Super Rock. Future Rock. Someday Never Rock.
In 1988, who knew what to call the SUV-sized fang of rock that jutted out over Central
Park Drive? Back then, climbing this boulder was entirely speculative. It was futuristic, both in terms
of difficulty, and level of risk. (Did I mention that crash pads hadn't been invented yet?)
Every climber who's walked underneath the boulder has eyed the obvious, yet rectal-clenching
problems that seem possible, but not very probable. The imposing west face and jagged arête of the overhang offers
some interesting holds and features that lure the climber further and further left onto the dramatic arête
and out over the busy road beneath. Seriously? Yeah. Seriously.
This Roadside Horror Show has deep, seeping cracks with moss sprouting out and geological-looking tags
and some rusting hardware that appears to have been installed to make sure the giant, broken overhang holds together. It
also offers potential 15 - 25 foot falls onto a road populated with huffing runners and streaking bicyclists. And
Even without crash pads, there were a few crazed
locals back in the late 80s who couldn't keep their hands off of any decent-looking piece of rock. There
were a few tentative attempts at climbing the west face of Roadside -- oddly staying to the right side where a landing
spot was non-existent -- and up to the dark, lichen-covered bulge of a project dubbed Roadkill.
But even with some pre-inspection and cleaning from the top, none would find the nerve to make the moves over the water-streaked
Eventually, the New Age of Bouldering in
the mid-90s swept into New Paltz (and by extension New York City) creating a new generation of standards-pushing problems.
Climbers who had found ways to exploit the Gunks-area bouldering despite the numerous horrible landings made visits to the
Someday Never rock and brought the same solutions: crash pads and multiple spotters. This approach made the idea
of climbing the overhanging left side of the west face far more appealing in terms of quality and safety.
Beware. Even with multiple crash pads and spotters, the height and location of
Roadside still presents considerable risks to the climber. Picking the right day of the week and the right time of day
are critical for attempting the problems at Roadside. When you're ready, you'll easily find the boulder
sitting along Central Park Drive at the far northern end of the park near 109th - 110th Street.
*Pre-inspection of the top-outs for all of these problems should be considered