Somewhat forgotten and poorly utilized in the 70s and 80s, Riverside Park
has been wonderfully transformed into a beautiful, clean and safe public tract of greenery stretching from 72nd
street all the way up to 129th street, running between the West Side Highway and the Hudson River.
Riverside Park is the sole exception to this guide's focus on natural rock. All the climbing in this
area is buildering. The exception was created because back in 1988, the southern part of Riverside Park very popular
with local climbers. The retaining walls of the West Side Highway and the Boat Basin access roads (along with the arches
of the Boat Basin) are built with great blocks of local, natural stone and provide long traverses and even some ropeless,
The most popular wall was the curved, not-quite-vertical retaining walls
on the south and north side of the 79th street Boat Basin. The north wall, in particular, held an old piton near the
top as evidence of how far back climbers had been visiting the area. Of course, the structure has been renovated into
the Boat Basin Café and with it, crowds of people on good weather days ... making climbing here without being noticed
and remarked upon a difficult thing to accomplish.
at 72nd, the retaining walls of the West Side Highway provide endless stretches of stone to traverse on. The holds are
excellent for endurance training on vertical terrain. To this day, a climber can find private, shady areas along the
wall for some peaceful work-outs.
from the 72nd entrance, one can still find where the Highway Wall becomes elevated ... and where the ground section of the
highway meets the elevated part there are some high corners built out of the same stone. To this day, one can still
spot a few rusting pitons left in the Corner Route.