Grayson Highlands State Park has always been a part of my life.My mother grew up in the area now known as the “Homestead” at Grayson Highland’s picnic area. I have always heard stories of days spent playing on the “big rocks” around their home. They didn’t know they were pioneers for a sport now known as bouldering.
Bouldering is different from traditional rock climbing. No ropes are used and usually climbs are limited to short distances. Although no ropes are used, responsible climbers use a bouldering mat, a large foam pad used to soften the landing also known as a crash pad.
After hearing about bouldering for months, I finally witnessed bouldering first hand this past weekend. I have to admit, until talking with the climbers on Saturday, I didn’t see what was such a big deal. I mean, although the rocks are big, they are not far off the ground. One of the climbers explained that physically it is more intense. Being able to perform the most difficult moves possible for the individual climbing, being free of the gear,and being out with friends makes bouldering increasingly popular as an outdoor sport.
Grayson Highlands State Park. He is working on a guidebook for bouldering in the park The editor is Dan Brayak, he is a well known climbing photographer. The guidebook will include boulders, their names, their locations, difficulty level, full color photos of the boulders, park history. and safety regulations.
The “Parlier’s Project, featuring Aaron Parlier and was shot by Daniel Caudill, is a video demonstrating different climbs in Grayson Highlands State Park.