Jul 22, 2011

Forcing The Move

The men's 1st problem of the 2011 Arco bouldering final.
Three climbers use three radically different methods to accomplish the same goal. I unable to discern the routesetter's intention.
Does the routesetter's intention matter?

Routesetters, from novice to expert, obsess over "forcing the move." They have platonic ideal of a particular climbing move. It could be mundane, a two crimper dyno to a jug, or esoteric, double bat hang. Routesetters hallucinate that people care. People don't care. People care about other qualities of a problem. Primarily, they want challenging and fun problems to solve. If problems can be solved multiple ways, it doesn't diminish the quality of the experience. In fact, alternative sequences can enrich the quality of the experience. I argue it is more interesting to encourage the richness of climbing. Otherwise, it is the same people climbing the same problems in the same way (sounds eerily like the climbing scene on Front Range).

I view routesetting as installation art. I create a context that only matters once people interact with it. I can't control how people climb "my" climbs (or what they say about them). Additionally, I'm usually working 3 climbs ahead. I would have to stop creating to address criticisms.

Stop focusing on forcing the move. Start focusing on creating art.