Most of my friends know that a major passion of mine is rock climbing, but few are aware that my first outdoor climbing experiences took place right here in New York City. A small, but active climbing scene exists in Central Park, ideal for city-dwellers like myself who crave climbing close enough to access by subway. Last week, with temperatures in the mid-60s, I took my camera to the park in search of climbers emerging from their winter hibernation.
The type of climbing practiced in Central Park is bouldering, meaning the climber uses no rope or gear and stays low to the ground. Often a crash pad is used to cushion falls or a spotter watches to ensure that the climber falls safely. Bouldering draws on the same sense of joy that kids experience when they scramble around rocky crags—getting to the top of even a relatively low rock can be challenging and surprisingly enjoyable.
[caption id=”attachment_319″ align=”aligncenter” width=”500″ caption=”A climber at “Rat Rock,