If you want the best recommendations, ask a local. Everybody knows that. Local knowledge is up to date, clued in, opinionated and enthusiastic. What more could you ask for? And the good news is that if you want this knowledge you needn't grub round at the base of an obscure crag or start buying pints for strangers in the ‘right’ pub any more.
That’s thanks to a fantastic network of dedicated area-specific websites that now cover most of the major climbing destinations in the UK.
Many of these websites have been going for years and over time have built up a huge database of canny knowledge that is not available elsewhere. Want to see how to do the crux of that boulder problem you’re struggling on? Webclips show you how. Want to know why the crux feels desperate? Up-to-date info will tell you that a hold has come off. Want to get inspired for something new? Extensive photo galleries showcase the best problems. Tired of the same old venues? See topos of the latest crag-X discovered and developed only last month.
Here’s a rundown on some of the country’s top local climbing websites. Next time you’re thinking about visiting an area, check these first.
LakesBloc has been the standard bearer for Lake District bouldering for years now and is one of the best maintained sites about. See here for all venues new and old in the Lakes. It is also the only place to get the knowledge on the limestone bouldering mecca in north Lancashire. See the LakesBloc website or like it on Facebook.
North Wales Bouldering has been keeping you up to date with the bouldering and routing goings on from that corner of our island. Whether it’s George Smith’s Boulder of the Month, the latest superboulder in the woods or hot-off-the-press news from Cloggy E9s, its enthusiastic reporting will bring it all home to you.
The Peak District Bouldering website is a relative newcomer to the gang but already is a superb resource for anyone visiting the country’s most popular bouldering area. Photos, videos, topos, comments, voting. It’s all there. Join in and add your voice.
Don’t even think about going to Scotland without visiting Boulder Scotland. The definitive repository of topos and info from the man who wrote the book on the subject. Looking at this website from behind the office desk will give you itchy fingers.
The southwest tip of the land, Devon and Cornwall, is well served by the Javu website, and its Facebook page, with a hotpot of topos, news and links on routes, bouldering and deep water soloing. An essential resource to check before your summer holiday.
It’s not every crag that gets its own website but such is the love that locals have for Dumbarton Rock that it gets just that. Sport climbing, trad climbing, bouldering and the scene. Its all here on the Dumby Info website and on its Facebook page.
For thems that want ‘owt for nowt, The Leeds Wall is the place to go for topos and new routes in the Yorkshire area. Many years of info gathering have made this a great resource. Check out their website or come on over and like their facebook page.
As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.
From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.
If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join
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