down south, bouldering is king. at least among my friends. sure, there's shiny bolts to clip and i've heard of splitters to plug gear in, but the number of boulderers i know far outnumber the ropers. practically no one climbs top rope outside, aside from sussing out moves on a tough sport route before attempting the redpoint.
the people are different too. yesterday, i was privy to the climber genre war that only presents itself in online forums. i went toproping. met up with some folks from a local climbers' listserv. missy was curious why i had to get up so early, and consequently go to bed somewhat early on saturday night. i surmised that it was because of the difference in age and life station between myself and my expected climbing partners. my guess, 5-10 years older, married, families, perhaps kids, unlikely to boulder much.
survey says...87 responses, our number one answer!
not only was i the youngest in our crew, i'd also been climbing for the longest. it still strikes me as odd that i'm a good climber among certain groups. i've been humbled by the rock around here a time or two since moving, only to be confused by how easy the routes were yesterday. granted, none of them were sustained throughout, but i put most of them down in short order. one of the routes was a 5.8 called butterfingers. maybe 20 feet off the deck was the crux move, a mantle to a sloping ledge. from the ground, i knew exactly how to negotiate it. i cruised the route, and had to show those on the ground (including my belayer) several times how to make the move before i hit terra firma again. any boulderer friend of mine would do that move in flip flops without a problem. the biggest problem yesterday was the seeping rock; otherwise, i might've tried more than just the one 5.10 that was dry and full of sustained, crimpy, footwork-intensive, slabolicious climbing. perhaps when it cools off and the rain rain goes away for another day or week i'll head back to sugarloaf and be a climbing phenom again.
then again, maybe not. it sure is hard to crank when there's no one to chase...