Virgin Gorda Bouldering - British Virgin Islands
First off, thanks friends for popping by to read this post. It's special to me for a couple of reasons.
- I've been working hard over the last month to re-vamp my blog (which I started back in 2014), to give it more of a mission and focus. Back in 2014 I started this blog as a way to share all the new and exciting things I was learning in California, and to an extent that hasn't change. What has changed is that I plan to put more energy and focus into my blog going forward. I want to continue to share travels and adventures here in California, but I also want to provide a resource for my readers to find adventures for themselves as well. I am passionate about learning more, and I think the people who visit this blog are too. So I hope this blog over the coming year becomes a resource to all who follow, and please reach out to me in my contact form below if there is anything specific you'd like to learn or hear about.
- I'm highlighting an old trip I took back in 2014 that I never wrote a post about. Its about a place that is very special to me and very special to the climbing community. At the end of the post, I'll be posting a few additional links to support this community in response to the recent destruction the community has experienced due to hurricane Irma. Please take the time to check it out.
Virgin Gorda is located in the British Virgin Islands, and it happens to be home to hundreds of beautiful granite boulders. The quality of climbing is fantastic, and the location is unreal. If you're looking to combine a climbing trip and a relaxing beach vacation, this is the best of both worlds.
How We Got There:
- We took a flight from Los Angeles, California to San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Then we took a smaller flight from San Juan to Tortola
- We then took a ferry from Tortola to Virgin Gorda
- Finally, we arranged a taxi to pick us up from the Ferry to take us to our rental for the week
Where We Stayed:
- Guavaberry Spring Bay
- We stayed in a nice little bungalow with a kitchen and two rooms, and view of the ocean
- There is a little store on site where we got our "groceries" and wine for the trip
- They also provided us with crash pads for bouldering and they had snorkeling gear
When did we go: Early August (was a little cheaper than their busy time of the year)
Guidebook: A Guide to Bouldering and Traveling in the Virgin Islands by Rich Crowder, link below
When Michael and my friend Marc told me about a trip they were taking to an island called Virgin Gorda for a week of chilling and rock climbing, I was quick to jump on board. After scheduling the flights and ferry (detailed above) for the trip, everything else was pretty straight forward. We hopped on a flight out of LAX to San Juan, Puerto Rico and then connected immediately to another flight from San Juan to Tortola. From Tortola, we began our vacation. While waiting for the ferry in Tortola, we grabbed drinks at a nearby bar (right near the ferry docks), and were properly in vacation mode once we boarded the ferry to Virgin Gorda.
We booked a beautiful two bedroom little bungalow (complete with kitchen, living room area, and outdoor patio) at the Guavaberry Spring Bay Vacation Homes. This place came recommened due to its prime location to beach side boulders and friendly staff. Guavaberry also makes it easy for climbers by providing crash pads during your stay, so we didn't have to travel over with any crash pads.
Below is a view from our patio in Guavaberry.
The beach was just a short walk away from our bungalow, and felt very clean and private. Virgin Gorda is popular among sailors, as you can see several boats anchored off-shore.
And the best part? The bouldering was right on the beach! (at least some of it). We were able to enjoy some lazy days, sleeping in, dragging a crash pad to the beach and climbing our little hearts out.
We were also able to rent snorkeling gear at Guavaberry and go snorkeling right off the beach. The fish life around the beach was incredible, some of the best snorkeling I have ever done. I didn't have a camera to take with me underwater, but there were all kinds of fish just off the beach front.
As you can see from the photos, we did a ton of climbing. There were boulders even right outside of our bungalow that had climbing lines on them. There is a guidebook for the Virgin Gorda Bouldering called "A Guide to Bouldering and Traveling in the Virgin Islands" by Rich Crowder. I definitely recommend getting this before visiting so you can navigate among the many boulders available on the island. Link to the guidebook at the top.
This boulder below was super close to our bungalow in Guavaberry.
Life was simple and the going was easy. We spent our evenings on the porch drinking wine (maybe a little too much) and enjoying the Virgin Gorda sunsets.
We also made it over to other parts of the Islands, like The Baths and Devil's Bay.
Michael and I tried taking an awkward photo between some boulders, similar to a photo we had seen when researching Virgin Gorda. He did a better impersonation at awkward than I did, but I think overall it was an awkward success.
Below is Marc on V4 "Hands Don't have Genders", in the Baths, Virgin Gorda. This area was a really cool system of boulders that made this cool cave-like area.
I've thought about this place every years since we made this trip back in 2014. I think it is extremely special, which leads me to a big reason for writing this post. By now we have all heard about the extreme devastation and destruction hurricane Irma has left in her wake. If you check out virgingordabouldering instagram page you can see some of the destruction it has done to Guavaberry. Hopefully this post highlighted some of the beauty and uniqueness of this island and showed you why its worth supporting and restoring. How can you help?
There are two ongoing fundraisers right now for Virgin Gorda.
One fundraiser is to support Guavaberry Springs Bay. This is where we stayed during out trip to Virgin Gorda. The property is a community-based, family-run business located near some of the great climbing areas in Virgin Gorda. I think it will be really great to support their property as many of the bungalows there are now complete destroyed from the hurricane. You can learn more here: https://www.youcaring.com/guavaberryspringbayresort-941623
The other fundraiser is for a Virgin Gorda Relief Supply Fund. You can learn more here: https://www.youcaring.com/virgingordacommunity-940410
Thanks for reading. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for caring!
She Dreams of Alpine