This guest post is from professional climber Paul Robinson, who is currently in France on a round-the-world bouldering trip. Paul's first ascent of Lucid Dreaming (V16) was featured in the film "The Hardest Moves" at last year's Reel Rock Film Tour.
Great rock is a huge part of what goes into an amazing area, but there is so much more that is needed to truly make an area world class. Presenting the five areas that truly stand out in my book.
5. Ozark Mountains, Arkansas, USA
The climbing areas of the Ozarks are situated deep within the forests of Northwest Arkansas. The rock is impeccable sandstone that seems to have been built for climbing.
Much of the climbing is located in and around the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. The ranch is an amazing place to call home base as it offers cabin accommodations and a truly relaxed southern lifestyle. The problems range from very easy classics to some of the hardest and best climbs in the country. This is not to say that the easy climbing is not amazing either. There is also incredible potential for development of new areas.
As the Ozarks are located in an area with a very low population density, it is uncommon to see more than one group of climbers out at the boulders on any given day. The town of Jasper hosts some fun restaurants and the local climbers are extremely friendly. The Ozark Cafe in downtown Jasper is great for a warm bite to eat after a long day of climbing. They also have an excellent breakfast menu with low prices.
The best season for the Ozarks is between October and March, when the temperatures are cool, the friction is perfect, and there are no bugs.