As the smallest of the Black Diamond crash pad range, the Impact is designed to be a compact alternative to the bigger Drop Zone and Mondo. But can the Impact hold its own when it comes to the rigours of the outdoors? Read on for my impressions.
Looking for an easy to access bouldering area, with enough problems for an afternoon? Pierre de Beurre just outside the city of Martigny in Valais, Switzerland has you covered. This small sector nestled just behind the orchards on the outskirts of the city is a lovely open space with some quality problems.
Having just recently moved to Switzerland I’ve been looking to explore what the country has to offer from a bouldering perspective. One of the challenges here is the lack of official bouldering guides (many of which are out of print). With many small sectors, dispersed widely across the country and with three official languages it can be a challenge to find information on the web as well. Enter bimano, an app developed in Switzerland that tries to capture the country’s bouldering heritage in one easy to use format. All this right on your phone and in your pocket!
A climbing partner of mine made a trip to Albarracin in October 2007 and was all praise for this fairly new bouldering area. His description was of a magical forest with huge, red boulders with giant roofs, which offered hundreds of problems and yet still had near endless potential. So instead of visiting one of the usual bouldering haunts this Spring, I decided to give this area a try. So is this Spain’s version of Fontainebleau?
England – The South coast of England has a rich history of traditional climbing. Specifically, the region of Dorset is home to some famous areas, such as Swanage. Over the last decades a vibrant sport-climbing scene has also developed and the island of Portland has turned into a perfect destination for good weather, year round climbing. Recently, locals have also developed a couple of bouldering venues on the island, which provide upwards of 80 problems, covering a wide range of difficulties.
Germany – Looking for some good boulder sites for those long weekends? Then the Harz forest near the town of Goslar might well be a fitting destination. The Harz has long been known for its good climbing routes, adventurous trekking paths, and general outdoor beauty. Only recently, however, has there been an effort to open up a number of boulder sectors. Thanks to a bunch of dedicated climbers, there are now plenty of cool boulders, from pumping traverses to those dreaded highballs.
France – Does this legendary area really need an introduction? This forest and its boulders represent the pinnacle of modern day sport bouldering. With over four decades of development, Fontainebleau is a veritable catalogue of shapes and styles combing historical routes with new, cutting edge climbing.
France – Over the past couple of years Annot has been earning the reputation as the next big bouldering destination after Fontainebleau in France, if not one of the top locations in continental Europe. With its numerous sandstone problems, moderate climate, and easy access it’s easy to see why the area is getting so much attention. Whether you’re looking for a place to see if your winter training paid off, or just passing by on the way to another climbing destination, this burgeoning area definitely delivers the goods.