Climb 1 Ready and eager to start our day of climbing, we spotted a good boulder to warm up not far from the entrance to the park. We went for something that looked easy and with a few climbs we could all do.
I started this climb from a nice ledge for the feet, a side pull for my right hand and a comfortable crimp for my left. The rock offered a variety of ledges of various width for both hands and feet, and starting was very straightforward. After a bit of confusion in the middle (due to my attempt to climb like a tall person) Seb pointed me to the right direction (literally) and a small foothold for my right foot, paired with a nice hand hold, allowed me to stand up and reach for the top. We decided against topping out on this boulder, as the top was covered in moss and looked very slippery.
It was an easy climb, good for warming up as it’s gentle on the fingers, and not very high.
Climb 2 After warming up we moved to higher boulders: this one even had bolts screwed on it!
The climb has an obvious set of holds on the big crack on the left hand side. To start, foot placement was not very obvious and after trying a couple of different placements, I settled for a nice slab-ledge for my right foot and flagging with my left. The hand holds are quite evident and felt really good. The crack offers an array of options and a high left foot got me standing on a comfortable ledge about half way through. From there, is a very smooth and pleasant climb. Lots of ledges for your feet and good, grippy hand holds. Topping out was easy and felt safe.
This climb would be perfect for warming up as it is not physically or technically challenging. I found it mentally challenging as it’s a bit taller than the average boulder in the area. I had to remind myself not to look down until I was on top! Due to the abundance of ledges and easy top-out, I think this would a great climb to get used to heights and challenge your vertical fear!
Climb 3 Traverse, traverse, traverse! This was an exercise in trusting my feet. Starting on the shortest side of the boulder, with a nice chip as a foothold on the left, the route goes up and right - the hands follow the top, which offers a nice grip. The feet are left to deal with their trust issues on the slab. Luckily, the quality of the rock is amazing, which gives a very good grip and makes smearing feel very secure. A fantastic slab exercise!
This face of the boulder is very exposed to the sun, which would make it dry quickly in case of rain. Next to the boulder there is a nice open space, paired with a table and benches, making it a nice spot for a rest and a snack.
Climb 4 Another nice diagonal traverse - this one goes up more sharply and it’s more technical than the previous one. I started my left hand in the little crack and my right on a thin ridge, left foot on a small hold and toe hook with the right. I crossed through with my right foot and found good crimps for my hands. Smearing didn’t feel as good this time so I opted for a high right foot in the crack and flagging. Once my hands were on the top, I just followed the crack with my feet until I was high enough to (not quite gracefully) top the boulder.
This area was quite shaded, which probably contributed to the rock feeling not totally dry.
Climb 5 This was my favourite climb of the day. A bit of a challenge, both technically as I had to properly stop and think (and jump down) to work out the beta and mentally as it was quite high - I had to remind myself to breathe when I was almost at the top.
The start has a small foothold (I went with my right foot) but a good edge for hands, which makes it easy to stand up and flag. The right hand then goes up to another ledge, and, after a bit of smearing, the left foot to a “slabby” hold (“trust your feet!” - it looked dodgy but felt really safe). A crimp for you left hand allows for a safe foot swap, followed by a high left foot that allows the right hand to reach a nice ledge. This was were the crux, for me, started. I could see some holds on the left, but I couldn’t reach them. The ones in reach were probably good enough, but they really didn’t feel trustworthy to me! After some thinking, I tried going right and using the small crack in front of me. This allowed me to get a high left foot on the good ledge and stand up. The top felt a bit slippery and I was feeling a bit nervous, but only until I spotted a good hold on my right. At that point topping out was very straightforward: a ledge on the left served as a nice step.
The descent was on the back of the boulder, under some lovely tree’s shade. This made for a very wet rock - and damp trousers!