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, August 31, 2009

So So Weekend

The one thing I wanted for my birthday was to go to the Highcountry and do some climbing. This past weekend we went up to Boone for the Music on the Mountaintop Festival, which had some great bluegrass and other performers, and tried to get some climbing in. When we arrived on Friday, I just couldn't accept that the rain would stop me from finding something to climb at Grandmother's Boulders...but it did. We climbed on and around Chainsaw and finally gave up after sliding off of so many slimy boulders. I got a few routes in on the Chainsaw boulder, but so much of the other boulders were so slick that it just wasn't worth attempting to have a session. We stopped off at Beacon Heights and tried to find the main boulders again...but we never really found them. My wife likes to climb on V1 and below problems, so I like to find some good boulders to keep her happy. Beacon Heights has been mentioned in several online sources and on local maps, as being a good place for beginner boulders. This is like the 3rd or 4th time we've gone looking for them, but just cant seem to find the main boulders that most folks seem to be talking about. The beta is to take the trail on the left to the boulders, but we have taken every trail to the left and bushwhacked a little too, but we just cant seem to find anything worth climbing on, besides the few short boulders on the trail near the beginning. If anyone has GOOD directions for finding them, please drop a comment or e-mail so we can check them out on our next visit.

Sunday, we went to do some multipitch at Table Rock. I have been fighting a flu virus over the last week and Saturday I was hit with the worst of the viruses effects on my stomach. I was up all night sick and eventually I was so dehydrated that all I could muster was a pitiful attempt on the first pitch of Jim Dandy. I ended up backing off and letting the rest of the crew enjoy themselves without the puky dude messing things up. So in the end, I got maybe 10 sloppy routes at Granny's and 1 pitch at Table Rock...nowhere near what I was hoping for. It seems like every time I head to Granny's it rains and every time I head to Table Rock, the gods only let me climb the 1st pitch of something. Oh well, at least I got to climb a little. Hopefully, with the cooler temps and lower chance of rain for this week, I'll have a chance to get out and climb closer to home...its almost getting cool enough to session at the Bearfields and Jedi. I've been in contact and talking with one of the upstate state parks that has some of the best bouldering in SC...and they seem to be open to bouldering with some limitations. I hope to continue contact with them within the next few weeks and hopefully, legitimately, procure the first large chunk of bouldering for the upstate.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mtn Bike, Road Bike and Tubeless Disc Wheelset For Sale

I cant figure out how to post an image on the Carolina Climbers Messageboard, so I'm just going to post it here for everyone to see. Here is a repeat of the ad...

For Sale:

2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc
-hardtail w/ a fork upgrade (Rock Shox Duke XC)
-size medium
-disc brakes

Older Road Bike
-down tube shifters
-egg beater pedals
-bought used 4 years ago for $250, but never rode it

Rhino Lite Tubeless Disc Wheelset
-Great upgrade from stock mtn bike wheelset
-Uses normal tires, but no tube
-No flats compared to tubes
-Made to be abused
-$75 or $50 if you buy the mtn bike.

Located in Greenville, SC but can meet closer to Brevard/Asheville if needed.
pm if interested

Pictures of my Woodie?!.

I took a few pictures of my bouldering wall the other day and just thought I'd share them. One of my favorite holds is the sweet skull hold made by J-Rock and his new climbing hold company Home Grown Holds ( ). He was so kind as to give that beauty to me for my birthday recently. If you are looking for great quality climbing holds at a price that always beats anybody else, get in touch with him, and buy local!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rumbling Bald's New Parking Lot is Complete!

I haven't been there to confirm, but after checking the link to the parking lot closure for Rumbling Bald, it seems that they have finished the entire project. Good news since fall climbing season is just right around the corner. Hopefully the heat, bugs and poison ivy will all go away soon enough. Since the closure has been completely lifted, I'm going to remove the link at the top of the webpage...if there are any changes to the status at Rumbling, I'll repost it back in the same spot. I'm already daydreaming about the fall season ticklist:)

Climbing in the last month

I have been away from the computer for much of the summer, including the last month or so that I haven't been posting much. That is not to say that I haven't been climbing during that time though. I usually take the summer months off of climbing...but with the trip to Europe and all of the climbing I was able to get in, it kept that climbing fire burning inside for the entire summer. Most people around here shrink into the gym during the summer to avoid the heat, but I really didn't want to spend my summer days cooped up inside. So, I have been hitting the North Face boulders at Looking Glass, at least once a week, and a couple of other local spots in between. One of my focuses on these trips has been to topo the boulders and routes to have them as references and possibly for a guidebook in the future. I've been keeping a topo of the Bearfields since ~2002, about 100 routes, and a topo of the Jedi field since about 2005, currently at about 150 routes, but I haven't really topo'ed many of the other places that I like to boulder. The North Face is one of my favorite places to boulder, and even though it doesn't seem to have too many routes, once you poke around you find that there are more routes than realized. I'm up to about 100 routes topo'ed at the North Face and every time I go back, I keep finding more problems...and many of them are 3 star. Starting to collect these topos has become a different facet of bouldering that, for me, has become very fulfilling. It's nice to be able to go bouldering without all of the focus being on getting in as many problems as possible or ticking that tough problem I've been working on for a month. Its good to sit back and think about the boulders when I get home and dream about the new route I found on the last trip...its really motivating for just sitting on the couch day dreaming. But it also helps me to think back on the last session and appreciate everything that was around me, from the weather to the smells and sounds of nature. Bouldering is so much more to me, and many other people, than simply climbing or chasing numbers. Its an outlet from the "real world", its a mini-vacation every time I go, and its always a way to connect with nature and recharge my mental batteries. I know sometimes I may blog about where I went and what I climbed, its not like I'm bragging (most of my toughest sends are in the V3-V5 range, I'm barely even an "average" boulderer) but its always a way for me to look back and appreciate the trip that I had and remember what felt good and helped to recharge my batteries. I hope that this blog site has been able to help you locate local upstate bouldering resources, but also to motivate you and excite you to get out and "carpe some diem" by climbing and enjoying nature.

We are heading up to the Boone area, this weekend, to do some climbing and to see some great music at the Music on the Mountaintop festival. Hopefully the weather will cooperate enough to let us boulder at Granny's and possibly Blowing Rock on Friday and then do some multipitch at Table Rock on Sunday. With fall slowly rolling in, we are also making plans to hit some of the other big boulderfields in the south in the next few months...Lilly and Obed in Sept, Dixon in Charlotte in Oct, HP40 hopefully in Nov, Little Rock City in Dec, and Boat Rock in Jan. I was planning on climbing in the Triple Crown events this year, but some things have come up for the first 2 comps at Hounds Ear and HP40. I hope to still make the big party at LRC to wrap up the Triple Crown...I used to climb at LRC a lot when my wife was finishing up at UT in Knoxville so it'll be awesome to get on some of those classic problems again. As long as the format and pre-comp party stays the same for Float the Boat, I'll be making that comp every year too. Last years Float the Boat was so much fun, I cant wait to go back and eat, drink and be merry with the ATL folks. I am not very competitive, but Float the Boat seemed more like a big fun boulder session than a cut throat competition...definitely my kind of fun. If you've never climbed in a comp, you should. They are great fun and an awesome way to get to know a boulderfield. It's a good way to get beta on that problem you cant get or see someone climb a problem you never realized was there. I cant climb a V10, but its a lot of fun to cheer on the other guys while their trying to pull the hard problems. Best of all, you get to meet like minded people and enjoy a day or 2 in the climbing world and forget about work and everything else stressful in your life.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Climbing Back Home

It was good to touch familiar rock, back in the usual stomping grounds. I havent posted much since we got home because I havent really been on the net much. I have the rest of the summer off of work, and have to go back August my goal has been to climb, paddle and bike as much as possible. I took a trip to Atlanta, to visit a friend, and ended up climbing at Boat Rock for a couple of days. I climbed Sleazy Slab finally, a V3 right beside the super classic Easy Crack. I was also fortunate to climb a couple of days at the North Side boulders of Looking Glass. Now is definitely the time to hit these boulders...nice temps, good shade and rarely a soul in sight. I also had a chance to climb at Granite City and do a little more exploring for new routes. In between all of this, I had a chance to climb on lake Keowee and Jocassee while I was kayaking. The changing water levels give up different climbs everytime I visit. I also had a chance to visit a quick upstate spot, the Big Eastatoe Bouldering wall, a spot I havent blogged about yet, but plan on very soon. Obviously, evident by chalk on the wall, there have been other people climbing at this little spot also. I was a little surprised, I have never seen any other chalk on this wall in the 15-20 years or so I've been bouldering on it.

My wife has planned a great trip to Boone for the last weekend in August...the Music on the Mountaintop festival on Saturday and bouldering on Friday and Sunday. My birthday is in a couple of weeks and this is the best present I could of asked for...climbing and good music! My honeymoon was absolutely incredible, and the climbing was once in a lifetime, but it is so nice to be back home, climbing in familiar territory! After seeing the quality in some of the European areas, I can honestly say that around here, we are blessed by good rock with world class routes.