Boulder away

Saturday morning  we were determined to find a decent boulder to climb.  We had been out three times already that week and although we found a few decent problems to climb, nothing seemed to suit us.  Learn about our previous hike/climb here.

After a little searching online, J.O. found a single site that spoke about a huge boulder, apparently great for climbing and it was only 100 feet from the road. No long hikes, no worrying if the long dog was going to make it, just up and go.  Sold.

About 10 minutes East of Big Bear on 18 we found the massive quartz rock. 

After a few moments of surveying the areas we found our first problem to climb.  Now, for those of you that are wondering why I am calling each route a “problem” it’s because that’s exactly what it is.  Like a math problem, it has a solution to get to the top, you just have to figure it out.  Looking at a rock you will see various small areas to either hold onto with your fingers or your step onto with your toes.  Most of these holds are only 1/2-1 inch deep so you are latterly holding or pulling up your entire body weight with your fingers and our toes.  You use every muscle in your body to hold or push your self up to the next holding area. There can be different problems to one route to make it easier or harder too.  Also, the difference between bouldering and top roping is that in bouldering we are climbing 8-30 ft up in to the air with out ropes or harnesses, we use what’s called a crash pad to fall onto and spot each other; whereas, in top roping, we are both in harnesses, using ropes and gear, one is climbing while the other is belaying and we climb anything 20 feet and higher.

The first problem we took on challenged us for a good hour and a half to two hours.  The last hour we spent on another problem climb.

We learned that this rock was hard and sharp.  Both of our hands were raw by the end of the climb! The long dog enjoyed his time laying in the sun and we had a great day challenging our bodies and enjoying the sun.  We ended the day by freshening up at home and rewarding ourselves with a cold beer at the Black Diamond Tavern where they had decent pricing and good food.

Climbing is a great activity for your family to get into.  After the initial low cost investment, you can have hours of adventure where you develop a wonderful trusting relationship with each other.   Using EVERY muscle in your body to finish most climbs will get you into amazing shape.  You can experience the outdoors, get a great work out and have fun! There are also a ton of indoor climbing gyms that will help you learn the ropes…no pun intended.  :)

Below are a few pictures from our great day.  I can’t wait to go back and have a go at the other problems this boulder had to offer!  There is also a video of J.O. doing a crack climb we conquered a few days later.Crack climb


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