New London Tube: Bouldering At Connecticut College

Man tries out climbing activity in Connecticut College Arboretum

I once heard a Connecticut College graduate mention how the school's arboretum is well-known but the extent of it is not. Along with the trees and flowers surrounding the pond set back from the main entrance off Williams Street, there are trails extending into sections in Waterford and Mamacoke Island in the Thames River.

This video was reportedly shot near the arboretum, probably in one of these more remote sections. The credits say the person scrambling over the rock is Dan Raccio while the person behind the camera is Dan Bon. The clip gives a good sense of the sport known as bouldering.

The activity is about what you'd expect. Rather than taking on a rock face or other major climb, the challenge of bouldering is trying to make your way over a smaller obstacle without the use of ropes or other aids. The challenge is finding a path using only the handholds, crevices, and perhaps some decent climbing shoes and chalked hands. The small heights make the sport quite safe, and some climbers even use crash mats to avoid injury if they fall.

It's not to say it's not difficult. Raccio makes an impressive show of making his way up the underside of the boulder before getting to the somewhat more manageable vertical section, but it takes him a few tries to get it.

Have you gone bouldering before? Let us know in the comments.

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