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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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Fontainebleau Slideshows



I've added 3 new slideshows of pictures from some of the different areas we've visited so far in Fontainebleau. The first that was posted is from the Buthiers area, specifically Massif L'i. This was the first area we visited and is only 5 minutes from Maison Bleau, where we are staying. The second slideshow is from L'Elephant, the most classic boulder in the forest, and the surrounding circuits near Larchant. As mentioned in the previous post, this was one of my dream areas to visit...and it didnt dissapoint. L'Elephant was much taller than expected, even though I knew it was a highball boulder. The third slideshow is from Diplodocus, an area found within the Trois Pignon section of the forest. The boulders in this area are said to look like the bones of a dinosaur, scattered across the sandy opening in the forest. We have also visited another area in Buthiers, Massif Canard, but I havent got any photos yet, because we lost our lighting when the sun went down. We plan on heading back in the next day or so to finish up the circuit, and plan on getting some photos then. We should be visiting Bas Curvier, the most famous area of Font, tomorrow, and checking out all of the super classic routes that have made Curvier so legendary. Hope everyone enjoys the pictures!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

FONTAINEBLEAU!!!



I finally made it to mecca! We arrived at Maisonbleau (www.maisonbleau.com), our gite for the week, this afternoon about 4:30. The country side is beautiful and, at first, makes you wonder where all the bouldering is. Maisonbleau is a great place near Buthiers, that offers cheap, but incredibly nice, places to stay only 2 km from some of the best climbing in the forest. The gite has plenty of room, a full kitchen, and best of all, a collection of climbing DVDs to watch after your day of climbing. They also sell the best guidebooks to the area, as well as, chalk, brushes, DVDs, and their own sweet little crashpad. If you are planning a trip to Font, I'd definitely check them out! We decided to run out and catch half of a circuit before dark and weren't disappointed. We did part of the orange circuit at Massif L'i ("No Hands" in the Jingo Wobbly guidebook) to get used to the climbing here. The problems were all in the V0-V2 range, but were challenging enough to make you work for a couple of them. Problem 21 was the hardest on the circuit, at 4a+, and threw me off a couple of times before I figured it out. We plan on heading to L'Elephant tomorrow and climbing on the boulder that has fascinated me for so long. L'Elephant might just be the boulder that got me hot and heavy into bouldering, after one of my good friends gave me a big picture of it as a house warming gift. It sits above my mantle and has been a dream of mine to vist for many many years now. I'm also going to start another slideshow, tomorrow, with pictures of Font, so keep you eyes peeled, as I plan on taking tons of photos.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One lonely route in Switzerland




Between the rain, hiking, mountain biking, and canyoning in Switzerland, all I could muster up was one boulder route on the way out of town. The weather was very wet and cold compared to what was expected before we arrived. The cold was perfect for climbing, but there were showers everyday, except the last, which kept the rocks too wet to climb. On the way out of Switzerland, we saw one lone boulder in the middle of a small park in Interlaken and I sent one V0 route on it before we had to catch the train to Paris. By no means did this put a damper on the trip to Switzerland though. We stayed in Lauterbrunnen, which had 72 waterfalls streaming down the 2000 ft vertical cliffs surrouding the whole valley. I've never been to Yosemite, but this reminded me of all the pictures of the Tuolumne Valley I've seen. I added a couple of pictures to this post, one is the view of the valley from our hotel room, and the other is a picture of the great alpine mountains that towered above us just outside of the valley. The 3 snow covered mountains are the Eiger, the Monch and the Jungfrau...each one famous for their alpine mountaineering and big mountain appeal. Next stop FONTAINEBLEAU!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

DWS in Cinque Terre, Italy

As the travel guidebook suggested, there are several "rocks that you can jump off of" into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The water is deep and crystal clear, and the rock can be very committing, without good landings (some deadly) on many of the cruxes of the climbs. Right in the harbor of the village we are staying in, Manarola, is a nice little deep water soloing area. A perfect 30 ft spire shoots up from the bay, with a 3rd class slab on one side and a handful of 5.6-5.11-ish climbs on the other. The pinnacle of the spire is a perfect spot to jump off into the water, but the 5.10/5.11 overhanging rock leading up to the top has several ankle breaking rocks directly beneath you. The holds vary from super slopey to incredible incut crimps...a great variety to keep anyone happy. On the sides of the harbor are several other spots that make for great climbing, most around the 25 ft range. One of the best routes in this area was a 5.8 slightly overhung, hueco ridden climb that led to a perfect perch to jump from. I haven’t climbed anything outside of the harbor area, but the vast coastline is almost completely rocky and promises to provide great routes for anyone willing to swim or kayak out to find them. Italy, especially the Cinque Terre area, is so beautiful and has great DWS climbing...both feel like they're straight out of a fairy tale.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Finishing Up In Portugal & Heading To Italy

We are finishing things up in Portugal and getting ready to head to Italy. Hopefully, we will find some rocks to climb on somewhere near the village of Manarola, one of the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. There isnt anything specifically listed on any websites or in any books for Cinque Terre. But, there is mention of "rock cliffs to climb up and jump off into the sea"...so that sounds like some sort of Deep Water Soloing to me. Hopefully, I'll post a blog with some pictures and info about the area in a few days.

After we go to Italy, we are heading to Interlochen, Switzerland. Its only a 6-7 hour round trip to the Magic Woods, but we dont have any extra time or days to go there, so hopefully I can find some boulders closer to where we are staying. After Switzerland, we are heading to Paris and then finally Fontainebleau!!! I'll definitely have some pictures and blogs about Font...so stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Factor Lunar, a Video from Baia do Mexilhoeiro

I went back to Baia do Mexilhoeiro, yesterday, to tick off the rest of the routes in my climbing range. The tide was coming in and crashing against the base of the bouldering area, making for a great setting to climb in. This is a nice change of scenery compared to the usual forested bouldering that I'm accustomed to. I am by no means a photographer or videographer (if thats even a word), but I did take a video of a couple of climbs that I liked...here is one of those climbs showing some of the ambience of the area. This route was near another route called "Factor Solar", but wasnt listed in the guidebook, so I am calling it "Factor Lunar"...its wasn't that hard of a route, around a 5b or V2.

Friday, June 5, 2009

"It's a Rainy day...a Real Wet One"







Good Keller song! Always comes to mind when the rain is coming down. I was planning on heading to the coast near Cascais and bouldering today, but before I could get in the train, it started pouring...so I backed off for a couple of days. It's incredible how slippery all these cobblestones in the city get when they're wet!

Went to Sintra and found more boulders than imaginable...but they were so mossed over and featureless, that I only got about 10-15 routes in. I also got about 10-15 "buildering" routes in on the ancient walls of the Moorish Castle. If I had all the time in the world to develop this area and scrub some moss away, it would be a real bouldering paradise. I'm still having problems getting the pictures on the web, but hopefully I can get them up this weekend. Sintra is one place that has stuck out in my mind ever since the last time I was in Portugal, and I was glad to get back and feel the incredible energy of the area.

As mentioned, we're heading back to the coast this weekend and should have more pictures from a different bouldering spot called Farol da Guia. Farol da Guia is a limestone seaside cliff that's mainly a sport climbing area, but it has a couple of bouldering sectors with a bunch of 6a and above routes. Should be fun and we might have sad enough eyes to sucker one of the locals into letting us borrow a harness and get a tow up a couple of sport lines:)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Climbing in Lisbon




After searching a couple of times, I finally found an outdoor Entreprise wall in one of the parks in Lisbon. Its a nice wall to be free and open to the public at anytime. I only bouldered on the bottom 3/4 of the wall (its only about 25ft tall), but it is set up as a lead wall. Makes me wish I'd brought a light sport rack! I'll post a picture up later for everyone to see. I'm planning on going to Sintra today and bouldering at the base of the Moorish castle I've posted about before. Sintra is mainly a multi-pitch spot, but there are numerous, giant boulders at the base of the cliff that I'm sure will keep me busy for the day. There is also a little spot in the nearby forest, called Capuchos, that has some of the best looking bouldering in the guidebook...hopefully I can head out there too or find out about transportation for the next visit. My ankle is feeling much better, still a little stiff, but good enough to walk the usual 4-5 miles a day around the city. I'll post some pictures from Sintra, later today, so everyone can see the incredible castle and cliffs at its base.