The Barnstorfer forest is one of my favourite go-to areas when I get up for jogging or want to do calisthenics. Apparently, that particular park area is also great when you like to climb or like to boulder (climbing in safe heights for jumping off and without ropes or harnesses).
While I was aware that there is a rock formation dedicated for bouldering on a playground in that park area, I’ve never really tried it – until a few days ago. Because of the bright red handles arranged so neatly and easily it was practically screaming “this is easy and not for an adult”; yes, it really didn’t look much of a challenge from the distance but more suitable for children and probably teenagers who like to cavort and frolic at that playground, so I didn’t care much when I first spotted those rocks. What I hadn’t noticed, however, was the rock formation itself was made of many small ledges, cracks and gaps in different scales to either hang on or step on so that you actually don’t need the red handles if you want to go for a tougher challenge. The cool thing about the formation is that it is big enough to offer many different routes and enables you to be creative in how you want to approach a boulder problem (which is a technical term for the route you want to climb with a fixed starting point and finish).
My idea was to climb along one side of the formation, without touching the ground or any red handle, until the very end, change the side at said end and climb along the backside back to my starting point. And I’ve got to tell you… it was exhausting! In fact, it was so exhausting I had to pause several times, was dropping sweat (though no blood and tears, I can assure you) at the end of the route and I genuinely couldn’t feel my forearms anymore after getting of that rock. I was pretty much done for, and the next half an hour, I couldn’t really do anything with arms. Lifting my backpack or even clenching a fist was something that was definitely harder than it should have been.
Now imagine doing this kind of exercise every day, for prolonged intervals, with different routes or maybe a backpack you brought along on your shoulders. And it’s completely free! Of course, you don’t have any staff changing and re-bolting the routes and handles and no one’s (probably!) going to sculpt new ledges into the rock so you have to rely on your own creativity and still, I guess, it’s going to be boring somewhen after a while, but it’s there!
Don’t get me wrong: This is not to say you should ignore Rostock’s excellent bouldering halls in Warnemünde and Hansaviertel, and that this small playground is a substitution for a professional environment, especially if you’re interested in more technical aspects and the sport itself. However, it is a great opportunity to expand your usual workout routine and spice things up a bit when you’re near the park. Make the world your playground and start with areas close-by!