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Fred DID Akira!

Akira! If like me, you are a little older and can remember the late 80's and 90's, which we might call the real revolution period in climbing, then you will be well versed with the spat between Fred Rouhling and the rest of the climbing world. Well, by that I mean a bunch of Americans and Brits who were furious that someone might have come along and pissed on their parades. Apparently his methods were considered unethical, particularly when he was applying them and goodness me, he just wasn't good enough. A journalist has tracked Fred down and discussed this and it's very pleasing to say that the man is absolved of his alleged guilt. Personally, I always believed him, it's very easy for the elites of any sport to get careless and allow ego to take over and simply refuse to accept that there are very talented "others", a quick look through the Grit Bouldering guides will show that the Stars of the area, the ones getting paid, may have put up the very hardes

The Big Island.

  https://fanatic-climbing.com/lucien-martinez-repete-the-big-island-lucien-martinez-repete-the-big-island/?fbclid=IwAR1Y_14oFGbTIC4JM1fiJx6BOksPqWzm65OWQApcoJNsMOfbTAh6ZgfvVxE The link above is an interesting read from FANATIC about the recent send of The Big Island, one of the most iconic boulders in Fontainebleau - there are others. The link should land in English. Fontainebleau is still the testing ground in my opinion, so many test pieces there and you still need technique to succeed in good style, meaning, not too much scrabbling about. Enjoy. Photo copyright  Heiko Wilhelm

Finger Strength Training Manual.

 As you may have noticed, we included the Roots-Climbing Baseline fingerboard in a Best of round up recently. They just informed us that their new training manual, aimed at finger strength and conditioning for bouldering and climbing is available now from Blurb, a third party printer. Follow this link to get a copy.  

Age against the Machine

      As I look out across what I hope will be my year 2021 and make plans for different project boulders I am mindful that I also look out at my 50th year on the planet. It's been quite a ride so far, various ups and downs have shaped me, as they have or will shape you, and sitting on this side of life I also have to wonder how much longer I have left to go. In terms of years, well, that's in the hand of destiny, or foolishness or even a micro second of not noticing life or as the Buddhists would say, a moment of lacking mindfulness, not being in the moment or entirely aware of yourself and surroundings. The Bouldering Goddess and the Great Buddha would have much to talk about I expect as there are many moments in a boulderers life that are critical and require defined decision making without really "thinking about it". These moments are certainly up there with Buddha's training methods. Without knowing it, bouldering often employs the Decisive Moment as laid out

Goliath's in Mass.

   Here's a useful link for those living in Cheshire, Mass. https://www.iberkshires.com/story/51285/Cheshire-Author-Uncovers-Ancient-Goliaths.html?source=most_read best of luck to anyone out there/already on it.

Who's Crushing?

I don't believe we have seen the strongest climbers yet, the catchment is still too small and dare I say, selective. The sport is dominated by white people and aimed at medium to high earners with time and excess funds to visit centres and travel. There's also the growing cost of shoes, chalk and crash pads. Just in case you're about to pull me up, yes I know, non whites are also in this bracket that fit the archetypal 21st Century climber. But where are they? Second, yes there are non white active climbers, but why so few? I speak here to the western world as I am well aware that the scene in India for example is growing and the standard is already high. I imagine though, that the opportunity for the poor to access equipment, let alone free time, is probably zero. During my time as an instructor there were many youngsters coming through, some lauded as the "best we have seen" - for the age etc - but the reality, played out over time was just another case of over

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The Quest for First Ascents.

  ...."i'm that guy who finds rocks". For those who don't know, the quote above is from Dave Graham, one of the best boulderers of all time, and prolific First Ascensionist. Mr. Graham has had a vast wilderness at his disposal to explore and the talent to take on any "rig" that stands before him. Hence leaving in his wake many fine boulders and test pieces for the rest of us to attempt or just think about. Like others before him, the lure of F.A.'s is all part of the game for top end boulderers but attraction to new rocks, new in the sense that they are untouched, runs deep in many of us.  For the Pros the F.A. lure is still passion based but also has incentives, being on top is one aspect as is publicity, leading to their continued life as Sponsored Pro. For the rest of us, lucky enough to stumble upon or have the time to search actively for rock, the lure is cemented in the passion area, and the need for something new, the chance to test ourselves. The

Hold Improvement. Is chipping here to stay?

Recently I had the displeasure of visiting a crag I developed a few years ago. Normally I like going there. I put up one of the bravest lines and took a proper 10 feet deck out in the process, proving that quality foam in ya pad is much better than cheapo packaging foam, just so you know. Many people jumped on this venue at the start, all gagging for FA's, expecting that the few of us that originally developed it, had missed something or lacked the skills to fully exploit -sorry! There was also some talk of the area being too soft grade wise, sorry again, but I don't make holds unless they're plastic. Imagine my surprise then, when I rock up one fine afternoon for a session only to find that a crucial crux hold - sloping pocket - has been chipped on one of the finest problems. (A cool rising traverse at 7a). What is the problem? Why do people think this kind of action is OK? Lowering the difficulty of a climb to your own standard is a disgraceful thing to do. When developin

Top 6 Hangboards 2021. We did the hard work so you can buy without hassle. Note: we bought and used our fingerboards for this article.

We have here a list of the top 6 fingerboards, or hangboards if you prefer. Hangboard training is something we know a bit about and regularly train on fingerboards, hence, we are in a good place to guide you. Most Bloggers play it safe here and offer up the usual suspects, (who give them free stuff) but, they are missing the shizzle and duping you. For sure there are several names missing, you might think, but in reality these missing names are mostly copycats, after all, three edges on a piece of wood is just that really, I mean how many brands do we need making the same thing? So in this regard Lattice came out on top because of the training back up and the development they put in. Roots-Climbing drops into second place because their board is the most developed of this type - meaning they offer more than 3 edges - there is actually a lot of good things about this board. It's fair to say that having just one fingerboard isn't enough, there are many reasons for this statement..

Crash Pads.

Coming soon is a very informative piece about bouldering crash pads, and the often dubious rubbish that is stuffed inside them. If you think the designers are interested in your safety, you're in for a surprise.

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