Despite completing my first V5 last week, there was a V2 in the other room I couldn’t finish. Try as I might, I could not figure out how to hang on to reach the penultimate move. I’ve watched many others try and fail at the same for weeks.

This morning, Evan my Balance and Technique instructor was bouldering when I arrived. He was working on a V6 that he said felt more like a V7 to him, and I made an offhand comment about how I couldn’t even finish a V2. He asked which one, so I pointed to it, then described the move I was stuck on.

“I just skip the move before that. Why use a bad hand hold?”

I hadn’t considered skipping the move before that. It felt like a long vertical reach without it.

Still, I wasn’t making any progress the previous way, so I climbed up to the move before the bad hand hold and looked up.

“Don’t turn your hips like that.”

Oh, right. Plastering my frontside to the wall wasn’t going to help me stick the next move. I turned my right foot to stick my right hip to the wall, sprung for the hold I couldn’t reach, and grabbed it with my right hand. Solid.

So solid.


I finished the problem.


Evan grinned.

I did too. It felt good to check that problem off the list.

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