Friday, June 13, 2008

First Time Bouldering; Big Cottonwood Canyon

Yesterday I went bouldering with Danielle. She's a climber and an enthusiastic moderately experienced boulderer. I told her that I was interested, we made plans and did the deed yesterday.

I went to the University of Utah ORP (Outdoor Recreation Program) and rented shoes and a crashpad. They always have great prices for rentals.

We arrived and went exploring for the boulders she climbed last time she went. We eventually found them. You could tell they were popular places because of the well matted soil around the giant rocks.

I tried my hands on three paths.

Boulder one had two paths:
1. Starting out under the boulder on it's south side, you make your way up to this ridge and traverse east across till you reach a point. From there you make your way up to the top.

I made it from underneath to the beginning of the ridge and couldn't go any further. Danielle made it look soooo easy.

2. You start on the east sloping face side of the boulder and make your way to the top, the same place where path No.1 ends.

I tried this one the most. I hopped up on this step and made at-most 3 unique leg movements from there. I reached the southern ridge with one hand which would be key to conquering this route but couldn't go further. I don't think I trusted my footholds enough.

3. A separate boulder to the north of the first one had a route on the east side that went up a ridge, across its northern face and up to the top.

By the time I made it to this boulder I was getting a little tired. By the end of it I was mostly spent. I tried to traverse the ridge of this boulder to make my way across it's north face but lacked the strength to hold on for very long. On this particular rock my feet kept slipping. I'm sure it had to do with the way I was positioning my body. I feel I need to learn efficiency during holding. Working out my arms and upper body couldn't hurt either :}

It was my first time bouldering and I feel good about it. Danielle said I did good and I want to try again soon. My arms were thoroughly exhausted by ending time. Also, my hands were raw as burger but that'll pass with time. As a sprouting beginner I feel confident that with time and supreme patience skills I'll be able to conquer these paths.

-Wish me LUCK! ;D