Climbing in Croyde!
A few of us climbers enjoy going indoor climbing in London together regularly. On a recent BPA trip to Croyde, Devon we couldn’t resist trying outdoor climbing on the coast. We planned to do bouldering (a type of climbing which does not involve ropes, where you climb short distances and protect any potential falls with a crash-mat. You also often need friends to push you onto the mat if you do fall aka ‘spotters’). We did get some funny looks when we arrived at the carpark near to Hartland Quay with our crash-mats, and had a few onlookers ask us what they were for!
The approach to the climbing site involved scrambling over rocks with the backdrop of magnificent Culm sandstone formations which were hugely mountainous towards the mainland with several overhangs and jagged caves which quickly disintegrates into smooth and lumpy fingers of rock leading out to the sea.
When we reached the site, we had the whole place to ourselves. We had a limited time to climb before the tide came in otherwise we could have been stranded. There were several free standing boulders which were easy to climb. However, outdoor climbing itself is worlds away from inner city climbing walls. The element of risk, trusting your own strength and technique and the skills of your spotters is challenged outdoors. But what is dramatically different is the wonderful feeling of finishing a ‘problem’ and sitting on top of a boulder in the sun looking out at the sea!