Bouldering has been a climbing activity for over 100 years and probably it all started in Fontainebleau. Since then, bleausards have been sliding off the slopy boulders trying to find increasingly problematic ways to get to the top. Specific boulder problems were first identified in the mid 40-ties in topos and by painting small arrows on the rock. Lately, lots of innovative methods to create new difficult problems, have come up: Variations, Eliminations, Traverses, and Link-ups etc. Actually, maybe only half of the 8a boulders in Fontainbleau and around the world could be considered â??easiest way up”. Some are, in fact, so complicated that they canâ??t be described in a topo or by arrows, instead they only exist in the mind of the first ascender and maybe their spotters.
Almost every sport has a judge deciding whatâ??s right and wrong. The extreme athlete tries to find shortcuts like doping, â??high altitude houses”, pace makers etc, to be number one. In sport climbing and bouldering however, itâ??s more or less up to the individual to decide what goes, that is to bend and sometimes even break the â??rules”. These â??rules”, are by no means written in stone, in fact quite the contrary.
Since thereâ??s nothing we at 8a.nu like better than to tell people what to think and do, we thought weâ??d take the opportunity to use this forum, where no one can object to what weâ??re saying, to do exactly that . This time weâ??ve decided to discuss the matter of bouldering ethics, a few doâ??s and donâ??ts if you like. OK, itâ??s only a game but itâ??s better played when everybody sticks to the same rules. It should be underlined that we are first of all looking at a way of categorising boulders from boulder problems! Weâ??ll go through the potential troublemakers one by one and discuss them briefly, but donâ??t forget that itâ??s first of all a game and actually in most cases nobody knows whatâ??s right or wrong and that itâ??s totally impossible to exactly draw a line between any boulder categories.