By Madi Dean
For the duration of my entire adult life, I have been exposed to beautiful photography of strong men and women climbing rock faces that seem almost unimaginable. The strength and dedication that the climbers take to their sport is almost as impressive.
Approaching the summer of 2017, I found myself wandering into the climbing gym at CSU’s rec center often, unaware of how climbing would totally transform my life. Upon my curiosity, I met another experienced individual committed to several forms of climbing that was able to provide me with necessary instruction and gear. We first began top roping, quickly followed by bouldering and then sport climbing.
In the short few months when I initially began bouldering, I was constantly frustrated and sore, but I was totally hooked. I enjoyed the persistence and technique involved in bouldering that I had not experienced in other activities. I enjoyed venturing out to new areas of the state to discover boulders of all shapes and sizes. I joined a local climbing gym late August of 2017. This enabled me to progress at a more rapid rate than solely bouldering outside. My thoughts quickly became consumed by climbing/ My goals were now aimed towards getting stronger physically to climb more difficult grades inside and outside. In my opinion, bouldering is the purest form of climbing. Unencumbered by a rope or gear, bouldering becomes the epitome of movement, power and technique.
When bouldering, there are different grades of difficulty within the V0-V17 (easy to hard) range. Not only does climbing engage your core, arms, legs and back, but it also engages your mind. Every problem is unique in structure, grade and rock type. You must use your brain and muscles to determine the most feasible method to top-out. My mental clarity has improved, as well as my diet, attitude and appreciation for nature and all of the wonderful rock features. I would highly recommend climbing to anyone looking to build life-long friendships and lasting memories.