The Peak District is the perfect place for rock climbers and slab climbers alike. Peak District bouldering is another style to add, and it’s undertaken without a rope so you have to be brave indeed. It’s normally a Peak District extreme sport limited to very short climbs and the only thing to break your fall is a crash pad. This safety equipment is called a bouldering mat by name and will limit the injuries you may gather.

To practice first, try it out on artificial boulders in gyms and outdoor urban areas before attempting Peak District bouldering for real. There are lots of large natural boulders scattered around Derbyshire, so you need never go to the same place twice. You can also practice at the base of larger rock faces, if you can manage to find a stone unturned that isn’t covered with Peak District rock climbing folk that is!

Peak District bouldering is all about emphasising power, strength and dynamics. You have to focus on individual moves or short sequences of moves in a blink of an eye. You have to think fast where your next arm or foothold will be. Peak District bouldering is very different to traditional rock climbing, which demands more endurance over long stretches of rock. The greater the difficulty usually means the best challenge and if you’re into bouldering, then the harder and tougher the challenge, the better.

To reduce the risk of injury and if you fall it’s not so high, boulderers rarely go higher than 3 to 5 m above the ground. If you go higher and over 7 m then this is considered soloing, but further protection is needed to attempt it. You can work on your own but it’s usually better to work in pairs, so try to have a spotter on the ground who can direct your body to the next hold above your head. Younger climbers develop better skills as climbers, from their experience if they try out bouldering first -but in an indoor supervised arena of course.

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    Peak Climbing School