Peter Beal has been climbing for 30 years, and he’s one of the few masters climbing boulder problems at the V11/12 level in the United States. As an instructor, he’s someone climbers of every age, skill level, and background would want to get advice from. Now they can, thanks to his new book, Bouldering: Movement, Tactics, and Problem Solving, published in October 2011 by Mountaineers Books. The book covers gear, physiology, training, injury prevention, competitions, and more for climbers of all abilities. It’s an ideal introduction to the sport for anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of movement and tactics for success. Mountain caught up with Beal to hear more.
What is the current state of bouldering?
It’s still a growing sport, and for good reason. Climbers that are new to the sport, especially those starting in gyms, find it a natural fit. Also, anyone trying to improve their skills as a climber tends to boulder. It’s is a lifelong activity. And because good bouldering is found in many urban areas nationwide, it can be considered a very “green” form of climbing, too.
Does urban gym climbing help build outdoor bouldering skills?
Gym climbing builds strength and body awareness but is never a substitute for the real thing.
How does the climbing community avoid becoming tarnished as too exclusive and unwelcoming to beginners?
I think that the climbing community can be very welcoming to beginners as long as those new to the sport respect the rocks, the environment, and the climbing experiences of others.
What is the best instructional advice you have for climbers?
The best recommendation I have is to climb often and pay attention to what works well. Listen to your body and climb safe! —Sarah Peruzzi