Is bouldering the next big sport?


Pictured above is Oliver Hardt hanging at the Circuit Bouldering Gym in Tigard

When most people hear the word “climbing,” they think of little kids climbing a tree or rock climbing in the wild. However, in today’s world, climbing is growing into a popular trend.

If you were to visit a place called “The Circuit Bouldering Gym” near Bridgeport between 5-8pm, you would find a packed parking lot and a climbing gym full of people. “The Circuit” is one of many climbing gyms opening up around Portland, including Planet Granite and Portland Rock Gym.

Bouldering is a sport which involves climbing color-coordinated routes that are graded on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being the hardest and 0 being the easiest. Routes labeled “0” are typically a little bit harder than climbing a ladder, meanwhile 10’s are for those that have practiced climbing for many years.

Climbing is appealing to people simply because bouldering is a physical exercise, yet it doesn’t feel like one. Bouldering is like a puzzle, since you have to think about how to correctly position yourself on the route. This combination of a mental and physical workout is what makes the sport so appealing. Oliver Hardt (a student at Wilsonville) says he goes there because “It’s a fun way to work out and helps me be more focused and driven in other parts of my life.”

If you are looking for a new and current hobby, try bouldering! While it is a slightly expensive investment at first, it pays off in the long run because you will fall in love with the challenges it presents.