen have been in the gym! So it may not be real rock, it is hard climbing!


Bouderman


beyond_gravity


Aug 28, 2003, 11:05 AM
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I ask the question why should people respect bouldering?

Don't get me wrong, I like bouldering, and do it on a regular basis...however, I don't have much respect for people that climb V10, at least not in the same way I have respect for Mark Twight and Berry Blanchard (sp?).

I hold Doug Scott in higher regards then Dave Graham. I probably have more respect for Peter Zabrok then Lisa Rands.

Why? Because courage earns respect, crimp strength doesn’t.

The other thing is this purity thing…anyone who has done a multi-pitch trad route in the backcountry would never say bouldering is more pure. At least to me, there is nothing better then getting to the top of a route and enjoying the gentle wind, peace, and unpolluted sound as I belay the second up with nothing but air between me and the tree tops below.

The longer the journey, the richer the experience.


dsafanda


Aug 28, 2003, 11:07 AM
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In reply to:
i'm a boulderer.

I don't think people bash bouldering so much as they bash the concept of being a "boulderer". I'm not sure I even know what that means.

All "climbers" I know enjoy bouldering. It's fun, challenging and a great way to get strong and build technique but it's just one small facet of rock climbing. If there is any ridicule directed at bouldering I think it is primarily skepticism for the idea of limiting oneself to nothing but bouldering. I think those of you that follow this path are missing out on much of what climbing has to offer. All that said, to each his own. It's all good.


Partner rrrADAM


Aug 28, 2003, 11:09 AM
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I don't see that all the time... If anything, I see more boulderers trashing other styles of climbing, than I do others bashing bouldering.

We all may not be brothers and sisters in the same style, but we are all cousins in that we climb, so we all have the last name: Climber


It's all climbing brutha !!!


rockfax


Aug 28, 2003, 11:11 AM
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Because it's trendy to bash something that is... well....trendy.

Plus a lot of young people do it and it's fashionable to bash youngsters.

Truth be known just as many gray hairs do it as well, but there's nothing wrong with a good bashing now and again.

Mick


norskagent


Aug 28, 2003, 11:27 AM
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ummm crimp strength does earn respect as well as courage...I'm always impressed when I see someone do something on rock I can't or won't do.


kman


Aug 28, 2003, 11:27 AM
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In reply to:
Because courage earns respect, crimp strength doesn’t

Damn straight!


mother_sheep


Aug 28, 2003, 11:31 AM
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I'm a bouldering scene basher but I don't bash bouldering. I've only been to a few boulders where there weren't a bunch of loud mouth kids hanging out in their little beanies just sitting on their little butts "recovering" from their last set. Regardless, to be good at bouldering you have to be strong. I have respect for all climbers who are true to their sport, whether it be bouldering, aiding, trad, sport, whatever. It's the scene though that turns me off.


curt


Aug 28, 2003, 11:33 AM
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i am just curious why boulderers get bashed so much. people tend to look down on boulderers and characterize them as young punks with big pillows who don't have the balls to lead. they disrespect boulderers. and they very seldom give good reasons why.
I think the answer lies in some weird form of etnocentrism. That is, people tend to bash what others do because they feel their own activities (within the sport of climbing) are somehow better.

I think the responses to this question that cite age as a reason are somewhat off-point, except to the extent that the obnoxious "boom-box" toting boulderers--who are highly visible--are usually young. There are plenty of us old guys who have been climbing in all forms (trad, sport, walls, bouldering, etc.) for more years than most young climbers have been alive. And guess what? Many of us now prefer bouldering to other types of climbing. So, to say that it is the old guys who are set in their ways that are bashing bouldering is, I think, a mistake.

Curt


javaguy


Aug 28, 2003, 11:36 AM
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People who only boulder tend to look at themselves as climbers. And people who don't climb tend to look at them as climbers too. But real climber don't want to be put in the same drawer as boulderers. It is big difference between bouldering and climbing. :?


curt


Aug 28, 2003, 11:37 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Because courage earns respect, crimp strength doesn’t

Damn straight!

What makes you think these two things are mutually exclusive? Feel free to come bouldering with me sometime at Black Mountain or Joshua Tree.

Curt


wc


Aug 28, 2003, 11:40 AM
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i am just curious why boulderers get bashed so much. people tend to look down on boulderers and characterize them as young punks with big pillows

one is b/c it is easy to do: you don't need much gear or technical expertise.

Some people would argue that you just gave all the reasons yourself.

Boulderer's are lazy... hell, that's why I do it, because I don't want to hike 45 minutes and climb 80+ feet just to fall and try it again. I would much rather sit on my crash pad and shoot the poo... I'm lazy.

Secondly, boulderers are usually either young punks, like you, or old punks, like BVB... all with big pillows. They either lack the social skills to behave properly in crowded bouldering areas (young), or they have spent their life refining said social skills in such a way as to subtly offend and burn off everyone in their immediate vicinity. This takes getting used to and folks who are new to bouldering generally have a hard time adjusting.

In reply to:
the hardest boulder problems are around V15. i don't think i need to point out that it is going to be quite a while before anyone even thinks about pulling a V15 50' off the ground.... so for shear difficulty of moves, bouldering wins hands down.

I heard a rumor that Sharma pulled off the ground for five seconds on two holds that nobody else can even imagine pulling on!!! Everyone was so amazed at the pure difficulty of this feat that they all started training JUST TO PULL OFF THE GROUND ON SICK HOLDS! Sherman is writing a guide book to all the Pull Off the Ground problems in Bishop and has even started a new rating system with "Sharma's POG" being rated POG 10 as a reference.

POGGERS don't even need pads since they aren't going anywhere, which reduces the gear and makes it simpler and harder and purer than bouldering.

For years I have been HANGING on sick holds all over the western US, I'd say I pretty much invented the sport of HANGING, nobody was pushing the limits of HANGING until I hit the scene. No pad, no shoes, just me and my chalk... it doesn't get any simpler than that. I've got some HANG projects for Sharma to try once he sends all his POG projects in Bishop and realizes that the simplest, purest form of climbing is simply HANGING!

It don't get much better than that...


jipstyle


Aug 28, 2003, 11:41 AM
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All "climbers" I know enjoy bouldering. It's fun, challenging and a great way to get strong and build technique but it's just one small facet of rock climbing. If there is any ridicule directed at bouldering I think it is primarily skepticism for the idea of limiting oneself to nothing but bouldering. I think those of you that follow this path are missing out on much of what climbing has to offer. All that said, to each his own. It's all good.

Well said!

Anyone who limits themselves to one aspect of climbing is missing out on a great deal.

If I may expand on your point, I'd like to point out that the two 'forms' of climbing that receive the most negative attention are the two forms that are insular ... bouldering, and sport climbing. When I say 'insular', I mean that they do not include aspects of the other types. For example, a trad climber pulls moves similar (though perhaps not as hard) to those pulled by boulderers and sport climbers ... all three use free climbing. For trad climbers, the free climbing is part of climbing ... for the other two, they are climbing. Aid climbers also free climb, but add aid to the list of 'tricks' they use to get up the rock.

In other words, to a trad climber or an aid climber, people who only free climb, whether over a pad or while clipping bolts, are missing an integral part of the climbing experience. Multi-pitch sport climbs are rare; multi-pitch boulders are called free solos. Multi-pitch trad and aid routes are, of course, a significant part of the experience.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that sport and bouldering are limited aspects of climbing, and for some, this is not the spirit of climbing.

Having said all of that ... to all of you who bash what other people do for fun: STFU and climb. As long as they don't impact your climbing (a different discussion altogether) it ain't none of your business and you only make yourself look like a$$holes.

:)


jonlatner


Aug 28, 2003, 11:41 AM
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I don't see that all the time... If anything, I see more boulderers trashing other styles of climbing, than I do others bashing bouldering.

We all may not be brothers and sisters in the same style, but we are all cousins in that we climb, so we all have the last name: Climber


It's all climbing brutha !!!

In my short lived climbing experience I have met only a few hardcore boulderers. They showed me a new way to climb, one that was riskier, harder, and in some ways more relaxing and fun (i.e. social). That being said, when one in the group took a day off to lead or top rope the comment was not have a great day, rather it was why, why would you waste a day? Thats not right...I agree with the person I quoted, to me its all climbing.


hellclimber


Aug 28, 2003, 11:52 AM
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In other words, to a trad climber or an aid climber, people who only free climb, whether over a pad or while clipping bolts, are missing an integral part of the climbing experience. ...
...
What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that sport and bouldering are limited aspects of climbing, and for some, this is not the spirit of climbing.
...

If I understand this correctly you are saying that free soloing is missing an integral part of the climbing experience and is not in the spirit of climbing as people who do it only free climb. Get a grip on reality. Free climbing is a major part of the spirit of climbing.

As for bashing bouldering; enjoy your rock hopping. I need some exposure to get the adrenaline flowing but to each his/her own.

hellclimber


boulderman


Aug 28, 2003, 11:54 AM
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Curt, your explanations sounds good, what you said, is what I was trying to get at when I said they were set in their ways, (style). You just said it better. I think I stressed the age thing too much. I'm not a young boulderer either. I think a few specific unfortunate incidents have clouded my view of the "older trad climber".

Also, When I started climbing I climbed sport routes and then started to use bouldering as a training method. Although I do get on an occasional route, all I really want to do is push myself harder on tough boulder problems.

Also, There are a lot of bouldering problems that take courage. Ask J. Kehl about Evilution.... 50ft. V12/13? Why not just call it a 5.14 free Solo?

Have you "courage/not crimp" climbers tried topping out a V7 slopey mantle with a high heel hook 15+ ft. high ?


maynardgkrebs


Aug 28, 2003, 11:58 AM
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Bouldering is fun. It defintiely is a legitmate form of climbing, but it is also a silly trend, which will pass. It's ridiculous that in the magazines, equal importance is given to some horrendous Himalayan big wall and another v15 send by Fred Nicole.
There are lots of reason why boulderers get dissed.
One of the more annoying aspects of bouldering is the obsession over ratings. I think the V-system is hilarious. Sherman made it up as a joke. A couple years back, he even wrote an article wherein he explained that it was a joke, but nobody cares--V15 sounds so much cooler than the old-school rating of B2. Go to the discussion board at www.frontrangebouldering.com and read a few posts there if you don't think boulderers are obsessed with ratings.
The idea that it's something new is also funny. Bouldering is nothing new. Certain aspects of bouldering are new--Giant pads and sponsorship, for example. I'd say the main new thing about bouldering is mostly marketing. Magazines and manufacturers have realized that the majority of people will not be willing devote the time, money, and effort necessary to learn the craft of trad climbing. However, for less than a couple hundred bucks, you can buy some shoes, a chalkbag and a beanie hat. All that's left is to remove your shirt and voila--You're a climber! Commence spraying!


furbucket


Aug 28, 2003, 11:58 AM
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Because bouldering is climbing's lowest common denominator. Hey it says it right here:
http://www.hcn.org/...cle?article_id=14088
It must be true!

But seriously, I love bouldering. It's great training for real climbing. :)

Ok, I'll stop now.


rocknut1


Aug 28, 2003, 12:17 PM
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If they knock it they havent tried it or had someone kick their ass on a tough boulder problem. I lead climb,climb top rope , ice climb and winter mountaineer. I thought bouldering was for novices or people who did not want to get off the ground. Then I spent some time in the bouldering cave and on some tough outdoor problems and now I split my climbing and bouldering time 50 - 50. Climbing is a route with cruxes, bouldering is a crux.
I also found bouldering has made me a better climber.

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