Monday, November 17, 2014

Moab Bouldering: Big Bend

Moab isn't known for it's bouldering.  People flock here for mountain-biking, trad-climbing and beautiful desert scenery but the bouldering still seems to be under the radar which is kind of surprising as the rock is good, accessible and unlimited.  Of course the thing that is lacking is development and spray but I reckon it is only a matter of time before this region starts getting an influx of pad-people as the potential is too good to be ignored for much longer.

While there is a multitude of neglected rock around Moab a small bit of bouldering does get plenty of traffic.  The Big Bend boulders alone are too small to be destination worthy but they serve as a sweet stopover for traveling climbers or a weekend spot for those within striking distance.  There is a high concentration of quality problems and maybe one of the best boulders in North America.  

Last winter while passing through I salivated at the boulders littering the hillsides and I stopped briefly at Big Bend for a little climbing fix.  I decided I needed to return to this region to do some exploring and try a few of Big Bend's offerings I never got around to.

Here is a small sampling from this years return to the Big Bend boulders and a little video of a couple classics from last year (in case you missed it).

The Colorado River winds through the canyon it carved and boulders can be found everywhere.  I do wish I had a boat as ripe boulder fields mock me the opposite riverbank.   

Big Bend is just one small cluster but the only place that gets any serious traffic.  Access is ridiculously easy and most visitors talk about how good it is but few bother to wander beyond the confines of the established area.  I promise there is lots more that is just as good.

Oskar joins us for a quick morning session to sample one of Moab's classic problems.

Prairie about to gun it on Silly Wabbit 

Looking up from the boulders makes me want to get a rope and see what's on the top of that tower.

Scoopula, One of Big Bend's hard classics that proved too much for us.

Quality climbing in a beautiful dessert setting.

Kyle fires a neglected classic.  Black Angus is one of the better problems at Big Bend and took us a bit to figure out.

The stellar Hell Belly is a compression climber's dream.  I'd like to do the proper line from the sit but wonder if I got the juice.

Chaos is another amazing problem.  Big Bend really packs them in.

And here is the video from last year.  More to come.
Moab Bouldering: Big Bend from Walker Kearney on Vimeo.

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