What is bouldering and why is it on the rise?
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing performed on artificial rock walls – also known as boulders – without the assistance of ropes and harnesses. Much like climbing real boulders outdoors, it requires technique, balance, strength and mental 'puzzle-solving' in order to navigate the tricky rock sequences, but has the added safety of crash pads, briefings and qualified instructors.
Thanks to its fun, low-impact all-over body workout, bouldering is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the gym. Suitable for brave beginners and adventurous experts alike, it has a multitude of benefits including: reducing stress, improving problem solving skills and increasing strength. It's also a great place to meet new people and to join a community of like-minded people.
“Indoor climbing is the safest way to do what people perceive to be an extreme sport, in a relatively benign environment,” explains Rob Adie, the climbing walls officer for the British Mountaineering Council. “It has also definitely replaced gym use - it's a social experience, rather than just being stuck on a treadmill.”