Kirill Sharikov is a bouldering teacher who took the unique opportunity to explore Lanzarote’s landscape after lockdown prevented him from teaching indoor climbing.
You teach bouldering to beginners, how long have you been climbing/ bouldering?
I started about 5 years ago at a gym in the UK, and later came to Lanzarote, where I now supervise the gym at La Santa. The work we do is an introduction to bouldering; welcoming beginners to the sport and educating them about safety, as well as the basics of climbing.
Is bouldering harder outdoors?
It’s safer and easier to train at an indoor centre. I like a challenge, though. Outdoor climbing comes with extra challenges such as humidity, heat, light hitting the rocks, and the quality of rock can vary. It’s very important to ensure a safe landing in case of a fall.
Artificial indoor boulders are normally equally difficult from start to finish and there’s a level of expectation when climbing them. Nature doesn’t care, about that, though. It can be easy to start with and near-impossible towards the top. It’s not great for the skin on your fingers either! They tend to wear quicker and you won’t be able to climb for as long.
What sort of equipment do you use for outdoor bouldering?
There’s isn’t much really. You’ll need good climbing shoes, a bag of chalk for grip, climbing brush to clean the rock, a crash mat to fall on and, importantly, a friend for recommendations and spotting (to ensure the pad is beneath you at all times). What makes a good climb, do you look for any specific things? You get an eye for it eventually. A good climb for me has to be challenging (like nature’s puzzle), it needs to scare me a bit and a great view helps too. Lastly, it needs to have lines pleasing to the eye! Us climbers have a strange obsession with rock shapes and textures.
How many new climbing spots have you found?
So far, I have found six good spots. The most challenging was my year-long project in Playa de las Malvas, it was the hardest boulder I have ever climbed; I lost a lot of skin on it!
You can find Kirill’s climbing spots on his Youtube channel by searching “Lanzarote Bouldering”. Or via his Instagram @lightburnphoto.
For regular updates, pictures and videos of Lanzarote be sure to like and follow our Facebook page “Gazette Life Lanzarote”.