Monday, September 13, 2010


One of the most important factors governing success on a problem is that of adaptation. The human body and mind are incredibly flexible and responsive yet the demands of a boulder problem at our limits typically surpass our capacity to handle change. One of the attractions of bouldering is slowing the process of learning down and ironing out as many individual bumps in the road as possible before attempting to link the problem. Yet it is easy to forget that every attempt is an effort at getting mind and body to respond appropriately to the challenge before it and that the adaptation process is seldom linear.
Ferdinand Schulte on Bierstadt V9/10

By way of an example, when was the last time you did a somersault or forward roll? For many adults, such an exercise seems unfamiliar disorienting and uncomfortable. But when you were a child such antics might come as second nature. The need to keep equilibrium while spinning is rarely used in adult behavior, just as most bouldering movements are rarely used in everyday life. To the extent that you can allow your instinctive self to follow the patterns of movement set by the holds and shape of the problem is the extent to which a solution will come quickly. Selecting the correct answer is not merely a logical process but a holistic one involving inspiration, belief and acceptance and a willingness to accept change and adapt to it as quickly as possible. In nature, organisms must adapt or face extinction. In bouldering we must do the same or face failure and frustration.