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Tips For Bouldering Beginners In Texas

Aug 17, 2007
If you're a beginning boulderer in Dallas, Houston or anywhere else in Texas, here are some bouldering basics you can incorporate into your newly adopted sport:

1) A crash pad is a good investment to help you avoid injury. It's equally important that the pad makes you look professional.

3) The climbing "community" rarely actually communes, but that doesn't mean you can't bring a buddy or spotter.

4) Boulderers do pull ups to pull downs, use underclings on overhangs and do sitdown starts to layback cracks.

5) Don't underestimate V9s and V10s. Not that anyone would, but don't even think they are possible unless you have been hand-picked by God. There are more features on an elevator door than a V9 or V10.

6) Most mantels are mental. That means that if they were three feet off the ground, a grandmother could get up them. Do that same move at the top of a reasonably high boulder and you're hanging there sweating bullets, building up the balls to pull yourself over what is essentially like climbing into bed.

7) Strong mental focus can get you at least six inches higher on a dyno than just strength alone.

8) There are ethics in climbing and bouldering. Generally speaking, they vary by area, are unwritten, open to interpretation and, often, to contradiction as well. The best advice, however, is to do exactly what they say. Failure to do so could result in someone setting fire to your car, strangling your dog and peppering your favorite boulder with machine gun fire.

9) People who know about great boulders don't really want you to go to that particular location.

10) Slopers are very bad things. These are like the hottest chick in your neighborhood - you know that even if you get your hands onto her you won't be able to hold on for long. When you inevitably can't hold on for any longer, your friends will be lining up to have a go, regardless of any loss you may feel.

11) Slopers also require practice because you have to use a different breed of hold. The only good thing about slopers is that, once you've worked hard on them, you can basically go on a crime wave, confident that your fingerprints will yield nothing.

12) Never try to explain to people what bouldering is and why you do it. Just tell them you're going to play golf - it's a lot easier, and they won't think you're strange.

13) Sit-down starts are a ridiculous concept, until you complete one.

14) The best bouldering place in the U.S. is Hueco Tanks in Texas. It appears that the only way to find out if it's open to bouldering is to actually go there. No one really knows if it's open or not, and if they do, they ain't saying.

15) The best bouldering place in the world is Fontainebleau in France. It's definitely open, but is full of French people.

Like any growing sport, bouldering can and should be fun if you take the proper precautions. If you have any questions or doubts about your bouldering abilities, seek a professional boulderer for guidance.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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