Bouldering is essentially the original form of rock climbing. It involves almost no gear, just shoes and chalk, both of which are not necessary. Because of its simplicity people are often attracted to bouldering. It is also the least expensive discipline of climbing, because the lack of required gear. This article will run you through the history of bouldering and give you a definition of what exactly it is.
Bouldering is simply the sport of climbing on boulders. In official competition, climbing is described as 12 feet in an indoor competition, and 24 feet in outdoor. Usually, over 12 feet is referred to as a high ball. Routes are referred to as problems. This type of climbing does not require climbing endless walls or scaling for many days. However, it is anything but easy. Bouldering often requires the most difficult individual moves. There may be only eight to ten moves in a problem but you can be sure that they are not simple. Usually involving negative angled walls and gymnastic moves, bouldering demands strength and agility more than other forms of climbing.
Typically, bouldering is classified as climbs that are quick in length but very high in intensity. Bouldering requires quick powerful moves and often gymnastic-type reaches and positions. It is frequently divided into two categories: friction bouldering and crimp bouldering. Friction bouldering is often found in the Southeastern United States. This form of bouldering involves spreading the whole surface of the hand across relatively smooth parts of rock and relying on the friction to hold on. These unfeatured grips are referred to as slopers, because of the slopes, rather than angles. Crimp bouldering, on the the other hand, involves features in the rock similar to tiny shelves. As you might think, these holds are simply called crimps. These holds require a different kind of strength. Finger strength and grip strength are an especially important part in this type of bouldering.
Whatever type and wherever you're climbing, bouldering is an exciting sport. Free from most of the clutter of rock climbing equipment, it allows the climber to truly experience the sport in its purest form.