An Examination of Climbing Performance and its Relationship to Perceived Abilities and Experience among Boulderers


  • Eric Frauman Appalachian State University


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the performance of “boulderers” as it relates to one's perceived abilities and experience in an effort to add to the body of climbing literature. Data were collected in early 2009 adjacent to an indoor climbing wall where subjects were asked to complete an online survey before participating in three bouldering problems (i.e., marked climbing routes). Some of the strongest positive correlations (p < .05) linked performance to perceived level of bouldering, perceived bouldering ability and shape, and level of problem completed previously. Other findings positively linked types of hand strength and bouldering experience to performance. The results suggest that perceptions associated with bouldering ability and experiences are reflected in performance. Given the limitations of this study, future research should expand the sample size and include addi- tional  measures  such  as  motives  for  bouldering  to  provide  additional insight into the climbing experience.