Inform and Inspire

Welcome to Upstate Bouldering, designed around bouldering in the Upstate region of South Carolina. This website is intended to inform the reader of local spots in SC, Western NC and Northeast GA, as well as a blog of my experiences climbing at these great spots. I hope everyone learns of a new place to climb or is inspired to climb somewhere close to them. If you have any comments, please send me an e-mail.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A couple of local spots

There are a handful of easily accessible boulders around the upstate that can provide you with a little bit of climbing. Here is the first installment:

Little Easy: Little Eastatoe Creek used to be a trashed red neck hang out on the side of highway 11 between Table Rock SP and Keowee SP. We used to come here a lot in the summer and hit the water slide and swimming holes to cool off. This led us to climbing around on the boulders and walls that litter the creek side. There was a clean up effort by Pickens Middle School that eventually led to the area being designated "Long Shoals Roadside Park". There were bathrooms added, as well as picnic tables and grills to make a nice addition to the highway 11 circuit of parks. Along, and in, the river are quit a few boulders and actually a couple of short top ropable walls. Not going to mention any specific boulders but they start up river from the water slide and go down river, almost to the junction with Big Eastatoe Creek. There is a great V2 SDS, "Little Easy", tucked on the "island" between the split in the river downstream of the slide.

You can also park near the bridge over Little Eastatoe and see a nice collection of rounded boulders, right there in the parking lot. I have climbed a few routes in this area, but most of the rock tends to be featureless making it tougher to find good routes.

From this parking area, follow either the creek side trail or the faint trail that leads up the hill to the left of the parking lot boulders. Both of these trails with intersect in about 1/4-1/2 mile. At this intersection you will see another small set of boulders off of the trail. Only a few climbable routes, but worth a peek.

If you continue down this trail, towards the junction with Big and Little Eastatoe Creeks, you will come to a big dip in the trail with a small stream going under it. Turn right and follow this stream bed up the hill to another small set of boulders with a cave/shelter. There is a good bit of rock, with a couple of problems scattered here and there.

If you continue down the trail instead of heading to the last boulder set, the trail will begin to skirt the creek. In a dip covered by rhododendron tunnels, look up right for 2 boulders. One has a 3 star slightly overhanging arete that goes at about a V3...this is called "Rhodarete". Beside this boulder is a rounded slabby boulder with some tough problems.

If you continue down this trail another 150 yrds, you will come to the junction of Little Eastatoe (what you've been hiking beside) and Big Eastatoe (the creek coming in on the right). A few chossy boulders/walls are on the right side of the trail before the junction. This is basically the transition from Eastatoe, upstream, to Lake Keowee, downstream. If you floated from here, its about 2-3 miles to the real open water of Lake Keowee. If you hiked upstream besdie Big Eastatoe for about 1 1/2-2 miles, you would come to "Dug Mountain Angler Access" at Dug Mtn Bridge, right inside the Jocassee Gorges.

There are plenty of exploration opportunities around this area, and actually a few more, tougher to find, boulders tucked over hillsides here and there. There is also an incredible 80' roped roof route, The Mushroom, hidden in the woods somewhere...never been toped out, so the FA is still there if you can find it:) If you are heading out in this direction, get in touch and I can meet up and show you around the area. Also, report any climbs you make and where they were, because most will be FA's...I'd like to keep track and start a topo for these areas. Good luck exploring!

2 comments:

  1. I'm fairly new to rock climbing (only in gyms before) and very new to bouldering. I had heard there were some boulders on the other side of highway 11 from the "roadside park" and tried some of it out today. Glad to hear there are some more features inside the park itself, I'll have to check it out again!

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  2. Hey I was wondering if you could give some more hints on how to find that 80 foot wall. I would love to get out there and check it out soon.

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