FUNCTION, THEN FORM
Blocking holds is a great way to enhance the curb appeal of a boulder, but your first priority with blocking should be function, not form. Ask yourself - how can blocking affect a climber’s physical or mental experience on the wall? Creating a problem that looks cool is an added benefit of blocking, but shouldn’t be your primary driver.
BENEFITS OF BLOCKING
Blocking holds allows you to control a climber’s interaction with a sequence on a problem or route. Sometimes a climber can break the beta and avoid a specific move or sequence that you've intentionally designed. By blocking holds, you can effectively “manipulate or force” a certain type of movement, sequence, or specific way in which a climb needs to be executed.
Blocking is great for:
- Forcing precision
- Making movement more technical
- Creating obstacles
- Increasing intensity
- Creating lower-percentage movement
In our last Setter Series video, we gave a broad overview of ways to tweak boulders for greater or less intensity and promoting specific movement. Rotating and simple hold changes are great ways to adjust your boulder problems and routes. Blocking holds is a highly effective way to achieve the same goals when setting while simultaneously being able to fine-tune and dial in the specifics of a climber's engagement with a climb.
More from the Trango Setter Series:
Video by Alton Richardson