Saturday, July 17, 2010

From the Ground Up

One of the greatest things about bouldering is the sense of exploration, in all senses of the term. There is geographical exploration, finding new areas and new problems, and physical exploration, progressing through techniques and grades. But the most significant to me is the sense of emerging self-awareness that persists throughout the career of a climber. The relationship of self to a greater world, even universe, is an aspect of bouldering that a few have documented, even written about, especially John Gill. Recently this has dropped into the background as new techniques and approaches favoring the quest for difficulty have taken precedent. But even in the midst of a hard session or even move, be open to the possibility of reflection upon what you are doing.

There is so much to discover and learn, even in an instant. The wind and sky, rushing clouds, the bracing rush of clear mountain air or the mystery of dark humid forests; all contribute to a feeling of relating and cooperating with nature, where struggle is replaced by understanding and obscurity by clarity. Things cohere and focus on the way from here to there, if you let them.

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