This past weekend, we finally had a chance to get in some outdoor climbing. It has been a rough winter for bouldering with lots of snow and rain. Though we appreciate it has been good for snowboarders and skiers. Hopefully if you enjoy the snow, you had a blast these past couple of months. For climbing, it felt like the ground and rock would be too wet forever. Finally, a period of sunshine and warm weather helped dry up the area just enough to get out. We were very anxious to feel the gritty, sharpness of real rock crimps, walk through the woods, and take in some of that fresh air.
Admittedly, I wasn’t feeling super great this past weekend, and was a little hesitant about heading out. The lure was too strong though, and I’m glad it was. I was quickly reminded that being outside climbing is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Nothing can replace those fresh smells of nature, the slightly burning, but mostly pleasant feel of the sun warming your face, and the peacefulness only nature has ever been able to grant me.
We went to Lincoln Woods in Rhode Island, because of the convenience (not yet in hiking shape) and the diversity of grade levels. If you have ever been to the area, you know the rock is super sharp. It didn’t long for our fingers to be torn apart, but regardless of the pain, it felt amazing to be grabbing on to rock again. There are surely some benefits to gym climbing, but that plastic can never and will never do justice to how it feels to climb up rock. I started warming up on an easy climb that I happen to love, and just repeated it five times. Each time feeling more and more satisfied with the feeling of those sharp, gritty rock holds.
It was a beautiful day, and lots of people were out basking in the nature. We saw dog walkers, bike riders, horses, and joggers. There is something really cool about seeing all these people outside enjoying it in their own way. It really shows that no matter what sport or hobby we favor, we all know that being outside is the best place to be. We are all connected in that shared passion.
Not everyone is a fan of Lincoln Woods, particularly not every climber, however, there are some really enjoyable aspects to the place. If you are looking for high rock quality and a world class destination, you may not be satisfied. The rock is gritty, sharp, and can certainly be chossy. One great thing is, that there is a wide variety of types of climbs and grades. There are some climbs that are weird, awkward, and hard to understand why someone made them climbs. Then there are climbs that are a lot of fun, interesting, and rewarding to finish. We climbed a mix of these on our weekend trip.
If you have a group that is mixed in climbing ability, this could be an excellent choice. There are some really fun easy climbs like V0-V2, and there are a good amount of moderate climbs. Not too many climbs available in terms of super hard grades, but there is a V13. Every time we go we meet super friendly people, but also get plenty of solitude too. It depends which area you head to. It is a nice in a sense of being a well rounded place.
All in all, it just felt amazing to be outdoors, trying hard on real rock, and soaking up the sun rays. We look forward to more outdoor climbs. Particularly, Rumney, NH where we hope to get into some sport climbing. This year, I happen to be the recipient of the Power Your Dreams Giveaway by Mad Rock, Princeton Tec, and Voltaic. We are looking forward to using this new gear which includes; a set of quickdraws, a new harness, new shoes, a solar charger, and rechargeable headlamp. Looking at that headlamp reminds me of fun nighttime bouldering sessions in Pawtuckaway, NH, and it would be delightful to get back there as well. We will keep you posted as we continue traveling to new climbing areas and what we think of the new gear.
So far the Mad Rock harness is feeling great. It is comfortable while waiting for a projecting partner. We love projecting. It is comfy when the climber is taking falls. It is also comfy while sitting on the route figuring it out. It has plenty of gear loops, a stylish look, and fits snug. So far no complaints, but most things work well when new, so we’ll see how it handles several days of climbing.