Back to Climbing (Concrete)

It was really good to get back to climbing after so long.  My weekends away climbing, and weekend visits to the climbing wall all stopped with the pandemic lockdown.  I’ve missed it in so many ways.  Over the long weekend I took the chance to go climbing on the concrete boulders at Fairlop Waters Boulder Park, and it was brilliant.  The best bit was taking my son climbing again, and seeing him climb really well.

Climbing in a Covid-19 world took a little getting used to.  Using liquid chalk (with 70% plus ethanol) for the first time, putting on far too much, and managing to get it over a lot more than just my hands. Getting into the habit of using hand sanitiser after each climb.  Trying to maintain social distancing when the Boulder Park was busy with climbers and families.  All things I’m not used to, but will have to get used to.

By the end of the session, Leo’s climbing technique had visibly improved and he wanted to come back.  While my under-used climbing muscles were a bit sore, but I was content and wanting to go back too.

Further information

The boulder park is in Fairlop Waters Country Park in the London Borough of Redbridge.  To get to there you can either get the Central Line to Fairlop Station and then walk for about ten minutes, or drive and use one of the car parks (the post code is IG6 3HN for those with a sat nav).  The car park nearest the Boulder Park is not the one at the facilities by the lake, but a bit further along the road in the direction away from Fairlop Waters Station.  There is a charge for the parking, which you pay either using a mobile or by phoning an automated system (details are on signs in the car parks).

There’s no fee to use the Boulder Park – it’s simply open for all to use.

A guide to the Fairlop Waters Boulder Park, including photos and descriptions of a selection of problems, is available for free online.

UKClimbing describes a wider collection of problems than are in the guide, but doesn’t include any photos or diagrams.

11 thoughts on “Back to Climbing (Concrete)

  1. Brilliant to see you both up on the rocks again! Thank you.

    On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 6:02 PM the Severe climber wrote:

    > the Severe climber posted: “It was really good to get back to climbing > after so long. My weekends away climbing, and weekend visits to the > climbing wall all stopped with the pandemic lockdown. I’ve missed it in so > many ways. Over the long weekend I took the chance to go climbing ” >

    1. One of the things that’s nice about the Boulder Park is that its fun in so many ways. Kids can muck about climbing any which way they like over the boulders, there’s Font 1s and 2s if you want some easier climbing, and then you can do a Font 6 if you want something harder, or you can just make a problem up. It reminds me a bit of Fontainebleau in that way.

      I don’t doubt that Leo will be challenging me on some hard problems in the not-so-distance future. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Splendid! So glad you have somewhere like that near to hand. Reminds me of how much I resented moving from the Clyde to South London at age 6.
    Best wishes

  3. That looks great fun on a great facility. I think we need more ‘outdoor-gym’ style stuff – there’s nothing like that up North so far as I know.

    I have to say I’m not going to go climbing at all until this is all over. I’m busy doing lots of hillwalking instead to make up for it but my arms are probably losing a lot of tone even if my legs are getting really strong.

    1. It’s a great idea. I don’t know if there are any other boulder parks like it elsewhere in the country. It works so well that I would have thought somewhere else would have got one.

      I completely get your decision about climbing. It’s good to get the hillwalking in though and I envy you a bit on being able to do that. I don’t exactly have big hills around where I live, but the pandemic has given me plenty of opportunities to walk around my neighbourhood. It doesn’t get me mountain fit, but it still helps.

      1. Just about the whole country is up in the Lakes just now – Liverpudlians, Scots, Londoners, Southerners in general, Welsh. The place is too busy really. I’m trying to stick to the quieter hills on the periphery as much as possible but get a bit bored doing the same ones.

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