The weather is finally warming up in New York City and with the sunshine and warmth come all the fun outdoor activities. Last Saturday April 19th, the outdoor bouldering facility DUMBO Boulders opened in the north end of Brooklyn Bridge Park on the DUMBO waterfront. So, to test out this new addition to the park, we went and tried it ourselves.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with bouldering, it’s a kind of rock climbing that is done with no ropes and no partner. It seems scary, we know! But the walls are only about 14-16 feet high, and the ground is cushioned for when you fall. There are also climbing problems designed for all levels and ages.
Upon entering, you are required to fill out a form, sign a waiver, and if you want, rent special climbing shoes and chalk (we highly recommend this!). If you have never climbed like this before, staff from the organization operating DUMBO Boulders, the Cliffs Climbing + Fitness, are nearby to give you the rules and lay of the land.
Bouldering is made up of levels ranging from easy (V0) to difficult (V10), and are denoted by color. So if you want to try and climb the easiest ones, locate the light purple hand holds and follow those up. I myself climbed almost all of the easiest problems and found them challenging, but easy enough to be fun. A friend of mine who had never climbed before was able to make it to the top of a few of the purple ones, so you too can do it!
Adults and kids climb
For those who are less confident in their climbing abilities, or want to improve their techniques, DUMBO Boulders offers classes as well. Membership and class prices can be found on the Cliffs website.
Perhaps the best part of DUMBO Boulders (besides the view) is the price. Typically, a bouldering day pass in other facilities in New York City can be fairly expensive (at least $20), especially if you’re only going to be there for an hour. At DUMBO Boulders, a day pass and shoe rental cost only $9. Last Saturday, the weather was so nice that families had brought food and a blanket so they could picnic in between climbs.
View from the top
Located right on the East River, directly beneath the Manhattan Bridge (past the OY sculpture and visitors center), DUMBO Boulders is family friendly, perfect for all ages and skill levels, affordable, and offers some spectacular climbing views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan. So the next time you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors in New York City, head over to Brooklyn for some climbing. And with the money you saved on the day pass, treat yourself to some of Grimaldi’s Pizza or Shake Shack right around the corner.