Cris Fontano, head coach at TCH London, has recently been on a tour of some of America's most beautiful bouldering destinations. All the way from Yosemite Valley, he is here to share his top 5 tips on how to plan your fits outdoor bouldering trip. Read the list below or scroll to the bottom to hear straight from Cris.
Look into the local bouldering guide books for the location you want to visit. Most guides will not only offer useful information on the style of the climb but also if there is something you should be aware of, such as the rock quality, the landing, the approach time etc.
2. Consider your timing
Not all bouldering destinations will be suitable all year round. It is worth looking into whether the specific boulder you plan to climb is best climbed at a certain time of year, a certain time of day, or whether it is rain safe or not.
You can find further information on specific climbs on climbing forums such as UKC and Mountain Project.
3. Manage your expectations
Outdoor climbing can feel wildly different to bouldering indoors. If it's your first trip out you might find it a little intimidating, join your local Hangar's outdoor days to get a taster for outdoor bouldering in a comfortable setting with your mates.
Pick just one or two projects and invest your time in climbing similar style boulders, that may be of an easier grade, so you can still have a pleasant experience even if you don't manage to complete your project.
4. Use boulder pads
Boulder pads (or crashpads) are an essential accessory when bouldering outdoors. Most boulder projects are climbable with just 2-3 pads beneath you, but larger projects may require more.
You don't have to buy pads straight away if it's your first time bouldering outdoors, you can rent them from your local Hangar. Ask at reception for more information.
5. Enjoy it
If you've done your planning beforehand, the actual day out at the crag should feel pretty straightforward. So grab your mates, have fun on the boulders you've selected and don't pressure yourself to climb anything you're not comfortable with - just enjoy yourself!
Polish up on your technique before heading outdoors
Join our free group coaching sessions to make sure you have got your climbing form nailed so you can be safe and complete your project outdoors.