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Empire is not only about long routes in an alpine setting. During the last couple of years some very strong pad-people have unearthed some nifty, difficult problems on excellent quality stone. The bouldering sectors at Empire are described here based upon their order of appearance as you drive out of town. The first sector, is just off the road and on the North-East side. Thirty seconds from the road lies a cluster of mid size boulders with some hard problems. The boulders are clustered on the right, although a fork in the trail will take you left to additional boulders. Most of the problems are short and steep with a lot of open hand action. Since the problems are on granite, most have good adhesion. There are a few moderate traverses, but most of the established problems are power problems and are very steep, with half a dozen moves to top out. Most landings are reasonably flat, but rocky. So a pad is a good idea. The authors of these problems are presently unkown, but someone doing these is very strong. Nearly everything I worked felt at least V3 to V5, but I did not even try the real hard looking things. Many more boulders exist across the street and upstream, and by the look of things the bouldering is just getting started and offers a nice relief from the hump up to Ra.
Set the odometer to zero at the traffic light by the Post Office. Exactly 3.2 miles out of town is the second of two large pull-outs. On the North side of the road is a fifteen foot high granite face. Right of this is a trail marked by a large cairn. This trail will take you to the North-East boulders. Another trail starts from the left side of the granite face and goes up to Ra.
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