Friday, January 13, 2012

Washington DC bouldering?

*IMPORTANT NOTICE 3/25/12- It has come to my attention that climbing in Rock Creek Park is illegal under regulation 36 CFR §2.1.  This post remains for historical purposes only.  Please do not climb in Rock Creek Park!*

On the way down to meet some friends for dinner in Adams Morgan last night,  I found myself running considerably early and decided to pass the time with a walk through Rock Creek Park.  Although I had never experienced any of the bouldering in DC, I knew that there had been an intermittent history of it, and hoped my walk might lead me past the a problem I'd been hoping to check out for a while, Pick a Side and Commit.  While I didn't find it, I did come across three boulders that were of climbable size, one that looked particularly exciting.

Going south on Beach Drive, I crossed under Military Road and passed what looked like a small police facility on the left.  A little further up, I saw a few cars parked in a pulloff on the right, near a footbridge and some picnic tables.  Parking and walking across to the west side of the river, I walked upstream for a few minutes and eventually came to a large boulder along the river on my right side.  Approaching it from the upriver side, I saw that it was a beautiful tall slab, with a definite low start possible coming through the notch in the center.

Near it was a smaller boulder that looked like it could have a cool compression line up the center, as well as one up the large incuts on the right side.

A little further up and across the river, I saw another boulder that looked to have some short problems on it.

If anyone knows more about these boulders, or others in Rock Creek Park, I'd love to hear about it.  Likewise since I don't make it into DC very often, if anyone goes to check these out, I'd be excited to see any photo/video of it.  NOTE: Although I didn't see any rules prohibiting climbing, the boulders are on National Park Service land, so try to be mindful of your impact.


Anonymous said...

Great photos Robin, hopefully someone will come forward and share their expertise on this area with you, so that you can share it with us.

Chris said...

The first photo is "pick a side..." The line runs up the left side. I don't know about the center face I didn't see much to work with.

The second boulder picture has three lines going left, right and center. The boulder on the other side is nothing much, maybe a decent line up the middle with some easier lines up the left side. Not worth more than a visit

Robin said...

Cool, thanks Chris! I couldn't make it around to the left side because the water was so high at the time. That slab face definitely looked fun though. There's a thin seam running straight up the center that should be good enough for tips, and the angle looked low enough to smear feet all the way up. It would be scary, but I'm guessing not too highly rated in terms of V-Scale.

Mr. J said...

I saw the first boulder in November when I was on a hike with a non-climber friend & his very pregnant wife. Needless to say, I didn't have my shoes. I'll have to bring some climber friends soon to try that one out.

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