Seattle Bouldering Project

After work today I went down to the Seattle Bouldering Project, which resides in an old industrial space quite close to the stadiums in the south of the city.

Seattle Bouldering Project is big, much like everything in the US. I’m not sure if that is in and of itself a good thing, but I wanted to find out.

I’m starting to see the difference more clearly between Boulder Movement and the North American gyms. The former has lots of intricate, tricky technical stuff, over short distances and without a lot of height. There’s cramped stuff in corners and there’s no overhangs beyond 40°.

Everything in North America seems to be damn big. The holds are enormous, but there’s more space between them, so there’s a lot more than relies on having a big reach. With Seattle Bouldering Project a lot of the problems require you to climb over the top of the problem when you’re done, and jump down the other side, and when I’m dangling precariously over the edge of a wall, I remember I don’t have much of a head for heights. Which is… exciting.

Oh, and there are lots of big overhangs and roof sections. This is good for your abs as you end up dangling with both arms on a hold, your feet floating in space with nothing to get purchase on.

Seattle Bouldering Project had a lot more tricky things to balance on, whereas when I was in Montreal it felt like a lot of stuff was brute strength that I didn’t have. The difficulty level seems to be a bit off though – elsewhere, I can mostly climb V1 and V3 is impossible; there, what was allegedly V2 was mostly within my means. Apart from when it was too big / there was an interesting feature I couldn’t handle / I needed an excuse.

So there was lots of stuff there I felt challenged by. It wasn’t all just enormous holds, there’s lots where if your weight isn’t spread right, or you don’t get the right angle on the hold, it’s impossible. And there was enough that I coukd do that I didn’t just feel incompetent.

Still, I miss my Singaporean climbing wall. A few days to go now before my happy place….

4 responses to “Seattle Bouldering Project”

  1. Hate climbing over the top, I get paralysed with fear. I avoid those routes.
    Do you think it’s just that the holds are so small at Boulder Movement?? I like big holds, but someone at Boulder Brighton complained on their Facebook page that they stick out and catch you on a fall.
    How do women manage on the brute strength climbs?

    • I think women prevail on these ones through a combination of power:weight ratio and skill. I can yank myself up some stuff and then if I lose my footing, I’m now often strong enough to dangle until I get my feet back on the wall, but if I were nore thoughtful / flexible / considered things would be easier…

    • Oh, and they’re not *all* big holds or all small holds at Boulder Movement – whereas in America it seems to be all huge, all the time 🙂

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