Outdoor bouldering in London

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Exploring Climbing Gems in London! The granite boulders of Shoreditch park and Mabley Green!
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Believe it or not. Two Hackney green spaces are home to permanent climbable fixtures: two immense pieces of solid granite, each weighing up to 100 tonnes and standing over 4 meters tall. These monumental additions, known as Boulder 1 in Shoreditch Park and Boulder 2 in Mabley Green, are part of the innovative public sculpture project titled "Boulder," crafted by John Frankland.

Going beyond their role as subtle yet remarkable features in Hackney's urban environment, Frankland envisions these boulders as interactive elements. Encouraging direct physical engagement, particularly through rock climbing or 'bouldering', Frankland, an avid climber himself, believes that such contact energizes and enlivens the sculptures. This approach also serves as a playful challenge to the conventional notion of sculptures in park settings being off-limits and untouchable, offering instead a dynamic and engaging experience for park visitors.

Shoreditch Boulder:

Prepare for a climbing experience like no other as you tackle the Shoreditch Boulder, an urban marvel amidst the bustling streets of East London. Imagine a rugged granite boulder, seemingly out of place amidst the cityscape—a humorous twist that adds a touch of whimsy to your climbing adventure. As you navigate its rocky surface, surrounded by the vibrant energy of the city, you can't help but chuckle at the absurdity of a granite giant finding itself far from its natural habitat. Embrace the laughter and excitement as you conquer this unexpected challenge, creating memories that will surely bring a smile to your face.

Mabley Green Boulder:

Step into a serene oasis at Mabley Green, where the granite boulder awaits amidst verdant surroundings, offering a peaceful escape from urban life. But how did this majestic granite behemoth find its way here, so far removed from its native environment? It's a question that sparks amusement and wonder, as climbers contemplate the journey of a rock from the wilds to the heart of London. Yet, amidst the laughter, there's a sense of joy in the incongruity of it all—a reminder that adventure can be found in the most unexpected places. So, with a smile on your lips and a lightness in your heart, embark on your climbing journey at Mabley Green, where each ascent is accompanied by a sense of whimsy and delight.

Guidebook from Steep Learning Group:
For those keen to visit and want to know the routes, the Steep Learning Group has released a comprehensive climbing guidebook, providing detailed insights into the routes and challenges presented by these urban monoliths! Climbers are invited to embark on a unique adventure, scaling the rugged surfaces of the Shoreditch Boulder and the Mabley Green Boulder. While offering a range of grades, it's worth noting that these boulders are not the most beginner-friendly. This guidebook serves as a valuable resource, offering guidance on navigating the intricacies of each route and maximising the climbing experience.

Please remember that outdoor bouldering can present risks, and it's essential to climb with an experienced friend, equipped with the appropriate gear and knowledge of safety procedures.

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April 23, 2024
First published:
April 23, 2024