The Theory of Bouldering: A Deep, Metaphysical Freefall

What’s the balance between falling and climbing in bouldering? For U.K. climber Jim Pope, it’s not just falls per send — it’s high-concept metaphysics.

If you climb for 12 years and do it the way Jim Pope has done it, you might fall 50 times each session. Say you spent half a second in the air during each one.

If all that were true, you’d rack up an entire 24 hours in freefall in your dozen years of “climbing.”

But really, Pope argues, you’re contending with gravity; you’re seeking the ability to “walk on the moon.”

This creative edit seeks to strike its own gravitational balance between melodramatic cuts and Euro club music. Pope’s esoteric voiceovers somehow track with the rapturous dance beats. If you like Jerry Moffat and Ben Moon’s old raw content, like THE REAL THING,” then “MIDAIR” should scratch the itch — and add a new dimension for you to muse on.

Runtime: 4 minutes

clem lechaptois dave graham roadkill
Bouldering Is Scary: Watch 40-Foot ‘Roadkill’ V15 in Action
Watch Dave Graham and Clem Lechaptois attempt 'Roadkill' (V15/8C). The mega-hard boulder tops out more than 40 feet off the deck. Read more…

Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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