As the weather gets progressively warmer and the days stretch longer with cheerful sunshine, the pull of the outdoors gets stronger. Outdoor bouldering, in particular, has been on my mind quite a bit lately. After recovering from a mix of injury and sickness that put a damper on my winter season, I’m finally seeing myself come back to where I was in terms of strength, grade, and capability. Though I’m not one of those people against gym climbing, because I think it’s an excellent training tool and interesting in it’s own right, I have been longing to push my limits on the real rock and see how far I can get.
Outdoor climbing is one of those things that I always remember the perks of and forget the not so great elements of. The humidity made for some disgusting holds and frustrating lack of friction, and the mosquitoes swarmed in armies of hundreds. A couple times I said how I needed to get out of there, but at the same time I said it, I’d be pulling on my climbing shoes or brushing off a hold to prepare for my next go. I just couldn’t get enough of it. When you’re doing the moves, all these things fall away and the focus is purely on the enjoyment of climbing. I also found myself getting sucked into the beauty of nature. My mind would wander, awestruck, at all the all the vibrant green coloring, the swirls of color in each boulder, twisting branches of trees, wild flowers, and intricate spiderwebs.
All the stress of the week faded away, and what mattered was breathing in that fresh, fragrant air, and throwing up a heel, pulling up to a crimp, or trying not to slip off a greasy sloper.
For our little outdoor adventure, we picked Bald Rock Basin (CT). It’s a nice location, particularly for beginner/moderate level climbers because it offers a plethora of easy climbs and that’s hard to come by around the CT area. It is good for more advanced climbers, as well, because there are some hard climbs and lots of room for development of potentially challenging climbs. The only difficulty with it is that it’s a bit hard to navigate due to the low climbing population for this particular place. Higher traffic areas are easy to navigate because of clear trails and easy to see lines that come from lots of wear and chalk. Also, the more popular, the more chance the Access Fund or climbing coalitions will step in to help maintain all this stuff. At the same time, it’s not really a complaint. As long as you are with someone who knows where to go, having a more secluded area has perks too. The rock is beautiful. It has interesting coloring and is a good quality. A lot of the climbs are very fun, and it’s an enjoyable place to be.
This picture doesn’t do all the coloring justice, but you can begin to see how cool this rock is.
By the time we got home, we were completely exhausted in that deeply satisfying way that comes from knowing you’ve worked hard and pushed yourself at something you’re passionate about. The climbs we worked on were challenging, and making progress was exciting. Being outside was the mix of refreshment and relaxation that I had been needing. People describe that feeling of “home” as being where they feel comfortable, safe, and filled with happiness. For me that feeling has always been strongest when connecting with nature. It was good to be out there again. I’m excited to go back soon and finish a new project.