Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bouldering . 1

Cities offer many opportunities for climbing - status, walls and stairs. But hidden away in many urban areas there are actual, although maybe modest, mountain climbs to be made - on boulders. It's a sport called bouldering.

A boulder is a large rock, often one that's been rounded and smoothed by glaciation and/or other forms of erosion. But bouldering, rock climbing in its truest sense, is also practiced on cliffs and even buildings (AKA buildering). It requires minimum equipment and maximum common sense.

I became a boulderer as a kid, well before I'd heard the word, and not in the city but out in the countryside. Our neighborhood was littered with many massive boulders, called glacial erratics, left behind by the retreat of the glaciers 10,000 or so years ago.

Images ... 1 - Boulderer on unnamed (V4) problem at Black Mountain in Idyllwild, California (notice the crash mat at the base of the boulder). Ram Sripracha, courtesy of Wikipedia. 2 - Doane Rock, Cape Cod National Seashore. Courtesy USGS.

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