WR and the Quest for Status

A friend sent me this link of a boulderer trying to send White Rastafarian (WR). His friends did an admirable job of protecting him, for the most part, but what’s significant is the lack of skill for toping out that the boulderer himself displayed.

Just after this reach, the boulderer drops back to the resting position then continues to release and fall...

Just after this reach, the boulderer drops back to the resting position then continues to release and fall…

The climber did try the send from a sit, but his style was so poor that he lacked composure for highballs. This is how the “old school” climbers DID NOT climb. The top is a jug rail with a huge foot (evidenced by the video). The fact that the climber can’t press off that jug rail is amazingly sad.

But what’s more important, is that this climber didn’t spend much if any time climbing the immense number of boulders that are short but have technical top outs. Had he spend more time climbing in Josh and less time trying to get his “trophy” send, he’d be the better, less dependent on his peers, and more capable of going after the many other highballs through out JTNP.

I’ve repeatedly posted of short and medium boulder problems throughout the park for the VERY reason that if you climb circuits (typically by yourself), you’d slowly gain the composure and skillset to topout. Getting out of the pool, so to speak, is the business end of bouldering; unfortunately, gyms hardly push this skill, so the end result is that the climber barely reaches the lip in the gym, then falls off. Then that same person goes outside to get his “trophy” send thinking he has the skillset to reach the top, and he does exactly that, barely. The rest that follows is rather expected.

All I can say is boulderers need to spend more time enjoying bouldering and less time in “trophy” mode… especially since the only real trophy one gets is personal enrichment, and you can’t hang that on the wall.  My latest video is of a mantel 3 feet off the ground. I’m about to post a video of a short 3 foot mantel. Yeah, stupid problem cause it’s so short, but what do you do if the top is not easy? I guess fall with cameras rolling and bros trying to spot you?


~ by r. mulligan on 2016/02/08.

3 Responses to “WR and the Quest for Status”

  1. Can’t believe this has stayed quiet. Last time around this was approaching internet sensation!

  2. You bring up some great points. Thanks for writing this. I wonder, how much of this comes from gyms setting problems that promote this kind of approach to bouldering and then it gets taken outside? I find when I do circuits I often have a much more enjoyable and productive day then when I throw myself at hard stuff (which I probably still do too often).

    BTW: My wife and I really appreciate your write-up on system training. We were amazed at how it helped improve our ability to engage our lower bodies. We would definitely appreciate anymore nuggets of gold you have like that!

    • You’re welcome! System training is pretty important, but more important is learning the movement of your core first in relation to your balance point, or centering. This then is facilitated by the core/shoulders and core/hips. So the most important thing is to learn to move through extended arms. This is where trad climbing can really make a climber improve: head game/seriousness and core movement.

      Yeah, the gym scene is it’s own beast, so to speak. As I comment to the other commenter, it’s only a matter of time that gyms have a foam pit for tall problems. But as you probably already know, this kind of thinking only takes one further away from what matters most bouldering outside. Maybe that’s a good thing since crags really don’t do well over time with tons of climbers. Things are always being “whittled” down, either by breaking, polishing or the area getting trampled.

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