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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Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break Climbing Extravaganza

I've been away from the computer and office for a week and I haven’t had much of a chance to do any posting. I was in such a bad need of a week off of work, and it couldn’t of hit at a more perfect time. I was able to climb for 8 of the last 10 days, finish up some bouldering projects, lead a new route and climb at 8 different spots.

Starting with a week ago Friday's visit to Rumbling Bald where I finally sent Morning Star V7 and then followed it up with a quick send of Short Circuit V8 (downgraded to a V5 though). While I was first checking it out and not really putting a lot of effort into Short Circuit, I found myself latched onto the top of the boulder before I knew it and refused to let go. I felt my collarbone bending at one point and had several scars on my chest, shoulder, arms and legs from where the rock was digging into my flesh, but I refused to back down and finally scraped my way up it. I also sent some other great routes in the Breakfast and Politician area, but Morning Star and Short Circuit were definitely the highlight of the day.

On Saturday, I was planning on waking up and heading to Grandmothers, but it looked like it had rained all night and there were chances of rain all day in the Highcountry, so I came home and then headed to Granite City near Cashiers instead. This is one of the best areas for beginners due to the easy short walls found on "Main Street", the first climbing area the trail takes you to. I was so physically worn out from climbing the day before, that I had a real easy session and spent most of my time drawing a topo and writing route descriptions that I'll post as the next Local Spot very soon.

Sunday was hotter and perfect weather for a paddle, so we went out to Lake Oolenoy at Table Rock SP. It’s a small lake right on Hwy 11, but for an early season paddle, it’s just right. After that, we came home and I climbed on the home wall. My fiancé and I had ordered some holds from Etch, and after a month or so, they finally came in. So I spent the evening setting and climbing some overhanging crimpy routes, which is one of my biggest weaknesses.

Monday, my fiancé and I were planning on roping up at Curahee, and I was going to run down to Yonah and boulder beforehand. I went to Yonah and sent most of the V5 and lower routes listed in the guidebook...including a send of Yonah Man V7. The bouldering took so much out of me, that we cancelled the Curahee trip and I just headed home sore and tired, but with another V7 under my belt.

Tuesday was a rest day so I would have enough energy to climb on Wednesday at Rumbling and Thursday at the South Face. I still climbed a little at Rhodorete, a local spot only 10 minutes from my house. Rhodorete is a lone, towering boulder with a super classic problem on it. I have only topped it out once and without spotters and extra pads, I didn’t want to chance injury in this somewhat isolated area.

Wednesday was the second trip to Rumbling for my break. This time, we had a whole crew of people climbing with us...J-Rock and his wife and her brother, a couple of friends from the climbing gym, and an old climbing buddy I don’t get to climb with much anymore. We had a blast sending a lot of easy stuff and a couple of V3's and V4's.

Thursday was a great day to be at the South Face of Looking Glass! My partners got there about 11:30, but I wanted to get an earlier start that day, so I went to Shangrila and did a few boulder problems. I always enjoy a trip up into this great pocket of boulders, in such a beautiful setting. After I sent a project I had worked on for a few visits, I sprinted back to the car and met them right on time at the parking lot. We roped up and had a great time at one of the best climbing areas around. While I wasn’t climbing on a rope, I had a chance to check out what I call the "Short Man's Circuit"...a series of lowball overhanging boulders at the base of the Short Man's Sorrow wall. There is a small circuit of about 10-15 really great V3-ish routes to pull on when you are finished roping up. I think the 2 finger pocket problem, on the left side of the boulder below the right hand tree ledge, is a primo problem. I also like the backside of the boulder at the base of Left Up for a couple of good powerful moves. This wrapped up the bulk of my climbing for my break...7 days straight of climbing is a real treat for me. Tiring, but a real treat!

Friday and Saturday were rest days after the previous 7 days. Friday was raining all day and Saturday was a chance to grab a few brews and check out the Clemson Football Spring Game. That’s right...I'm more than just crashpads and dynos:) Having received both of my degrees from Clemson and being raised as a Tiger fan has endeared me to the football and basketball it’s just a great chance to grab some beers:) Some Clemson friends came into town for the weekend and made it a much better time!

Sunday was the last day of my break, and maybe one of my last chances to get another roped lead in before the end of the spring climbing season. We all headed to Curahee, met up with a climbing friend from Clemson, and had a nice afternoon session. I was able to lead Dust Bowl Daze and then we also climbed several other routes on the Slab Wall. It was a great way to spend time with some friends and wrap up my Spring Break Climbing Extravaganza!

Spring Break Final Score Card:
-1 V8, 2 V7's, 2 V5's, 7 V4's, and 12 V3's
-8 different climbing spots
-1 new 5.7 lead


  1. Wow--sounds like you got a lot of stuff done on your spring break. Nice job on Morning Star. Did you use the arete on the left or pop straight up to the cripm? I always go for the crimp.

    Anyway, I noticed you said that Granite City is good for beginners. my GF is just getting into climbing. Would it be a good place to take her some time? I'd dig seeing the topo when you're done!

  2. I tried to use the arete a couple of times,cause that's how Zach did it in the LVM video, but it just didnt feel as good as going straight for the crimp. The start and going to the right hand slope/crimp/side pull is always the crux for me. I also climbed it a second way by moving out farther right...bumping on and past the slope/crimp, onto the slopey/slapey arete with my right hand, and then making a long deadpoint out left to the crimp shelf in the middle of the route...might downgrade it a little, but makes for a few cool moves.

    Granite City is a nice little spot, if you are out in the Cashiers direction. It has plenty of shorter, easy problems to practice on and to get comfortable with the rock. It also has some higher harder problems that would be worthy routes at any area. My girlfriend loves to visit the area to climb and then eat in Cashiers at Cornucopia afterwards. (If you have never eaten here, and you can catch them when they are open, it's one of the best eateries in this area of WNC.) I'll hopefully be able to post that mini-guide/topo up before the end of this week. GC also has some tall walls that a TR can be set on...some have really challenging routes and some have real easy routes.