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Stepping Up To Bouldering

Rock climbing is a sport that numerous people flock to every year, drawn by the beauty of the mountain, the allure of the climb, and the sheer adrenaline rush of scaling rock. For a select few, simple rock climbing is not enough. For those individuals, there is an entirely different sport derivative of climbing, known as bouldering that pits an individual without any equipment against a much shorter climb. Knowing the difference between bouldering and rock climbing and how to choose your first boulders is the first step in getting into this exciting climbing alternative.

Bouldering was originally developed as practice for rock climbers so as to offer themselves an opportunity to work on their moves on a smaller scale without the effort and time involved in a full climb. Over time however the sport has evolved into its own sub-sport in which numerous techniques have been developed and stars have been born.

Bouldering itself is defined by the size of the boulder being climbed. Without equipment, it is generally held that if you can climb a rock without falling to your death, it is bouldering. Another requirement is that the boulder is not an important part of the mountain. Unlike climbing, bouldering is a short and quick endeavor, involving no equipment and the quick problem solving approach of a skilled climber.

Another fun aspect of bouldering is that almost anyone can try it if they are in decent shape. Some boulders are relatively safe and small and the average individual could easily attempt a climb without incident. However, there are other boulders well beyond the scope of some people that could cause bodily harm. Often, a boulder climber will have a spotter who sets and watches a mat to catch the climber in case of a fall. If a boulder is too big or unpredictable a mat and spotter will do no good.

For those looking for new boulders to climb, the grading scales used are often open ended, meaning that larger boulders are always being found and added to the scale. The John Sherman scale consists of ratings from V0 to V16 with room for growth above V16 and the Fontainebleau system ranges from 1 to 8c+, also open to grow.

As for safety measures, climbers are often held to nine foot maximum climbs. Once beyond the twenty-one foot marker, a boulder climber is no longer bouldering but free soloing - a derivative of mountain climbing largely considered dangerous. The above mentioned mat is always placed below a boulder climber as well to ensure any falls are cushioned. Any bouldering enthusiast should bring along a spotter to watch over their mat. If a climber falls, the spotter's job is to try and ensure the climber hits that mat properly.

Because of the physical demands of the sport, bouldering should only be attempted by those in relatively decent shape. You don't need to be a world class athlete, but the proper strength training and acumen are vital to ensuring you have a safe climb.

Bouldering is a great new sporting option for climbers to practice and those afraid of heights to try climbing. Without the ample gear, hours long training sessions, or expensive process of rock climbing, bouldering is quickly growing into a popular high-impact alternative for quick and thrilling climbs.


Climbing Gear - Don't Leave Home Without It

Climbing is a popular sport around the world. Whether it be rock climbing, ice climbing, tree climbing, climbing walls, or bouldering, the sport has definitely taken hold around the world. But anyone who has been on a climb can tell you that it's not nearly as easy or safe as some of the other sports you can get into. Honestly, one wrong move or knot tied incorrectly can lead to serious injury or even death for yourself or a climbing partner.

It's extremely important to pay attention to detail when you're on a climb. One of the best ways to do that is to have the right kinds of climbing gear, and to take care of your rock climbing gear carefully. Here are some great tips for making sure you're prepared for the climb.

Having the Right Climbing Gear

Depending on what kind of climbing you're going to be participating in, the assortment of climbing gear you're going to need is going to change. Climbing requires lots of different pieces of climbing gear and it's essential to have your concepts and gear straight before you get started. After all, if one piece of climbing gear fails, it could mean disaster. So before you go on your climb, do your research about the different pieces of rock climbing gear you'll need to buy.

Having Climbing Gear in Good Working Order

While it is, of course, important to have all the necessary climbing gear for the kind of climbing you'll be doing, it's also important to make sure that everything is in good working order. Many novice climbers forget to regularly inspect their equipment and replace items that appear to be starting to fray, break down, stick, or otherwise show signs of failure. Many accidents can be prevented by discarding worn out climbing ropes, belay devices, safety harnesses and other gear.

If you are just getting into climbing and don't know if it's quite for you or not, then it's best to go with a group and only purchase or borrow the climbing gear you need for that trip. That way you can decide if climbing is the right sport for you without having to make too much of a financial commitment to the sport. There are many different variations in rock climbing gear, and different climbing scenarios require different specialized gear to deal with it. You'll soon understand that while some people might say that rock climbing is merely a sport, others would call it a way of life. Just make sure to keep yours safe with the right kinds of climbing gear.


How to Wear a Climbing Harness

Your climbing harness is one of the most essential pieces of equipment that most climbers will use during their climbing adventures. Not only will your climbing harness be used to connect you to certain pieces of gear along the way of your climb, but a climbing harness will be one of the most important factors in keeping you safe in the event of a fall. If your climbing harness is too tight, you'll have problems climbing since your movements will be greatly restricted. Alternately, if your harness is too loose, your harness will slip, chafe, and could possibly even let go of you. Knowing how your climbing harness should fit is a great way to help keep you safe, and have the best climb possible.

Just as a pair of jeans fits differently on different people who try them on, so the same climbing harness will not work for every person. Be sure to try on several different types of harnesses so that you can find one that fits comfortably. Here are a few other tips and pointers for learning how a harness should fit you.

Fitting the Waistband

The waistband of your harness should be snug, but not uncomfortable. The waistband should ride just above your hipbones, not so tight that it should interfere with your breathing, but tight enough that you can't pull the harness down over your hips no matter how hard to try. Children and adults with narrower hips should probably stay away from the more conventional harnesses and instead stick with a more full body harness.

Fitting the Leg Loops

The leg loops on your climbing harness should also be snug, but not to the point of being uncomfortably so. Wearing the leg loops too tightly or even too loose could result in an painful injury in the event of a fall. If your leg loops are adjustable, their webbing straps should be long enough for you to double them back through their buckles with at least 2 inches left over.

When you are choosing a climbing harness, make sure that you are wearing the kinds of clothes that you will be climbing in. Be very careful when fitting a seat harness (which is one of the most popular kinds of harnesses). As mentioned before, a harness that is too large, the harness may slide up onto your lower ribs, compressing your diaphragm and leaving you gasping for air, or worse, made slide off during a fall. But a harness that is too small will squeeze you too tightly, making climbing an uncomfortable sport for you.

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for climbing harnesses, you can be aware of the fitting requirements to help you to both stay comfortable during the climb, as well as being a great piece of protection.


Enjoy The Health Benefits Of Wild Game Meats

Over the last few years, more and more people are adding healthier alternatives to their diets. As a society, we're becoming much more knowledgeable about healthy choices, fat content, and artificial ingredients. There has been a growing trend away from some of the traditional high fat and high cholestorol meat choices, while seeking out healthier, easy-to-prepare alternatives. Certain types of wild game meats, previously largely unavailable in the marketplace, are turning up more and more frequently on restaurant menus and dinner tables.

A recent dining trend over the last 10 years has been a move away from high fat, high cholesterol meats. We've become much more knowledgeable about healthy choices and avoiding high fat content and artificial ingredients. More and more restaurant owners and individual consumers are experiencing the healhy benefits of wild game meats, such as buffalo meat, elk meat, ostrich meat, and several others.

Conversely, wild game species cannot be sold, but can be harvested (hunted) for personal use. In essence, farm-raised game are specifically intended for the consumer marketplace, and are proving to be more and more popular as people discover their health benefits in comparison to traditional meats.

Further, those who may have been put off from trying unfamiliar types of meats are often pleasantly surprised at the mild, lean taste of game meats. Today's restaurant patrons will often see choices such as buffalo, ostrich, elk, caribou, and even rattlesnake. That said, the term wild game meat is still widely used and widely accepted as encompassing non traditional meats.

Several prominent restaurant chains are now offering wild game meats, such as buffalo, ostrich, elk, caribou, and others. The clean, mild taste of these alternative cuts of meat are pleasant surprises to those who have never tried wild game meats. In actuality, it is farm raised game that's served on restaurant menus, although the term wild game meat is the most accepted term when referring to meats like buffalo, ostrich, elk, etc.

How Healthy Are Wild Game Meats?

One of the most notable benefits of wild game meats are their fat content vs. traditional meats. Ostrich meat is lower in fat content than chicken breast, and surprisingly, elk meat is slightly less than 1% fat. Conversely, ham is approximately 6% fat and roast beef ranges from 6-10% fat. In fact, ostrich and elk meat have less fat and cholesterol than fish.

Demand for wild game meats continues to increase, not only due to their low fat content but because they are high in protein and very easy to prepare. Specialty suppliers and online resources sites offer cooking tips, and elk meat, ostrich meat, and buffalo meats are packaged as burgers, steaks, or roasts. Wild game meats are easy to cook, and most diners are pleasantly surprised with their taste.

Discover Wild Game Meats


A Travellers Guide to India

India is a vast country with a vast population, two thirds of which lines in rural locations. Bounded by the Himalayas to the north, it occupies a natural subcontinent.

India shares common borders with China, Bhutan and Nepal to the north, Pakistan to the north-west, and Burma to the north east. To the east, almost surrounded by India, is Bangladesh. Near India's southern tip, across the Palk Strait, is Sri Lanka.

The country has 28 states which vary greatly in size, population and development. Each has its own government. There are also seven Union Territories with their Lieutenant Governors or Administrators.

The official language is Hindi, written in the Devanagari script. It is spoken by close to a third of the population as a first language. English is an 'associated language'. In addition there are 18 official state languages.

India has benefited greatly from the 'global economy' and the IT revolution and besides its traditional heavy industries, is now a major player in IT and software development, and call centre outsourcing. Even so 350m people remain in poverty.

India's largest cities are Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Delhi, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Chennai (formerly Madras), Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

The Foreign Office warns that there has been continued violence in the Kashmir Valley between armed groups seeking secession from India and against all travel to or through rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir (other than Ladakh), and all but essential air travel to Srinagar. It says there is a high level of conflict and terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (excluding Ladakh). 'Jammu City is somewhat safer but attacks still occur'.

It also advises against all travel in the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan other than travel across the international border at Wagah, and against all but essential travel to Imphal (by air) and against all travel in the rest of Manipur and Tripura. 'Kidnapping, banditry and insurgency are rife throughout the north eastern region, particularly in Assam'.

Even in Mumbai British Nationals are advised to take care and avoid demonstrations.

'There is a high threat of terrorism throughout India', says the Foreign Office. 'Attacks have targeted public places, including places of worship. They could also target places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers'.

However, 'over 600,000 British tourists visit India every year' and most are trouble free.

Between the months of December and April, flights leaving India become very full. Passengers may find themselves 'bumped off' flights even if they have confirmed seats. All international departures must therefore be re-confirmed at least 72 hours before departure.

The Foreign Office warns that penalties for possession of drugs can be severe. The penalties paedophile offences are also severe. And visitors to India should also be aware that Indian family law is very different from UK law and particular caution is needed when, for example, child custody becomes an issue.

There are health risks with seasonal outbreaks of some illnesses. Local medical facilities are 'not comparable to those in the UK, especially in more remote areas', says the Foreign Office. 'However, in the major cities private medical care is available, but is expensive'.

Travellers to India must obtain a visa before travelling. Foreign nationals arriving in India on long term multiple entry visas are required to register with the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Officer within 14 days of arrival.

Overstayers are fined and may be prosecuted or detained and later deported. They may also need to appear in person at the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi.


Jamaica is an Exotic Place

Jamaica is an exotic place with a wide variety of things to do. From hiking and beaches to cities and shopping, there is truly something there for everyone. The weather is temperate and the transportation is simple. This is a place that should not be missed in your travels.

Jamaica has a very interesting and rich history. The African influence is strong here, since the island served as a central hub for the slave, sugar, and rum trade. It was the best location for this since it is directly in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Travelers can explore some of the ruins left behind from this time while on their visit.

Searching for food on the island will yield some fascinating results. Most food has a little bit of a spicy kick to it, but travelers can also easily find more mild flavors. There is a huge variety of meals, so visitors are sure to find something they will enjoy. For instance, jerk pork, fruits, seafood, and specialized coffee are all available to hungry travelers. Even the pickiest of eaters will manage to find something they like.

Transportation on the island is extremely easy. You can travel by plane, train, boat, bus, or car. This is wonderful because no one will get car sick or sea sick, since you are able to travel by your preferred method. You will also not be required to rent a car as there are busses to take you from place to place. This will save you money and the stress of driving in a foreign place.

This island on the Caribbean Sea has some of the best weather. There is an alleged rainy season from May to June and then from September to October. However, the rain only lasts for a short time and is usually followed by sunny skies. The temperature only changes by about ten degrees throughout the entire year. A windy season hits the island in April, but is not much to worry about.

One of the most wonderful things about Jamaica are the outdoor activities. If you want to challenge yourself, you can go on a hike through the elevated terrain. If you would like to relax, you are welcome to lie on one of the many white sand beaches and swim in the blue waters. Waterfalls are another land feature that are abundant on the island.
If you prefer being in the excitement and movement of a city, you are in luck. The island has a number of large metropolises to keep you entertained. You can explore each one and compare their differences during your stay. Shopping is also available, which means travelers can walk away with some unique souvenirs for their family, friends, and selves.

Truly, Jamaica is an exotic place. From the beautiful weather to the variety of activities, all visitors will leave happy and wanting to return. When deciding where to stay, you have a choice of resort, hotel, or villa. You cannot loose either way.


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