Dixie Outdoors: Black Rocks popular climbing destination

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Climbers can find at least 65 climbs of all levels at Black Rocks with the choice to be in the sun or in the shade.

The basalt rock has many formations, which make certain climbs easier for beginners and other climbs harder for veterans.

Climbers from all over Utah come to Black Rocks.

“I like it here,” said Golden Murray, a climber from Mapleton. “It’s volcanic rock, but it’s not as rough as some other canyons. It’s easier on your fingers.”

The basalt has many qualities that makes it better than other climbs. The quantity of the climbs add to the quality of Black Rocks.

“Sometimes,when climbing on sandstone, the holes chip easier just with the erosion,” said Jake Rasmussen, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Santa Clara. “Especially when it rains, you can’t go on any sandstone, but at Black Rocks you can.”

It’s a great place for all ages based on the levels of climbs.

“It’s more fun down here,” said Missy Murray, a Mapleton resident and Golden Murray’s daughter. “There are more rocks to climb and more options of where you can climb.”

Black Rocks is split into two sides by a ravine. They are named the Sunny Side and the Shady Side. According to http://www.summitpost.org/black-rocks-5-7-5-13b/258374, there are at least 65 climbs, which are rated from a really low 5.7 climbs to much harder 5.13b routes.

“I like (climbing because) I like overcoming the spots I think I can’t get up and being able to finally get up them,” Murray said.

After parking your car on the side of Bluff Street near a paved bike trail, follow a trail down into the ravine and back to the far side if you want to go to the Sunny Side of the cliffs.

“I like the shade,” Rasmussen said. “(Because of) the way the sun falls on (the ravine), one side of the cliffs is shaded so you don’t get super hot. It’s easier to climb all year.

To get to the Shady Side, take a left when you climb a little bit down into the ravine, staying near the cliff face.

The Shady Side is advantageous because of the St. George heat. The basalt at Black Rocks can get extremely hot.

Be careful with both your hands and rope while climbing Black Rocks.

“The volcanic rock can be a little harder on ropes,” Golden Murray said.”It’s got some good edges to hang on to though.”

Black Rocks isn’t the only site to go climbing in St. George, but because of its many different options of routes, it makes one of the best places to climb in town.