Beneath the freeway

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
  • Climbing wall

    A climber grapples with the challenge of a 45° angled wall located under the CityLink/Monash Freeway 2km from Melbourne’s busy city center. The wall is one of three ‘Bouldering Walls’ under the highway in Burnley at an open air facility that is accessible for climbing at any time, even at night when the walls are artificially lit. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing where the climber stays close to the ground. It usually involves climbing across or up a short distance.

    At first glance, the walls look somewhat easy, but as I discovered when I attempted to climb wall 1, suitable for beginners, they’re certainly not as easy as they appear. Designed, constructed, and managed by the Victorian Climbing Club, each of the walls is graded with a number giving climbers an indication of how hard each route is, the higher the grade number the harder the route.

    A friendly climber acted as my ‘spotter’ and helped me out with advice as I attempted to cross from one side of the wall to the other using the colored hand and footholds. Climbers are supposed to follow a colored route from one edge of a wall to the other. If following just one color is too difficult then it’s possible to try combining two or maybe three colors to form a route.

    Watch a video about the Burnley Bouldering Wall.