It took me a long time to get into bouldering. The relatively high grade of bouldering problems meant that it was hard work just getting off the ground which was very disheartening and climbing just a metre or two off the ground seemed a bit silly. A few years on I have grown to love bouldering for what it is. Compared to climbing routes it is super efficient for a post-work workout and solving a problem is very very satisfying. It’s addictive.
I’ve been going to the same bouldering gym for a while now, Boulderland, and the owner, Perry, invited us to go bouldering outdoors at Shek O on the south side of Hong Kong island – my first time bouldering in the great outdoors. Perry is a super-coach in the Mr Miyagi mould and whilst my bouldering has miles to go the advances I have made since the bad old days of barely making it off the ground I owe to his patient coaching.
Perry was our expert guide for our introduction to bouldering at Shek O and the problems Blockbuster, The Classic, Directisima and Leap of Faith. I was very surprised to find that I feel much more safe and sound leading a sport route than bouldering outdoors. I need to learn to trust the crash mats. The mental image of my tibia protruding from my femur was hard to shake when looking at uneven landings and relatively high problems like The Classic. It didn’t seem to bother anyone else. I’ll be braver next time.
It was a great day and what it’s all about – getting into the outdoors with a great bunch of people and challenging yourself.