How To Do Highball Bouldering - Funny Video (Instructional Too)

If you're interested in bouldering, you'll enjoy this video. Transcript below:

Here we are at Jaws (V3 bouldering problem - Independence Pass, Colorado).

Like any self respected highball, the crux on this one comes near the top. In this case, when you get your feet pasted on the lip, you start climbing your way up that arrete.

Highball Bouldering T-shirt - Climber and Spotter

Let’s give it a shot!

The moves we do when we’re highballing are no different than the ones we do on regular bouldering. So why’s highballing so hard?

Well, that’s because by definition, if you fall off a true highball problem, you’re gonna get jacked up. You’re talking emergency room action. :-)

You don’t want that. So the best way to deal with that mental stress and all that adds in, is to put everything in your favor.

First off, I like to get to the top of the problem, make sure the top out moves are clean, the holds are solid - I got an idea what I’m getting into.

Okay, so when I’m highballing, all I’m thinking about once I leave the ground, is how I’m gonna get to the summit and how I’m gonna execute the move to perfection.

Climbing T-shirt - Top Rope Forbidden

Think about the sequence, the hold, just what I need to do to climb. I can’t let any negative thoughts enter my mind.

(Dude! Are you alright?)

Any doctor will tell you - one concussion is one more than you wanna have. I’ve had 7 that I can recall. My docs tell me if I have one more I could turn into a sport climber. Well that ain’t gonna happen.

So if I’m bouldering by myself or I greatly outweigh my spotter or maybe the landing is so tricky that the spotter is gonna have trouble giving me an adequate spot, I’ll rock a helmet.

Why not?

Man, when I have this bad boy on, I don’t have to worry if a hold snaps or something like that. It’s not in the back of my mind. Oh, I could get a head injury, I could end up in the emergency room.


I can focus entirely on crushing the moves and that’s what you gotta be focused on, if you wanna climb the harder problems.

I was told cleanliness is next to godliness. I wouldn’t know much about that. But, I do know I climb better when I clean my shoes before every attempt.

If you’re addicted to bouldering porn, you may have the impression that experts just walk up the highballs and send them first try.

Au contraire mon frère.

Because falling is not an option, we climb up and down a lot. Downclimbing is a key skill. And one you can acquire on shorter, safer problems before embarking on a highball career.

Downclimbing save wear and tear on the joints as well as acquaints one better with the opening moves. So when it’s time to send, one can climb up to the business that much quicker and be fresher for the crux.

Okay. I do everything I can to put things in my favor. Now my mind is free to focus solely on executing the moves to perfection. Time to commit to the crux.

Chalk your hands and be safe.

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