is the art of rock climbing
. It can be used for training for more conventional climbing but is a serious sport
in its own right.
Extremely difficult problems that would be a cry for help if attempted
with any degree of exposure are more safely tackled this way but
take care you can hurt yourself...
One good thing about bouldering is that you don't need any
protection, a rope, or a harness. Minimally you just need some climbing shoes
(with sticky rubber soles). Some chalk is useful. (Strangely
straining to the limit physically and risking broken bones can cause
your hands to sweat.) The real
afficianados take a mat to keep their shoes clean and dry
and a toothbrush for cleaning the features. For working upside down
it's wise to take something soft to land on to protect your back.
A popular location for this is the Peak (just outside Sheffield), on gritstone boulders where the techniques of slapping, standing on a pebble, and (infamously) hand jamming are utilised. The first time you try
this you will lose all your fingerprints.
Fontainebleu (just outside Paris) is another great place. The feel is quite different on the smooth sandstone boulders
surrounded by shady forest.
Why not add your favourite location for bouldering here?