Playing On Rocks

Took an outdoor bouldering class today. This was my third time climbing outdoors. The first two were top rope outings.

Bouldering has a totally different feel to it. It’s so… simple. Shoes, chalk, and crash pads. I really enjoyed not having to set up and manage extra gear.

We worked on 6 problems at a couple sites across from Castle Rock State Park: Hash Rock and Nature Nazi. The most obvious difference between indoor and outdoor? Outdoor holds aren’t nearly as obvious, and are generally way smaller than the ones at the gym. While a V0 indoors might be all jugs, you may get a single jug outdoors. And often you won’t know it’s there until your hand lands on it.

The more important difference between indoor and outdoor, however, is that the outdoor problems allow for a lot more creativity. There may be a recognized set of moves to a problem, but there’s much a much greater variety of holds and positions to choose from.

Our group was comprised of one instructor and four students. It was the perfect class size, and a fantastic mix of enthusiasm and encouragement.

My best (although perhaps not favorite) moment: Getting near the top of a problem and not feeling like I had any good options. I noticed myself starting to feel uneasy, then remembered how a couple other students had wound up in similar situations earlier in the day. Watching them it was clear that unease only made things worse, so I made myself stop and chill for a moment before continuing on. Not-good options became workable options, and I found my way to the top.

Spending a morning in nature playing on rocks! A+++++++ WOULD DO AGAIN!!!1!

Today’s aftermath: I can’t fingerprint unlock any of my devices. I find this fairly amusing.


  1. Maybe you need to register all of your fingers and toes?

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