Indoor climbing doesn’t matter, right? Sure, people get psyched about comps, but nobody cares about when someone sends a regular problem set at the gym, right? Right? Well, maybe not.
A couple of nights ago Daniel Woods climbed a longstanding project at the CATS training facility in Boulder, CO. CATS is a bit unique in that problems are set and then left on the wall for years, allowing climbers time to project something long-term. The so-called Bubbble Wrap project was one such problem at CATS that had rebuffed efforts by some of the world’s best boulderers over the past five years until Woods was able to climb it the other night[1. I can’t say for sure, but it seems likely that Woods put more work into climbing this problem than just about anything he’s climbed outside. Think about that for a second.].
Like I said, indoor sends are not normally a big deal, but a funny thing happened after Woods’ send. James O’Connor posted a video of the send that generated a lot of activity on Facebook and racked up over 10,000 views in the first 24 hours it was online. Does this mean indoor sends now somehow “matter” in the grand scheme of things[2. Ignoring any arguments that climbing itself doesn’t matter]? I doubt it—I’m inclined to agree with Jamie Emerson’s thoughts on the issue—but it’s clear that this sort of thing does resonate strongly with many of us on some level.
I know I’m that much more psyched to get into the gym this weekend to pull down[3. But I’d still rather be climbing outside].