A while ago, I wrote an article asking What’s the best snowboarding companion sport? Possible contenders included skateboarding, surfing, mountain biking, freeboarding… But climbing wasn’t on the list.
That article considered factors like cross-over technique, balance, fitness and nerve. But it didn’t consider the cultural, environmental or lifestyle elements of related sports. In this regard, it seems that rock climbing is a good fit for snowboarders; I climb, and I know of many snowboarders who also like to go upwards during the summer rather than downwards.
Over the past ten years or so I’ve been climbing on and off. I’ve been through periods of climbing two or three times a week, and there have been stretches of inactivity in the one to two year range. At the moment, I’m bouldering once a week with a friend, at indoor walls.
Climbing is very challenge based. You set yourself a problem, try it, and if you didn’t get it you can get straight back on the wall and try again. This is probably the element that I like most, and in this regard, it has a similar appeal to skateboarding… You’re working on a trick, getting closer, and you just keep trying again and again until you get it.
The environment in which people climb outdoors is certainly attractive to many snowboarders. We enjoy an adrenaline fuelled activity that takes place in remote mountain ranges. Close to nature. Awesome scenery. A feeling of escape.
The same mountains that we travel to in the winter can be returned to in the summer, for climbing…