Located in the suburb of Burnley, underneath the City link/ Monash freeway. Is one of Melbourne’s hidden gems. It’s the finger burning, forearm aching Burnley bouldering wall. Bouldering has become increasing popular, especially in Melbourne. The Burnley climbing wall offers a 100% free training playground. With a friendly atmosphere, that’s welcoming to beginners.
What is bouldering?
Bouldering is rock climbing at its basics. Instead of climbing high cliff faces, bouldering climbs are at a lower height. Though this can offer, some more complicated climbing problem. You leave behind climbing gear, such as ropes, harness and the safety of your belayer. It’s still preferable have a spotter (A person to help guide your fall) and safety gear such as bouldering mats.
The fun with bouldering is the challenge. Each new climb, offers a new challenging and technical route (bouldering problems). To complete, the climber needs a combination of strength, balance, technique and your will power. You can see the problem in front of you and the solution is your own body. Having to twist and balance, as you muscle your way to finish.
Another great benefit of bouldering is the social aspect. You tend to stand around trying to figure out problems with other people. Most of the time with complete strangers, all with a common goal.
Wall 1 is vertical. Generally considered a beginner to intermediate wall. also it’s a good wall to warm up on. Even those this wall is not the most popular as the other walls. Wall 1, does offer some challenging climbing problems.
Set on a 30 degree incline. Wall 2 is by far the most popular wall. Offering a good range of traversing and bouldering problems to conquer.
Set on a 45 degree incline, Wall 3 offering some of the harder bouldering problems. Offering a good range of traverses and boulder problems. Wall 3 is suited for the more experienced climber.
How Burnley bouldering wall works?
There are three separate bouldering walls. Each set at different inclines from vertical, 30 and 45 degrees. You will notice that all the plastic hold on the walls are different colours.
That’s because each colour represents a different climbing problem for you to solve. Generally, there are two types of problems paths. Climbing problems going along the wall are known as traversing, opposed to problem going upwards.
Each problem is graded as well. On the end/side of each wall is a chart showing the different paths and grades of each climbing problem.
The traversing problem are graded via the number system 0-30. As the numbers get higher so does the difficulty of the problem.The vertical problems are graded on the bouldering system V0-V15. As with the traversing, the higher the number increase in difficulty.(This is a very basic overview of climbing grading)
When to go to Burnley bouldering wall.
Burnley wall is open 24/7. Lights come on at night time, so having a climb after work is not a problem. Plus the cooler night in summer time are the best for socialising. Though it’s completely undercover by the City link/M1 so if it’s raining or to sunny. It’s always an available option.
Cost: 100% Free
Equipment needed:You can climb without, though its recommended to have the following:
- Climbing shoes
- Climbing Chalk
- Bouldering mat
- 3 Bouldering walls
- 1x Old Bouldering mat
- Some gym equipment
- Finger board
- Picnic table
- Chairs and sofa
- No water onsite
- No toilets. The closest toilets are in Barkly Gardens (park) on Mary St. Corner of Barkly Ave. (5 Min walk)
- Apart from the old bouldering mat, the ground is hard.
- The area is unsupervised, so mind your own belongings and kids.
- No Bare feet. Don’t leave your Tinea for someone else.
- Give way to the other people on the wall. If someone else started climbing before you. Then they have the right of way.
- Don’t take over the wall when its busy, let everyone have a go.
- Unless you’re spotting someone. Don’t get underneath climbers, they fall!
- Stealing is a crime, don’t take equipment and gear from the walls. Or other people’s belongings.
- It’s pet friendly
The Burnley wall is located between Mary ST and Barkly ST in Burnley Victoria. It’s underneath the City link/Monash freeway and situated along the Yarra trail bike path.
How to get there
To ride to Burnley wall, take the Yarra trail to Burnley. Its located under the Citi link/M1 between Coppin St and Mary St. A small island called Herring Island of on the opposite side of the Yarra river.
Take the tram 78, hop off as close to the Church St and Yorkshire St intersection. Follow Yorshire St east, until you turn right onto Mary St. At the end of Mary St, take the tunnel. Then turn left at the Yarra river. You will find Burnley bouldering wall in about 200m.
If driving along Swan St in Richmond. Take Coppin St south (towards KFC). At the end of Coppin St, turn left onto Barkly Ave. about 80m you will see a road on your left. Follow is road (partly gravel), you can park your car here, outside the Parks Victoria entrance.Walk down towards the river, then take a right and cross over the floating pontoon bridge. The Burnley bouldering wall is basically at the end of the pontoon bridge.
Short history overview
Since the 90’s a climbing wall of some type, has been present in the area. Used as a training area for climbers that’s close to the CBD. Though in 2003 the wall was removed, deemed a risk to public safety.
This is when Victorian climbing club (VCC), City link management and Parks Victoria came together and in 2006 with the support of the climbing community. The Burnley bouldering wall was resurrected. This soon became a great climbing /social hub for the climbing community.
In 2010 due to upgrades on the City link, the walls where stripped down while work on the freeway was completed.
The wall wasn’t rebuilt until 2011 but with upgrades. Such as lights and superior climbing walls.
The coloured holds where donated by Hardrock climbing gyms. Now, the regular management of the walls is under the care of the climbing community, VCC and Parks Victoria.