Hillside Boulders

The Hillside Boulders

The five-six sectors are located on public land and have a combined total of about 30 climb-worthy boulders, with a few unclimbed projects and potential for more. There’s a fair bit of variety in terms of the style of climbing, but only a few truly overhung lines – tends to be slabs, vertical or just off. Some of the better lines are a bit high, with a few of the lines 5+ meters tall. The rock is sharp, crystalline granite and can be sandy/friable; that said, most of the loose rock has already been pulled off and some of the boulders are of very good quality. Given their exposed position, the rocks on the hillside dry very quickly after the rain.

Just beyond the roundabout is a small roadside outcrop with a few bolted routes on it, from here there’s a path that heads upward along a rocky outcrop. For the Big Boulders head up this and then when the path branches at the top of the rocky outcrop take a right and follow the trail for 2-3 minutes. For the other hillside sectors, keep on going uphill following the small trail – there is a T at the top of the hill – take the right. Total time from the road to East Side is roughly 10 minutes, and a further 10-15 to get to West Side. The trail is not in good shape and it’s rather tedious bringing big pads in as you’ll snag on vegetation all the time.

Note: these areas were initially established and documented by a very strong crew (e.g. the grades are harsh!)

The Roadside Boulders

Host to four quality boulders, this small area has by far the easiest approach of any of the sectors – from the parking spot described earlier, walk directly across the road and 10 meters down into the brush. For the truly keen: lines 3 on A1, 1 on A2, and most of 1 on A3 stay dry with a light drizzle – heavy downpours cause runoffs that spread everywhere though. Sadly, being by the road, there is trash about – please help carry away whatever you can.

Roadside Boulder 1

1. Roadside Crack *** V4
Starting from the furthest left, traverse the entirety of the main crack to finish as for 3. Variations exist exiting early (exit A ~ V??, B ~ V??, C ~ V??). The variations would require cleaning and have not yet been tried.

2. The Seam (PROJECT) * (V5?)
Start with both hands in a small seam – paste your feet on nothings – and crank straight up and into the main crack from line 1.

3. Right Arete * V1
Climb the right arete, staying on its left side.

Roadside Boulder 2

1. Bold (心雄) (sds) *** V6
Sit down start with a good left undercling and a good slopey ledge for the right. Head straight up and then veer left towards an obvious finishing jug while keeping true to the arete.

2. Shafted ** V3
Climb the slab from a stand with poor crimps and ok feet. Balance up and left over progressively poorer holds until you obtain the good edge near the curve in the crack. Once established there, it’s a few deep breaths and then straight up and over via easy but intimidating moves.

Roadside Boulder 3

1. 973 to the Danger Zone *** (V6)
The picture to the above does not do this line justice – it’s a big line. A very high (8 or 9 meters?) steeply overhanging crack over a sloped sandy landing. It’s hard, and will require pads and balls or a toprope. A more manageable project (V5?) is to try and simply match the ledge at about the 3-4 meter point.

Video here

Roadside Boulder 4

1. PROJECT * (V??)
This 4 meter tall problem is nestled on top of the slabs on the backside of the big A3 boulder. The prow is more overhanging than it looks in the picture – head straight up it from a stand with positive edges that all seem to face the wrong way. May be very hard, but worth a look if you’re feeling strong.

The Big Boulders

Another quickly accessible area. A lot of rock… should be possible with some creativity to add to this list. B4 is way out of the realm of bouldering – it has a few bolts on top, and one face in particular looks like it’d have some amazing lines on it.

Big Boulders 1

1. Size Matters (sds) *** V2
Start sat with good feet, a right hand undercling and a left hand sloper. Move up to left hand edge, and a right hand sloper and finish straight up. May be harder for the shorter. A great problem.

Big Boulders 2

2. The Scoop ** V2
Deceptively hard climbing. Start from the positive holds in the scoop and head right over slopers (exit A). Do not fall on the last move. One can also finish straight (exit B) for a slightly less committing line of the same grade.

3. Easy Variation * V1
Traverse into the end of NBYG on big holds.

4. No Brain, Your Gain (sds) *** V3/V4
An awesome problem. From a sit with a good left pocket and the arete for your right, head straight up to a committing crux throw out left to join line 3. The boulder to the right of the crack is off. Worth having a big pad and a spotter. The direct line of NBYG (marked in the picture) goes at V5.

5. Ugly Sister (sds) * V2
Sit with arete and whatever is reachable for the right. Climb straight up the right arete, without the boulder to the left of crack.

6. Fruit Ninja (sds) ** V3
One of the rare ok traverses. From the low juggy crescent, head up to the slanting crack, and then towards the arete. Problem is over once you have turned the arete. Slightly exposed.

9. Warzone (sds) * V4
Start with right hand as in the picture to the right, and left hand at an equivalent height on the arete (arms form a straight line). Bump up the arete until you are in a position to rock over onto the slab.

Big Boulders 6

1. Warmup **
Head straight up from the jug left of problem 2.

2. So Not High ** (PROJECT)
Starting from an OK gaston, a poor crimp and a high foot head straight up past poor slopers. Believed to be v-very-hard but doable.

3. Bloody Knuckles ** V3
Starting from the base of the crack at the right arete, follow the crack up and out. Slightly committing. Not in fact painful as the name would suggest.

4. Project
Line right of number 3.

Big Boulders 7

1. The Groove *** V7
Start with both hands in the groove on the right. Head straight up and right to good slopers. The groove on the left is on – but was not found to help, and not used in the FA.

Block C1: Longdong Soloist – 1a – V4.
Start with feet on the first break, go up to the second break and continue to top out the top block following the left arete.

The Campaign Bloc

1) Pure Campaign ** V2
Start matched in the lowest of the huge pockets, avoiding feet on the block below the roof. Crank up and right to more huge holds and a more tricky top out.

1a) Pure Campaign Eliminate ** V3
Start on the low jug and, from feet on the block below the roof, dyno for the next big jug before topping out as per the original line. Fun.

2) Smear Campaign *** V7
Start matched on the slopey rail and make a big slap left for the jug on Pure Campaign. Finish up that problem.

3) Pure Campaign *** V8/9
Start with left hand on the slopey rail and right on a crimp up and right. Slap for the top. One move of shear desperation.

4) Beached Lightyear ** Ungradable!
This is one to test your slam dunk / ninja warrior ability! Take a good run up, plant a foot on the wall and then leap for the top of the bloc. Mantle to finish.

Chris Jenks on Living Small

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