Written by Eric Ho
It’s that time again! Fall Bouldering League at Sender One LAX! How do you feel about a little friendly competition? As they say: 'a rising tide raises all ships,' and that is certainly true during Bouldering League. Everybody climbs a little harder and comes out of it a little stronger, all while having the best times of their lives sending with friends and strangers alike.
How does Bouldering League work, you ask? Easy peasy, just sign up with three friends to create a team of four! If all your friends are randomly busy for the next 4 weeks, you can sign up as a free agent and we’ll do our best to group 4 free agents into a brand new team!
During the first three weeks of Bouldering League, just choose one day per week to climb together with your team and submit your scores (both digitally AND via paper)! If you climb at your self-selected handicap level, great! If you climb higher than your handicap, even better (you’re getting stronger, and you might be assigned a new handicap to reflect that)! The top three scores of your team are added to make up the team score each week. Isn’t Bouldering League great?! But don’t just take our word for it...
Let’s Get To Know Last Year’s Winners
How did you form your team?
Nicole: "Some of us did bouldering league the previous year and we were going to keep the same team, but a few members from that year couldn’t attend so we formed a new team. Also, we are climbing besties at Sender One so it just made sense."
Arielle: "It was fate to do bouldering league with my best homies. We climb together, we laugh together, we boulder-league together."
Rebecca: "My best homies asked me if I wanted to be on their bouldering league team and I couldn’t possibly say no."
Ralen: "Through friendship and camaraderie"
What is your favorite style of climbing?
Nicole: "I like very technical routes with small holds and flowy, balance-y moves."
Arielle: "I have grown to love stemming and balancing moves. Anything that requires a bit of a pistol squat to show off my leg strength, I am psyched on. Also love an overhang."
Rebecca: "I love stemming! I also love climbs with big committing moves that make me really have to throw myself at stuff - all or nothing, baby!"
Ralen: "My favorite style of climbing is technical vert."
What’s your least favorite style of climbing?
Nicole: "Anything that requires overhang is a challenge for me."
Arielle: "Crimps that hurt my delicate fingers!"
Rebecca: "Anything with slopers"
Ralen: "Slabby sloper-y"
What is your favorite outdoor crag?
Nicole: "I live in the Denver area now so my favorite outdoor crag is Clear Creek. But Texas Canyon, Holcomb Valley, and Red Rocks will always have a place in my heart."
Arielle: "BISHOP. My boulder heart beats for Happy Boulders. But as my sport climbing love grows, I enjoy a local day to Texas Canyon."
Rebecca: "Red rocks!!! But Texas Canyon locally."
Ralen: "It’s quickly becoming Clear Creek but historically Red Rocks."
What kind of training did you do to prepare for Bouldering League?
Nicole: "I usually sport climb so I think I switched to bouldering a little more before to prepare."
Arielle: "I lift a lot so that definitely helped, and focusing on bouldering sessions over ropes."
Rebecca: "I started bouldering a bit more and climbing more in general."
Ralen: "I didn’t. Hahahaha. I just climbed a lot because it’s based on improvement so I just climbed A LOT."
What was your favorite part of Bouldering League?
Nicole: "It was very fun rooting for everyone and projecting together and supporting all the teams. Also crying together about hard routes."
Arielle: "Just being goofy with my friends and feeling the gym community come together to all root for each other."
Rebecca: "Getting to push myself out of my comfort zone and try problems I normally wouldn’t. The competitive aspect makes the victory of sending harder grades wayyy more rewarding. And of course, I can’t forget getting more time to spend with my pals - what is climbing if not a silly goofy sendy time with the homies."
Ralen: "Honestly, it was getting to try hard problems with all my friends. I had fun. Like even on the last day I got to hang out and have fun even though I couldn’t climb. It was getting to climb with my friends of all levels because, usually, I wouldn’t climb with Becca and Arielle who climb at a skill level that would normally prevent me from climbing with them."
Any advice for returning competitors?
Nicole: "As a repeat myself, I’d say it’s all about your team's attitude and believing in yourself and others on your team. Negative talk and self doubt will manifest. Positive talk and just believing you can do it goes a long way!"
Arielle: "Just have fun, pick a fun team name, and don’t be hard on yourself! Don’t focus on last year, just focus on this year! It is a new day."
Rebecca: "Make sure you pick a good team name. It’s never too early to start training ;)"
Ralen: "Just climb a lot and you'll get better as you go. Climb a lot and climb hard and you can surprise yourself."
Any advice for new competitors?
Nicole: "Don’t get injured! *cough* *Arielle & Ralen*... but actually, listen to your body cause you’re climbing things that are harder and that’s an easy way to get injured. Also have fun!"
Arielle: "...Make sure you do some bouldering training beforehand, or the sudden switch to bouldering will make it more difficult for ya! If you have a team full of supportive pals, you are going to climb better and have way more fun. I love you Nicole, Ralen, and Becca <3 Also do not plan to go to Craggin Classic the day after Bouldering League finals if you want to climb. We spent the weekend in the hot springs recovering from sending so hard. No regrets. "
Rebecca: "Also make sure you pick a good team name and start training early. Some people really come to compete, so make sure your team is aligned on it if you’re shooting for the w or just want to have fun."
Ralen: "Climb a lot and climb hard and you can surprise yourself. But be careful of injury."
Registration for Bouldering League is LIVE! 10/13 is the last day to take advantage of the early bird rates. The battle royale begins this Monday, 10/16 at 5pm!
We can’t wait to see your progress!
-your friendly neighborhood bouldering league commissioner