Image taken from Winnie the Pooh Facebook page
As I get back into climbing proper, I'm reminded of the frustrations and delights of climbing. The frustration of not being to 'stick' a hold, or especially when bouldering, being just too short to get anywhere near the next hold/having to do an insane dyno to get it. But that awesome feeling when you deadpoint to a crimp/sloper and you stick it, or when you thought you wouldn't be able to clear the crux, but you do.
|Dyno-ing to a sloper on an overhang is just insanee. Image taken from Spotsetting blog|
I'm more of top-rope/sport lead climber than a boulderer, and much prefer technical routes to dynamic, powerful boulder problems. But the boulder competition is this Sun, so boulder I must. And as I watch people boulder, I often marvel at their strength, cos throwing to a sloper pinch on an overhang requires some insane power. Climbing, I'm sure, is one of the few sports which trains for remarkable superhuman strength that is mostly invisible (i.e. not like weight-lifters or body-builders).
And it's not just physical, there's just as much, if not more, mental strength that's needed. People fail more from lack of faith in themselves/fear of falling/injury, than from not physically being able to do the move. I think that's why kids who haven't developed the fear of falling do well (and same for little kids skiing. They ski soo well. Or at least, better than me, which probably isn't saying much.)
|Cute kids skiing|
Though kids these days are climbing much harder routes than before, mainly because it's a relatively new sport (climbing itself has been around for a while, but climbing as a competitive sport is still young). Climbing's on the rise, so there's a lot of boundaries still up for pushing.
Even anecdotally, climbing does seem to be more popular now than 7-8 years ago when I first started climbing proper. I was even called an 'old-timer' by someone who just started climbing :X In the biology building that I'm currently in, the floor (that I'm on) which deals with environmental/ecological sciences has some 6-8 climbers and within a week of arriving I managed to suss them out to go climbing with (while the other floors that deal with other branches of biology only have a couple of climbers). The combination of conservation ecology/environmental sciences and climbing go really well together I guess. It's great to be able to find fellow climbers/climbing gyms easily, though on the downside, that 'cool' or 'unique' appeal of climbing is waning, and gyms are so much more crowded.
Nonetheless, the combination of being able to physically and mentally challenge myself, the sense of belonging one feels to the climbing community worldwide, and the outdoor adventure is what appeals to me and keeps me climbing. And now that sport climbing indoors is picking up so much momentum, it's impetus for me to go outdoors more and start traditional climbing.