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Below - Bouldering at Widdop, North of England

Bouldering

The climbing of boulders is one of the most satisfying ways of filling a short climbing session. You can concentrate entirely on moves at the limit of your ability without having to worry about placing gear or clipping bolts. Gritstone boulders are about the best for this sport, with good friction and a wide variety of features and holds. So what do you need for bouldering?

  • Rock boots
  • Chalk bag
  • Carpet
  • Boulder
  • Tough Skin

If you haven't got the latter, don't worry, you will soon develop it. Try to do any washing up, bathing, etc with gloves on. Or all that leathery skin will vanish!

Cool weather is ideal also, rubber grips better, you don't overheat and you sweat less. Obviously you need to take care when slipping/jumping off. Having someone to "spot" you (stand and support you if you fall) is useful. Beware of rough landings on rocks that can twist your ankles.

In the UK their are several bouldering guides available, but many of the best areas are kept quiet. Part of the joy is finding them for yourself. You are quite likely to meet the local expert at many of these locations. Such people are usually willing to show you hidden gems, and the techniques needed for success.

Happy bouldering!

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