The Sport of Bouldering Makes NY Times
Recently, bay area climbers Randy Puro and Beth Rodden headed across the big pond to Norway, where they bouldered, trad climbed and clipped some sport bolts. The pair were followed by a reporter for the New York Times, who posted a story about them in the paper.
VINGSAND, Norway — Two large black mattresses bounced along the coastline, pausing every so often in front of large rocks and the glimmering sea view. w. The mattresses — or crash pads, as some call them — were strapped to the backs of two American rock climbers who are among a growing group of people who in the last decade have practiced and promoted a form of climbing that relies on mattresses, rather than ropes, to catch their falls.
Reaching a rock known by locals as the Dalai Lama, the climbers threw the pads onto the ground and changed their shoes, and then it was time to hit the rock.
“It’s going to be an awesome day,” said Beth Rodden, a 31-year-old Californian who in 2008 completed the hardest traditional climb ever created in Yosemite National Park.
It was early July and Rodden warmed up her fingers in a sort of sunburst motion. She then began to feel the boulder in front of her, pinching each wrinkle and fold. Then, right foot first, she was off the ground, dancing in the vertical. If she fell, her black mattress was on the ground just five feet below to catch her.
For decades, rock climbing was a sport about reaching places thousands of feet off the ground. These climbs can take days and require sleeping up on the rock. Spectators watch with binoculars below. Pinning ropes to the rock along the way is a necessary safeguard, and learning how to climb with a rope is a lengthy undertaking that long kept the sport on the fringe.
The rest of the story as well as videos and photos from their climbing day can be seen on the NY Times website
Labels: Beth Rodden, New York Times climbing, Randy Puro