CLIMB­ING AT THE SHORE

Lei - - Lifestyle - TEXT BY Lisa Ya­mada IM­AGE BY Ryan Moss

Climb­ing Pounders Beach in La‘ie on O‘ahu’s North Shore with­out the aid of ropes or har­nesses makes Justin Ridgely’s as­cent per­ilous. De­spite this, the avid boul­derer moves swiftly from hold to hold, fol­low­ing the nat­u­ral lines of the rock for­ma­tion with broad, spi­der-like move­ments. Ridgely is the owner of Volcanic Rock Gym in Kaka‘ako, the only in­door boul­der­ing gym of its kind in Hawai‘i. It’s where climbers both novice and ad­vanced can get a work­out on the colorful walls Ridgely built from the ground up while hon­ing their skills to pre­pare for the ex­pert-level nat­u­ral boul­ders found out­doors.

And while it looks chal­leng­ing, the brawny, six-foot-some­thing Ridgely ac­knowl­edges: “There’s stuff that is go­ing to be eas­ier for you than it is for me. It’s about al­low­ing your mind to em­brace that thought and to try ev­ery­thing and be­ing able to feel what you’re do­ing wrong. It’s more than just try harder or be stronger.”

Un­like top-rope or lead climb­ing, boul­der­ing uti­lizes body po­si­tion­ing and move­ment rather than sheer strength or equip­ment. “Just like yoga, if you’re in a per­fect stance or po­si­tion, the move will feel ef­fort­less,” says Ridgely. “With boul­der­ing, whether it’s over­hung or you’re stand­ing on your feet, no mat­ter what, body po­si­tion­ing helps out.”

Ridgely has doc­u­mented 44 climb­ing sites that he and friends have found, cleaned, and climbed. For more in­for­ma­tion on th­ese sites or Volcanic Rock Gym, lo­cated at 432 Keawe St., visit hi­boul­der­ing.com.

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