Bouldering across the world

SUU Outdoors held its Outdoor Educational Series on Wednesday, Nov. 17 with special speaker Professor Casey Webb discussing his bouldering trip to Rocklands, South Africa.

SUU Outdoors has designed the OES program to educate, inspire and get people interested in the outdoors and to offer advice about getting involved from rock climbing to fixing bikes. The program happens every other week and offers different information with different outdoor experts.

Webb shared his experiences traveling to Rocklands from 30 hours of traveling across the globe, living in a trailer on a vineyard, renting crash pads for the rocks, traveling in another country and what to expect when bouldering in Rocklands.

Rocklands is an area three and a half hours north of Cape Town with an elevation of 1,547 feet above sea level.  It offers a plethora of bouldering opportunities for climbers of all levels with its 15 well-known climbs ranging in difficulty from V4-V10.

Webb shared that his favorite climb was the Rhino, a climb with a difficulty of V8. The rock itself is in a rhino shape and offers some extreme angles to test rock climbers’ bouldering capabilities.

“[Rhino] was a very specific boulder that I had in my mind to try. It was objective number one,” said Webb. “I’ve climbed all over the country, I’ve climbed thousands of boulder problems and just thinking about the quality of movement, the setting, the features, the quality of the rock, this was the best boulder problem I’ve ever climbed in my life.”

A boulder problem is a specific path one takes when climbing up a climbing gym’s bouldering wall or any natural boulder. Rocklands is full of unique boulder problems given its unique sandstone structure.

The best time to climb in Rocklands is during the summer months of June, July and August as that is when South Africa has their winter season, cooling the rocks and keeping the body temperature low to allow for maximum grip on the rock.

Students interested in the OES programs or other SUU Outdoor events and activities can learn more from their website. The next OES will be Dec. 1, featuring Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism Instructor Briget Eastep.

Story and Photos by Skyler Jones