Plan a Climbing Road Trip

Bouldering and BagFall is prime time for climbing, and there are people all over the country gearing up to go on a climbing trip at this very moment. Some folks will beeline to their favorite climbing mecca, while others are preparing for a multiple destination gauntlet. Whether you’ve got one crag in mind, or you’re looking to test a multitude of boulder fields, you need to be prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a climbing road trip.

Before you hit the road, you are going to want do more research on your climbing destination than just how to get there. While there are plenty of climbing areas that you can just saunter up to, drop a tent, and start climbing, many climbing spots require a little more preparation.

For example, the climbing in Hueco Tanks, located in southwest Texas, is located inside a state park that requires reservations for access. Rocktown is another popular climbing area, located near the Georgia-Tennessee line. Rocktown doesn’t require you to have a reservation, but you are required to purchase a Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP) in order to camp and climb in the area.

Some climbing areas don’t allow camping, some require you to pay a daily use fee, and some might have recently been closed to the public. You want to make sure you know what you’re getting into before you head out on a climbing trip, especially if you’re going to be far from home. There’s nothing worse than driving 15 hours to a climbing spot, only to realize that you can’t climb because you don’t have a reservation.

Once you’ve made the proper arrangements and preparations for camping and climbing, go ahead and research what the climbing will be like. Watch climbing movies or videos online. Research climbs and find a list of classics that you want to attempt.

Order the guide book for the area you’re heading to. This will help you get familiar with the climbs, and save you a ton of time when you get there. Instead of scratching your head, flipping through page after page trying to match an inch tall snapshot with a 30 foot boulder, you will already have an idea of where the routes and problems are located.

The more prepared you are, and the more research you do, the more fun you will have!

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