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The Timeless Extreme Sport Of Boulder Climbing And How The Sport Is Judged

"Bouldering" (slang for boulder climbing), is a timeless sport, often associated with mountain climbing (without the rope or the mountain). It is an extreme sport which has been around since the 1880's, pioneered in Great Britain by bouldering fanatics. The concept originated because people would climb boulders to warm up or train for future mountain climbs. John Gill (an American boulder climber pioneer) made advances to the sport, which have in turn brought it into the mainstream. Boulder climbing focuses on the performance of the athlete on the boulder, which they are climbing, rather than on the headway that they can make, equipment they have, or safety gear as is often done in mountain climbing.

Boulder climbers do take basic safety measures, as they end up about six feet above the ground. For instance, they often use chalk so that the climber's hands are dry, giving them a good grip on the boulder, and preventing slipping from occurring. A chalk pouch is kept with boulder climbing, which ensures dry hands to reduce slippage potential.

Another safety measure is using an applicable shoe. There is no requirement or regulation for shoe type, but many climbers tend to choose shoes specifically made for climbing. These shoes secure safe footing, and protect their feet from potential rock cuts, twists, and splinters.

Crash pads are also used as a safety precaution. These break the fall of the climber, and ensure a safer landing. Boulder climbers are now carrying collapsible mats along with them, when recreationally bouldering.

This sport also sometimes has a spotter along side. Spotters help direct climbers from danger, and are around to help with first aid.

Another precaution that is sometimes used, controversially, is a rope to navigate the boulder. Fans of the sport, however, feel it distracts and takes away from the object of the activity.

The judging systems have changed to accommodate bouldering, as it becomes more competitive. Difficulty levels were assigned to boulders accordingly the "B" system. A B1 problem boulder was not considered easy, but not hard. A B2 problem boulder is one, which is harder to navigate and conquer than a B1. A B3 problem boulder indicates a boulder so hard to climb; it has only been successfully done once.

The "B" system only worked for a small while, until it became too diverse to fit into three categories. "B" scale was soon replaced by the "V" grade system, compliments of John Sherman. From V0 to V16, the sport now uses an open ended scale. The term VB is used if the boulder does not even reach a V0 rating. Plus and minuses are sometimes added to the V ratings.


Climbing Shoes

It is essential to choose the right climbing shoes if you are going on an expedition

Perhaps you have recently got into climbing or are tentatively venturing out on a climb to see how you feel about it. Whatever the reason is that you have decided to take up climbing, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure that you have the right equipment. As well as harnesses, one of the most important pieces of equipment are climbing shoes. Obviously, climbing shoes have to have a really good grip as you will often be relying on your feet to secure you a position.

What types of climbing shoes are available?

Obviously, there are different climbing shoes for different types of climbing. One of the main things to take into consideration when contemplating which climbing shoes to buy is to think about the terrain that you will be climbing on. Obviously a different grip will be needed if you are climbing on grass to that which will be needed if climbing on rock or slurry. Making sure you get it right at this stage will ensure that you have a much more positive climbing experience.

Where can I find a great range of climbing shoes?

As different types of climbing shoes are needed at different times, it really makes sense to look for your climbing shoes in a company that supplies the widest range. One such company is www.bananafingers.co.uk. They have a fantastic range of shoes to offer. Not only that but they can supply you with all the climbing equipment that you could possibly need. As well as this they offer a really good service so you can relax in the knowledge that you will receive your order in good time.


A Basic List of Climbing Gear

Climbing is rapidly becoming one of the biggest fitness crazes not only in the United States, but around the world as well. There are over 1,000 climbing gyms in the United States alone, and they are never short of climbers. While many climbers prefer an outdoor climbing experience to a climbing wall, other climbers never experience an outdoor climb and choose to spend their time on an indoor climbing wall. Wherever you choose to do your climbing, you will need a basic set of climbing gear before you get started climbing. So, if you are new to climbing, here is a great list of the basic climbing gear you'll need to get started.

Climbing Shoes

A good pair of climbing shoes can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Make sure they are snug and comfortable, but not too tight. If your big toe meets the end of your climbing shoe, then it makes for a good fit for the shoe. This means that your climbing shoe will have the support that it needs if you are standing on a particularly narrow ledge or climbing hold. You can wear tennis shoes to a climbing wall, but be prepared for an uncomfortable climb, and problems staying onto the holds on the wall.


Purchasing a harness is another must for your climbing gear kit for beginners. Be sure to choose your harness based on the way it fits, not off of color or style. Your harness should fit snug and securely, but not too tight to make for a comfortable climb, and a less painful fall if one should occur. Make sure your harness has plenty of gear loops to haul all of your gear.


Carabiners are another important tool for your climbing gear kit. Screwgate carabiners are the best carabiner to use with your belay device since they will not open by themselves. If you are unsure about what kinds of carabiners will work best with the climb you are planning, be sure to talk with an expert.


Climbing ropes are your number one protection in the event of a fall. There are two main types of climbing ropes, dynamic and static. Dynamic ropes are commonly used, as they will stretch a little bit to help lessen the shock a fall could have on your body.

If you are just learning how to climb in a climbing gym, you may want to find out what kinds of climbing gear are available for use of it's climbers. For example, many climbing walls have all the gear their climbers will need right there, and some climbers prefer to bring in their own equipment and climb with what they are most comfortable in. If you are climbing outdoors, then you may need additional climbing gear depending on where you are climbing.


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