by Jae Allen, Demand Media, link to original post
The Adirondack mountains in northeastern New York state are popular with hikers, skiiers and snowboarders at different times of the year. For an alternative Adirondack experience, you can try bouldering. This is a form of rock climbing on large, naturally occurring boulders — no rope is used and the climbs are usually short.
Boulderers undertake short climbs which demand good climbing technique and problem-solving capabilities. An individual route to be climbed on a boulder is commonly referred to as a “problem,” because the climber must problem-solve and puzzle out how to ascend the boulder. The sport originated on naturally occurring boulders, but bouldering areas can be found in indoor gyms and climbing gyms.
Bouldering is usually done over a crash mat, at heights no more than about 5 meters above the ground. This means that there is never a very long distance to fall. Many boulders use at least one “spotter” who observes the climb and is on hand to guide a falling climber toward the crash mat. Additionally, a spotter helps to protect the climbers head during bouldering, by warning of unseen hazards above the climber.
Adirondack Bouldering Locations
Adirondack Park covers some 6 million acres, and includes 105 different towns and villages. Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas list some 350 boulder problems in their 2008 rock climber’s guide to the Adirondacks. Independent boulderers can go climbing wherever they can find a suitable piece of rock and gain access without trespassing. The McKenzie Pond area, between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, is known for natural boulders that can be climbed. Green Lake has two climbable boulders, although they were not cleaned and prepared for bouldering at the time of publication. Johnson Pond, Nine Corners Lake and the Padanarum area also have rocks that are known to boulderers. Indoor bouldering is available at the 24-foot Caveman Challege Bouldering Wall at the Stone Bridge and Caves attraction near Pottersville, New York.
Travel and Practical Information in the Adirondacks
Wild boulderers often find they need to carry out extensive cleaning on a discovered boulder before it is suitable for climbing. The more prepared you are for your bouldering trip, the safer you will be. Bouldering alone is dangerous; your trip will be safer if you travel in a group with some experienced boulderers. Away from major roads, many areas of the Adirondack Park do not have cell phone coverage, and gas stations can be sparse. Plan accordingly, and have an emergency plan in place should one of your party become injured while bouldering. Bears and other wild animals live in the Adirondack wilderness.