The 411 on Alabama’s Hospital Boulders

Please note: due to local and state guidelines surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, some information below may not be accurate. Before you travel and plan your next adventure, make sure to check each business/park/campsite for any closures or guidelines and for the most up to date information. Enjoy your adventure at Hospital Boulders!

The Hospital Boulders, outside of Gadsden, AL, is the new kid on the block in the southeast—at least in the sense of being an official climbing destination. The Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition (SCC) acquired the boulder field in 2012. Just a few months ago, the last, and final, payment of the SCC’s purchase was made with the help of generous donations and thus guaranteeing eternal climber access (cue the virtual fist pump).

The boulder field is easily accessed off of Highway 59, about an hour northeast of Birmingham and an hour and a half south of Chattanooga. The Hospital Boulders is the neighbor of the more known bouldering destination, Horse Pens 40, with just about 30 minutes separating them. (This should give you a clue as to the quality of rock that you can expect to find here.)

Schadenfreude (V3) ari32


Fall, winter, and spring are the main climbing seasons at the Hospital Boulders like most other boulder areas in the southeast. You will be able to access the boulder field off the Scenic Highway, through a couple of unlocked gates, just past the parking lot for Mountain View Hospital, where parking is available at the SCC barn. There is no need to lock the gates, but please remember to close them behind you. From the barn, hike a few hundred feet to the north to get where the boulders are, and climb away.

In most new climbing areas there is still developing to be done several years into granted access. The same goes for the Hospital Boulders, so feel free to explore all of its sandstone glory with terrain ranging from overhanging roofs and slopers to high balls. The new-ness also means that residents in the area may not be used to having climbers around yet, so please be aware of this and act responsibly.

There are about 150-200 developed boulder problems as well as a few sport and trad routes currently, and it is likely that there will be a guide to the area very soon for your ticking pleasure. For now, a friendly local is probably your best option for grade ratings. The Boulder problems here have a wide variety of holds, which makes for fun and versatile climbing.

Some of the most noteworthy problems at Hospital Boulders so far are:

Green Mosster (V2): Starting at two low pinches and moving out to a crimp, then a sloper to, as the name suggests, a bit of a mossy top out.
Schadenfreude (V3): Starts at a lie back and moves through a hueco, sloper pockets, slopers, and a side pull before topping out on a slightly mossy surface.

Unfortunately, there is no camping available at the Hospital Boulders so your best bet is to head into Gadsden, which is the closest town, or to Birmingham or Chattanooga, both about the equal distance from Gadsden.

To get even more psyched on this area that we now can call “ours”, check out this video featuring the Hospital Boulders.


We have the climbing gear you need before you head to Gadsden! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Written by Sofia Bunger for RootsRated and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by ari32

Introducing the all-new On Cloud 5


Whether you’re a longtime fan or a newcomer to the On Running craze, the new On Cloud 5 Shoes are a great choice! Simple, stylish, and supportive, they’re fully-cushioned running shoes. The perfect sneakers for business casual outfits and brewery outings, they go with anything and everything. As if new colors weren’t enough to love, the brand-new On Cloud 5 is the ultimate do-it-all shoe. So let’s break down what’s new and why you will love it! If you’re looking for our On Shoe Size Chart click here!



New, breathable antimicrobial mesh for odor-free style made from 98% recycled materials. Great for you, better for the planet.

The whole shoe is constructed of 44% recycled materials so you can feel as good as you look, while doing good. Plus, the no-sew taped reinforcements secure the sockliner without any abrasion. The closed-channel forefoot ensures a friction-free fit with a clean finish. What does that mean exactly? That means these shoes fit perfectly, breathe effortlessly, and eliminate rough elements that cause chafing. We’re sold already.


Updated Speedlace configuration ensures the perfect fit for easy-breezy comfort every time you wear them. Say it with us, “ahhhh”.

The bungee cord Speedlaces feature an updated configuration for a more customizable lacing. With a perfect slip-on style and adjustable fit, they’re as versatile as ever. The new upper keeps the clean lacing loops through the forefoot for a supportive structure. And if you need extra support, they still come with athletic laces in the box, so you can step to your own beat.


A redesigned midsole ensures your shoe stays in place and locks in at the heel. So you can step with confidence.

On Running redesigned the shoe’s interior to maximize your control. The updated heel hold locks the shoe into place directly under your center of gravity. Basically, that lets you control the shoe like a natural extension of your foot, without slipping or sliding. As a result, your forefoot strike hits exactly where it should, every time. It’s really all in the details.

Zero-Gravity Foam

The new outsole with specialized Zero-Gravity foam delivers top-notch shock absorption and energy return. So you get a light, powerful bounce that keeps you moving forward. So like…moon shoes?

Close, cloud shoes. The newly designed outsole provides max cushioning without extra weight, so you can step light. And they’re not kidding when they say light. Weighing in at only 250 grams (203 grams in the women’s style), these are one of the lightest fully-cushioned running shoes on the market. Hence…cloud shoes. 🙂


The iconic CloudTec cells on the outsole feature an updated Abrasion pad for next-level traction.

Don’t go away just yet, the fun doesn’t stop there! The iconic CloudTec cells on the outsole feature an updated Abrasion pad for next-level traction. The titular CloudTec cells incorporate a fluid and flexible structure directly underfoot that disperses impact while retaining your natural gait. This design keeps you propelling forward while supporting your feet without slowing you down.


The On Cloud 5 Shoes feature an updated Speedboard custom-designed for the Cloud with a full-coverage CloudTec sole.

Unlike previous styles that had dual-soles with a full-length channel and Speedboard, the Cloud 5 wraps under the forefoot and heel to capture the Speedboard energy return while minimizing space for hazards to get stuck. That may not make a ton of sense or it may sound too good to be true, but trust us, this update is stellar.

Other helpful links to help you find your new favorite pair:


Now that you know all about the new Cloud 5, pick your color and shop online now or come visit one of our locations and be one of the first to try them on! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. #BeOutdoors