Bouldering is rock climbing in its purest form - it's all about movement and problem solving skills.
You don't climb very high in bouldering, no more than four and a half meters. It is about difficulty rather than height. Boulder problems are graded according to their level of difficulty, starting at V0 and working upwards. It's an open-ended scale - the current top grade climbed is V16 - and largely subjective, but it's useful for understanding your progress.
At an indoor bouldering centre, the different grades of climb are indicated using different coloured holds. Climbing using the greens might be a V0, climbing using the purples might be a V4. The problems are all mixed together allowing people of every ability level to climb together on one stretch of wall.
A boulderer seeks to solve the climb by using a combination of balance, strength, intuition and technical skills. It is a vertical, physical strategy game.
Bouldering is also a uniquely immediate and social way of doing sport. You need virtually no equipment and no matter what level you’re climbing at you’re tackling the same challenges of movement, strength and problem solving. Boulderers tend to work together to tackle climbs and offer a great deal of support to those around them.
People use bouldering for power, for endurance, for agility and for core strength. It is a versatile way of staying strong, supple and toned. But most importantly, it is a great way to challenge yourself and have fun whilst hanging out with family or friends.