I have been blogging on climbing and bouldering more specifically for about three years but never thought of really doing anything more permanent than that until the editor at The Mountaineers emailed me about doing a book on the topic of bouldering. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity and after talking with her at Outdoor Retailer and getting a book proposal together, we agreed on a contract and moved ahead. Blogging has worked out remarkably well in this instance.
The strange thing is that no other major publisher has put a book out on the topic in quite a while. The two primary contenders are John Sherman's Better Bouldering and Bobbi Bensman's book, both dating from the mid to late-1990s. The sport has changed so much since then in terms of equipment, technique and training that the books, and I admire both the authors, are now effectively obsolete. While I am not at the leading edge of bouldering in terms of my personal climbing level, I feel I can clearly articulate what the new school is about, what makes bouldering so special and how to begin and improve at the game. I will be inviting contributions from leading boulderers and of course photographers to illuminate this fascinating game.
I will present a historical perspective in the book but I will be primarily concerned with how things are done in the present, and look to the future, especially with an eye to the environment and preserving the playground which we all depend upon for bouldering. I will be less concerned with the stylistic prescriptions and competitive attitudes that plagued earlier eras of the sport, focusing instead on giving climbers the tools they need to climb their best. By all means comment or email me with your suggestions. Ultimately I hope this book will be built by a community, even if I write much it myself.