Under-hangs are tricky!
The more spotters the better!
Good thing there was a crash pad!
A beautiful view on the hike up to the boulders!
Try moving the polaroids by dragging the bottom!
Cathedral Bouldering Park is a beautiful and challenging area to climb! It contains over 84 puzzling routes up and down the magnificent granite boulders. Anyone from newcomers to experts meet there to test their ability to climb and solve these puzzles. Whether you are visiting just for a great day trip or even just a workout before or after work you will find a good time!
You will never get bored with these boulders! Each one has multiple routes to discover!
Anywhere from easy to expert, depending on the climb you choose. This could be a day out for the family or a workout for a more experienced climber but either way, you will find some way of challenging yourself.
But…will it be crowded?
Like most places the earlier you get there the better. Cathedral Bouldering Park is a high traffic area so the earlier you arrive the better spots you can find. If it is raining or has rained that day then bouldering becomes increasingly dangerous. It is not recommended to climb during these times. There are plenty of boulders to go around and remember sharing is caring!
So you won’t get lost!
Park or get dropped off just before the trail to El Cap Bridge. Then follow the trail that leads near the turnouts and into the forest. This trail will lead you to the main trail. Now follow this trail towards Higher Cathedral Rock and about ten minutes later you will see the boulders to the left of the trail. Worse case, if you get lost ask someone for directions they will be sure to help!
Preparing to climb!
Although Bouldering seems relatively easy, depending on the boulder, there are many precautions you must take in order to safely practice. Climbing shoes are not necessary but they are highly recommended they can cost anywhere from $29-$100. If you plan to make bouldering a hobby then I would definitely recommend buying a good pair of climbing shoes.
As well as climbing shoes, chalk is used by experienced climbers to reduce sweat and allow them to grip the rock better. A chalk bag with a clip is highly recommended but once again not necessary. This can cost anywhere from $10-$30. Also, don’t forget to buy the chalk which will only cost around $5-$10 depending on the amount ordered.
When you are bouldering, you may find yourself 15 feet above ground at times. One slip and you will be in a lot of pain. That is what these next few items are around for. A spotter is one of the most important aspects of bouldering. Anyone can spot you, a friend, family member, or even a stranger. They are meant to stand underneath you in order to catch you in you were to fall and even better they are free of charge! Well.. maybe besides the IOU if they catch you!
In addition to your spotter, it is highly recommended to have a bouldering crash pad. Basically, this is a mat that you place underneath the person climbing so if they do fall this mat will help soften the impact. These mats are quite expensive however, they range from $80-$200 but, due to the height of the climbs in Cathedral Bouldering Park, these are essential.
Last but certainly not least is your clothing. It is recommended to wear stretch resistant clothing and depending on the weather that could mean shorts and a tank top or long pants and long sleeves. The most important aspect involving your clothes is to make sure they are durable to rough rock and possible snags. Ultimately, your clothing should be comfortable and not hinder your ability to properly climb these boulders.
There are five main boulders in the park for climbing but there are over 84 different climbs and routes one could take. The level of difficulty of the climbs are based on the V Scale: V0 (easiest) through V16 (hardest). The “Get it up” Boulder is a V3 climb. This climb is high and a spotter is definitely needed.
The “King Boulder” is a 15-foot boulder that has two main routes, the “So Good” and “The King.” The “So Good” is a V5 climb you would begin your climb at the undercling side of the boulder. Climb up and towards the right until you reach the top, solving to puzzle as you go. “The King” is a V6 climb. You would start at the front of the boulder and begin the climb with a left-hand side pull up onto the slab and continue left through the route.
Another main boulder is the “Hex Boulder” which also has two main routes, “The Octagon” and “The Hexcentric.” “The Octagon” is a V6 climb which starts just left of “The Hexcentric.” “The Hexcentric” is a V7 that begins just right of the tree. These are just some main climbs, but there are many other boulders in the area that are of varying difficulty.
The Hexcentric was tricky at first, but after a few tries I made it over!
Get Out & Get Climbing!
Whether you are an experienced climber or just want to try it out, Cathedral Bouldering Park is a great place to start! Be mindful of crowds, bring the right gear, and head out with a fun group and it’s sure to be a blast!