On any given weekend you’ll find an unusual addition to Moss Rock’s native ecology: boulderers. The preserve’s enormous stones – some of them the size of houses – were known to climbers long before it became a public park, and in fact, it’s one of the best-known boulder fields in the Southeast, and the only public climbing park in the Birmingham metro area.
In the sport of bouldering, climbers work without ropes to master pre-set routes – or create new ones – on large boulders. The routes are called problems, and there are dozens at Moss Rock. Boulderers wear special shoes that help them grip the rock, use chalk to maintain a good grip on the rock, and use crash pads to protect themselves when they fall.
Some routes are easy, while others were among some of the first problems in the South to fall into the difficult category. There are now about 70 problems with names like Snake Eyes, Bee Stings, I’ll Tumble for Ya (cq) and Snoopy’s House.
– Hannah Wolfson