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Areas in New York City

232nd Street Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Astor Place Traffic Island 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Central Park 0 / 0 / 0 / 67 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 67
Fort Tryon Park 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Morningside Park 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Riverside Park 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Slab Town 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Times Square 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elevation: 40 ft
GPS: 40.752, -73.985 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 322,587 total · 2,392/month
Shared By: Euan Cameron on Oct 16, 2007
Admins: Gunks Apps
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Description

As our world becomes more populated and hectic we often seek to flee the cities in search of a bit of rock tucked away somewhere quiet. Bouldering in Manhattan proves that sometimes you don't need to leave the city but rather go in deeper. There are about 300 documented problems from V0 to V12 (there are four V12's!)  from Central Park in Manhattan to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The metamorphosed gritty schist provides a wide variety of interesting bouldering that crops up next to busy streets but is also found tucked away in a quiet little section of some of the parks.

Most people who boulder in NYC will head straight to Rat Rock as it is the most famous but there are many hidden gems scattered throughout the park. In fact many consider Slingblade in Van Cortlandt Park to be the single best problem in NYC. Van Cortlandt is the only section of NYC that is composed of Gneiss.

Until recently, many of the parks were technically closed to bouldering. We all owe a huge thanks to Fred Polvere who worked to get bouldering approved by the New York City Parks (NYCP) with the exception of Fort Tryon. Most of the bouldering at Fort Tryon is located off the paved trail system but it is the narrow walkways hemmed in by a stonewall on one side and the boulder on the other. The problems on the Life is Beautiful boulder are closed and should be avoided while Fred is working to get this park open as well.
Access Fund: NYC Parks Open to Bouldering

Guidebooks: There are two available guides NYC Bouldering by Gaz Leah from Sharpend Books and Manhattan on the Rocks by Conor O'Hale and produced by Gunks Apps.

NYC Bouldering contains 280 problems in the following parks: Central Park, Morningside Park, St Nicholas Park, High Bridge Park, Loony Bin, Harlem River Park, Fort Tryon Park, Inwood Hill Park, Van Cortlandt Park

Manhattan on the Rocks contain 295 problems in the same parks listed above but also includes Van Cortlandt Park.

2013  Available for $22 from Sharpend Books and local climbing shops. New York City Bouldering

2017 Available for $14.99 on iOS and Android from Manhattan on the Rocks, Gunks Apps

1988 Mostly for historical context this early guide gives a great look into the early days of Central Park Bouldering.
Nicolas Falacci Online Guide

Getting There

From almost any airport in the world, fly to JFK, Newark or LaGuardia, and follow all the people into Manhattan.

The bouldering begins at the most popular areas at the south end of Central Park. The excellent bouldering found at Central Park North is often overlooked. The parks going North each have their own character and offer different types of settings from nice spots for a group to areas to get a daily burn or solitary projects worth returning to.




74 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at New York City

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0+ 4+
 9
Rat Rock Traverse
Boulder
V0+ 4+
 18
Cat Arete
Boulder
V0-1 4+
 32
The flake
Boulder
V2 5+
 13
Tweaky Shit
Boulder
V2 5+
 13
The Arete
Boulder
V2 5+
 7
Voodoo Bullshit/Bring the Noise
Boulder
V2 5+
 5
The Fridge
Boulder
V2 5+
 4
Death By Dizzy
Boulder
V2 5+
 4
The Arete
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 5
Mean Green
Boulder
V5 6C
 15
The Polish Traverse
Boulder
V5 6C
 4
Unworthy
Boulder
V6 7A
 6
A.D.D.
Boulder
V6 7A
 6
A.D.H.D
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 15
The Wall
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Rat Rock Traverse Central Park > Rat Rock
 9
V0+ 4+ Boulder
Cat Arete Central Park > Cat Rock
 18
V0+ 4+ Boulder
The flake Central Park > Rat Rock
 32
V0-1 4+ Boulder
Tweaky Shit Central Park > Rat Rock
 13
V2 5+ Boulder
The Arete Central Park > Worthless Boulder
 13
V2 5+ Boulder
Voodoo Bullshit/Bring the N… Central Park > Worthless Boulder
 7
V2 5+ Boulder
The Fridge Central Park > Westside Outcrops
 5
V2 5+ Boulder
Death By Dizzy Central Park > Rat Rock
 4
V2 5+ Boulder
The Arete Central Park > Cat Rock
 4
V2 5+ Boulder
Mean Green Central Park > Worthless Boulder
 5
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
The Polish Traverse Central Park > Rat Rock
 15
V5 6C Boulder
Unworthy Central Park > Rat Rock
 4
V5 6C Boulder
A.D.D. Central Park > Worthless Boulder
 6
V6 7A Boulder
A.D.H.D Central Park > Worthless Boulder
 6
V6 7A Boulder
The Wall Times Square
 15
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b TR
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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
NYC BOULDERING by Gareth Leah is now at the printer and due at the end of September. Look for it at local outdoor shops or online atsharpendbooks.com. The book is available for pre-purchase and comes with a free iOS eBook. Sep 2, 2013
Edubs  
Does anyone know the current legality of bouldering around NYC? Last time I was at Fort Tryon there were a lot of not very friendly "no climbing" signs. Apr 16, 2015
G Man  
I climb in Fort Tryon relatively often, though mostly at the traverse wall and the Life is Beautiful boulder, both of which are pretty well established - I've never yet had an issue about it. I do want to explore some of the rock that has yet to be developed for climbing in the area, but I don't know much about the rules regarding that. Apr 21, 2015
Nicolas Falacci
Pasadena, CA
Nicolas Falacci   Pasadena, CA
Originally the City Climbers Club had a formal arrangement with the Parks and Recreation department. As long as ropes and gear was not used, climbers were free to boulder in the parks of Manhattan. (With the exception of Vista Rock at the Belvedere Castle.)

However, I have heard in recent years that the Parks staffers in Ft Tryon aren't keen on it. Probably because the Cloisters is up there ... I dunno. Unfortunately, I don't think the club exists anymore and the people we used to deal with in the Parks dept are probably different.

I do know that the folks who oversee Inwood Park are VERY sensitive to climbers going in there due to the Native American sites.

Leah's new guide does an awesome job laying out a lot of sites in northern Manhattan that have bee developed. A lot of those places will be free from hassle.

If you're interested in the old original guide ... I'm slowly updating it (it will just cover the original areas it covered in 1988 - Central Park, Riverside, Ft Tryon, Inwood Park)

A Climber's Guide to Popular Manhattan Boulder Problems Oct 8, 2015

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