This is the tale of two great giants, two outdoor adventure activities that in the past few years have taken us all by storm. Anyone involved in the outdoor industry has seen the rise of two factions of the climbing world, straight on old fashioned rock climbing and the new comer to the game, bouldering.
Now, it is clear that the up and coming sport of bouldering has taken the rock climbing world by surprise. Only a few short years ago such a thing was unheard of. Today this new style of rock climbing, bouldering; the art of making many small moves on boulder sized formations, has become a mainstream pastime.
Many people who were once strictly rock climbers now dabble in both sports, and some people have become the masters of bouldering projects and stay off the so called big walls. so, are these two sections of rock climbing starting to meld together and become one?
It seems the once two separate sports, will still separate in their practice, have done more for moving the sport of rock climbing forward then one may first think.
The pinpoint focus on technical moves and impossible short routes has had a impact on the typical big wall rock climbing of the last two decades. Specifically the sport of rock climbing has become more then someone climbing El Cap. The meld of these two rock climbing cultures has lead to a new breed of climbers that hunger for technical routes with many moves, and also large and big project climbs.
There has been a dash of innovation to climbing more and more unexplored areas, with once what was thought of as unclimbable features, has become the norm for the new generation of climbers.
While the sport of climbing large cracks up big walls still has it’s place, the small and more technical attack on rock has become just as well known and popular.
Each type of rock climbing still holds its place of respect and claims it’s fair share of professionals and expeditions. The greatest consequence of this meld of the two great giants of rock climbing has been the innovation and diversity that has opened up many more opportunities and given rise to a wider range of mainstream acceptance and participation in rock climbing as a whole.
Traditional rock climbing and bouldering will continue to gain their own share of followers, but we can all take solace in the fact that we all love to rock climb and enjoy the diversity
of adventure each of these niches can offer us.
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