(post for 4th September that I wasn’t able to publish yesterday)
I went for my first bouldering session in August and instantly fell in love with it. There was something incredibly satisfying about starting at the bottom and (slowly) working your way to the top. Falling (which I have done a lot of) is fun too. It’s also a great workout.
My initial approach to climbing was brute force; basically do pull-ups on each hand hold (is that the right term?) and hope that you make it. I quickly realized that this was not a winning tactic. While it worked for easy V0s it caused wonderful (and painful) failures at everything else. I listened to what my friend told me and started using my lower body more. I instantly felt a difference. I feel (as an obvious expert at bouldering after 6 sessions) that using your entire body is key to vertical scalability. Another piece of advice my friend gave me that was super useful was to plan your route to the top before you started climbing. Having a mental map of how you want to get to the “summit” reduces the probability of you clinging to the wall for dear life with no idea where to go next. Oh, and chalk on your hands helps too.
The one downside — it wrecks your fingers. Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong.
I hope to be able to climb V4s by the end of the year.