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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Friday, July 10, 2009

Rest of the Bleau Trip & End of the Honeymoon

Fonatinebleau was absolutely amazing! Even though the temps were up in the 80's, the climbing was incredible. I focused mainly on doing circuits, instead of seeking out specific problems, and had a very fun trip. We were able to climb 5 straight days, and have a morning and an evening session everyday. We were able to visit 8 different bouldering areas...Massif L'i at Buthiers, L'Elephant, Diplodocus in Trois Pignon, Massif Canard at Buthiers, Sablons at Franchard, Hautes Plaines at Franchard, Isatis at Franchard, and the legendary Bas Curvier, where many believe "bouldering" began. Each area had its own characteristics, there were similarities with each of them and then there were some major differences. Each area had some great sandstone boulders, and the more popular routes had polished footholds making them even harder than they could be. The 2 areas in Buthiers were a little more convenient and made for quick half circuit evening sessions. Plus, the Outdoor Center in town had an awesome pool, with a great water slide, to cool off after the boulder sessions. Diplodocus and L'Elephant had some really nice problems on some neat rocks, but both were basically in a desert of sand, making for some hot and shortened sessions. It was nice to fulfil my dream of climbing on L'Elephant! Franchard and Bas Curvier were both fern forests, with blankets of tree ferns as understory. They were both somewhat shaded, Franchard much more so than Curvier, which made for a little bit cooler climbing. Seeing some of the legendary problems from DVDs or photos was pretty cool too. Each area would be a 3 star bouldering area, no matter where in the world you'd find them, much less all within 20 minutes of each other. There were very few bad landings and following the circuits with the focus on trying to onsight each problem was a lot of fun. With it being the off season for bouldering, and we were visiting during the week instead of on the weekend, we practically had the place to ourselves. We saw other climbers at most areas, but usually it was only 1 other group. I was able to climb about 150 different routes and most of them were below V2. We mainly followed Orange circuits, but we dipped down to a fun yellow circuit one day, and I climbed several tougher blue circuit problems/partial circuits along the way. I cant think of a better bouldering trip to have taken...by the time we had to go, I had finally developed enough tendonitis to not be able to climb very much anyway. What a way to wrap up our honeymoon!

I was pretty lucky to have such and incredible trip, with the best bouldering partner in the world, my new wife:) She was so nice to plan for, and allow me, to do as much climbing as I wanted! We visited 15 different bouldering/climbing areas in 4 different countries and had a blast...I felt like I was living in my own climbing flick! I didnt really climb too hard, mostly V2 and below, but I got to climb about 300 different routes and I was excited to experience as much rock as I possibly could. I have a few more slideshows to put up, including one for the other areas of Font that I havent posted yet and one with more pictures of all of the other areas...so check back to see the new slideshows. I hope everyone gets a chance to go on a good roadtrip this summer or fall, even if its only for a day or two, and re-energize their soul!