Friday, June 10, 2016 / by Kimo Quance
Does having to choose between going bouldering, top rope and traverse climbing leave you cross-eyed? Do you know when to bail or how to use belay? Do any of these terms even mean anything to you?
Whether they do or they don't, there is somewhere in Santee where you will learn. And have fun learning too!
Santee's West Hill Park sits on 8.5 acres of parkland and offers visitors covered picnic areas, hiking trails, a sand volleyball court, kiddie playground etc. It sounds like more than enough to keep the family entertained, right?
There's more! Right across Mast Boulevard sits one of Santee's hidden gems, the imposing Santee Boulders. Whether you've done some rock climbing before or are new to belaying and crash pads, bouldering out here is some of the best fun you can have.
While indoor rock climbing is a ton of fun and provides many benefits, climbing outdoors just gives you something extra. Maybe it's the fabulous view from the top of the Santee Boulders. Maybe it's the fact that you exert yourself a tiny bit more when you have to find your own footholds and grips; whatever it is, outdoor climbing is more satisfying to many climbers.
All Climbers Welcome
At the Santee Boulders, you can try traditional top roping or more adventurous bouldering. Regardless of your choice, don't forget your spotters or to use the right kind of ropes for going up or down when top rope climbing.
With different boulder sizes available for different skill levels, there is something to climb for everyone. Rock climbing, whether top roping or bouldering is something that can be done by the whole family.
The surrounding area is just beautiful; the views from up here are what Instagram was made for so don't forget your phone for that all-important selfie! But on a more serious note, if you're going to take advantage of this natural rock gym and the awesome photo opportunities, you'll have to remember a few things.
Remember to pack:
- a bouldering mat,
- a water bottle for when you get thirsty. Don't worry about running out; the park across the street has water fountains.
- covered walking shoes that fit.
Our Stay-Safe Tips
- Remember we're in rattlesnake country so keep an eye out, especially if you are coming with kids. Rattlers are infrequently seen, but it's best to be aware that they are around. And please don't try to take a selfie with one.
- One way to get a great climb in and not worry about getting sunburn is to arrive early, say 7-9a.am or later in the afternoon/early evening.
- Don't forget to always have a spotter if you're going bouldering.
With tons of free parking available just across the road, plus access to the park's restrooms, bouldering at Santee offers a fun workout for dirt cheap. And if you don't feel like climbing? Turn the outing into a hike, there are lots of groomed trails to follow and still enjoy the scenic views.
Even if you generally prefer indoor climbing, remember that you'll have enough time to do that in winter. This summer, pop over to the Santee Boulders for a few hours of family fun in the sun.