On another very sunny climbing excursion this Monday 22nd July 2013, the London Climbing Guide headed for the enigmatic Boulder Park in the grounds of Fairlop Waters Country Park. Fairlop Waters Boulder Park is situated in the North East of London a short walk from Fairlop tube station on the Central Line, making it easily accessible from anywhere in London.
The boulder park is one of those unique London locations that's a marvel to behold and more importantly climb, so we did. Oh and the best thing is it's completely free to use!
Our day started off relatively calmly with a 10:30 meet at Liverpool Station, once we had topped up our Oyster Cards we where on our way. The tube took us about 30-35mins on the Central line and apart from the baking hot weather our journey was relatively uneventful.
As we left Fairlop Tube Station we took the short walk to the park about a half-mile away.
On arrival at the park we fuelled up with some drinks and snacks (no hearty meals available unfortunately), from the golf course clubhouse near the entrance and headed to the boulder park.
After a short walk, which skirts the waters, we arrived at the boulder park. We took stock, had a look around, dropped our bags off and donned our shoes and climbing gear. We had the place to ourselves which was an added bonus.
There is an impressive array of boulders in the park, nine distinct boulders in total. All with different elements, features and types of climbing available.
We started on The Arches. Which is the largest of the first 3 boulders in the park, offering some climbing in the shade on the back side of the boulder, a welcome break from the sweltering sun. The Arches rise to about 12ft and offers interesting, varied and challenging climbs, under the arches and along over the brow of the top. The routes range from a Font 2 up to about a Font 5, which is challenging enough when warming up.
The Prominent Prow
After about 15mins of tackling most of the climbs The Arches had to offer, we moved on to the Prominent Prow - with its lizard like feature, which offered a tricky overhanging section graded at a Font 5. This sections needs some powerful climbing up the left side of the prow and on to the tip of the ' Lizards nose'.
Enormous Roofed Block
We then took on the largest boulder of the park, the aptly named Enormous Roofed Block. With its slabbed front face, which easily reached 15ft high.
The boulder offered a lot of different routes up to about a font 6a - on some of the over hanging sections. We would advise you to only attempt these sections if you are an experienced climber and you have the safety of bouldering mats.
The Enormous Roofed Block also has some large horizontal cracks running around it, which are great for practicing those lower level traversing skills and building up strength and technique.
Visiting the Fairlop Waters Boulder Park really was a fantastic day out and we couldn't recommend a visit any more highly to all climbers in London. There is more information on Farilop Waters Boulder Park on the London Climbing Guide site so check it out! for more information.