What is Bouldering?

Bouldering involves climbing a series of difficult moves on small rocks usually 10-20 feet high (ropes are not used), and popularity for highballs (25-45 feet) is rapidly increasing with the recent surge in interest for bouldering. Debates are sparking about the lines being blurred between highball bouldering and free-soloing, but rules and standards are relative to certain areas, so check with a local first before spraying.

Bouldering is the least expensive form of climbing. Only a pair of climbing shoes, a chalk bag and a crash pad are used.

For many years, bouldering was usually viewed as training for climbers, although, in the 1930’s and late 1940’s, Pierre Allain and his companions enjoyed bouldering for its own sake in Fontainebleau, France (considered by many to be Europe’s Mecca of bouldering). The first climber to actually make bouldering his primary specialty (in the mid 1950’s) and to advocate its acceptance as a legitimate sport not restricted to a particular area was John Gill, an amateur gymnast who fell in love with the challenge and movement of bouldering.