The Indy Team’s Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Bouldering.

Now we’re well into summer it’s time for some of us to get out onto the real rock!
While we love climbing indoors here at Indy, (maybe we’re biased?!) we also love getting out and enjoying the best of what North Wales has to offer.

We’ve put together a short guide of a few things that will really help you get the most of some outdoor bouldering this summer.

Tom staying focused on Special K at Crafnant.

Pick up a Pad:

You don’t need much for a great day out bouldering, but a bouldering pad and a guidebook are pretty much essential. We have a great range of pads here at Indy. Pop in to check out our range and we can offer you plenty of advice on buying a new pad.

If you’re after a taste of outdoor bouldering without having to splash out on buying a pad, or you just want to give it a go, the good news is that INDY NOW RENTS OUT BOULDERING PADS!
More info available at reception and here on our website.

THE bouldering guide for the local area is “North Wales Bouldering Vol I: Mountains” by Si Panton. Si has been central to recording the development of bouldering in North Wales for over 25 years. As well as offering this guide for hire, we also have copies of it for sale in the Indy Emporium.

Aside from that, you’ll need your shoes, some chalk and a dry day…

A bouldering brush can also be super handy. Brushing holds before you climb cleans any old chalk or dirt off the holds which will massively help with friction. Brushing away any tick marks and/or excessive chalk is essential after climbing. It cleans and looks after the boulders for everyone else.
We’ve got a huge range of brushes for sale in the Indy emporium. If you want to do some extra good, we have the 8B+ Ocean brush in the shop. It is made from 100% recycled Ocean plastic. Alternatively the Pongoose Brushes; all handmade in England with sustainable Beech wood.

Ben on Question Mark Direct at the Crafnant boulders.

Top Spots:

Once you’ve assembled your gear, have a flick through the guide and see what takes your fancy.

If you’re new to bouldering outdoors, flat, grassy landings are a big sell. They can help the day have a relaxed feel. Choosing a good destination is perhaps the most important point in our guide to outdoor bouldering!

There are a few other good sources to check before heading out. BMC RAD helps inform climbers about with access issues. Many bouldering areas are on private land, so take care. Alternatively, have a chat with us at the wall. We’re always happy to help advise on the best spots locally for beginners. We might also have ideas on where you can head if there’s a few showers forecast, even if that is coming in for a session at Indy.

Safety First:

Make sure you warm up with some light cardio (the walk to the boulders might do this!). Dynamic stretching is also great before starting with some easy climbs. It’s easy to forget a quality warm-up with the additional excitement of being outdoors, ending up get tired too quickly or worse, picking up an injury.

Having a buddy to head outside with is always a good idea. They’re not only for encouragement, but also to help move the mats as you climb away from them. Make sure you know how to spot each other safely. Be aware that spotting can cause injury if the climber lands on you!

Also be aware of your natural surroundings such as steep slopes, loose rock or uneven terrain.

Olly high up on Piethe of Pith at Talfarach.

Respect the environment:

Stick to marked paths where possible, leave NO TRACE, litter, or chalk. Please help preserve the boulders so everyone can continue to enjoy them for many years to come. Aim to leave outdoor spaces in better condition than you found them, picking up other people’s litter will earn you extra karma points on you next send!

Please ask at reception if you’d like any more help or advice on outdoor bouldering of for more information on our pad rental.

Jon squeezing the sandstone in Fontainebleau.

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