Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turtlehead Boulder, Borderland

One of the traditions of bouldering is to name the rocks. It's a bit of a mystery to me who gets to name a boulder. Maybe it's the first climber to find a rock and bother to name it. Perhaps the honor should go to the first to climb it. Giving a unique name to a rock has obvious advantages, if for no other reason than to help other climbers find it.

Several of the boulders in Borderland State Park have names that have been published online on New England Bouldering and the Mountain Project. I've been able find - if not climb - a few of these rocks including the Ames Boulder, Hardly Working and the Ridge Boulder.

One rock I like may or may not have a name already, but for now I call it "Turtlehead" because it looks like the head of a giant tortoise emerging from the bowels of the Earth. It is right in the middle of the French Trail, not far from its intersection with the West Side Trail. This boulder is in an area with many other good climbing opportunities for beginning and advanced climbers.

This is not a large boulder - maybe 8 feet high - but it has a variety of climbs good for beginners. A few routes have generous handholds and footholds, and one side has a sloping slab with small finger-holds where a climber can practice trusting the grip of his shoes.

No comments: