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.


  1. Hey Brad, I've been to Beacon Heights a bunch and hopefully i can help. I always just go straight to the boulders based on memory, so I don't know how specific i can get with landmarks, but I'll try to help. The beta you've been given sounds pretty right-on. You cross the small paved road from the parking lot and hit the main trail. Follow this up for prolly five minutes or so. Don't get faked out by that one obvious boulder on the left that always has a little chalk on it. The boulders are a good bit past this. I seem to remember that after hiking up hill for awhile the trail kind of plataues. It's right around this obvious change in the trail that you want to start looking uphill to the left. As I recall, there's not a super obvious just looks like a bunch of water runoff erosion over roots and such. But follow this up for like 30 yards and the you'll see the main wall in front of you with a few small boulders to your right. Hope this helps...again, I could be a bit off on the minutes it takes and the exact trail specifics, but hopefully it'll be enough to get you there next time.

    I spent all weekend helping my GF move and now have cold. Sounds like we both had great weekends.

    I'd still like to check out some of this upstate bouldering sometime soon!

  2. Thanks so much for those directions. Sounds like were getting thrown off by the first boulders on the trail and thinking that the others must be close by. We'll head on up the trail next time. I'm usually a good navigator, but this one has just had us puzzled. Hope you're feeling better and if you're ever down in this neck of the woods, I can show you some of SC finest boulders. There's plenty of tough routes waiting to be FA'ed!

  3. Follow the trail up towards the overlook at Beacon Heights. After about 5-10 minutes it will hit an obvious point where you have to go left to the overlook or right to the Mountains to Sea Trail (should be a sign there). Go right for about 50 feet or so and look for a trail cutting up the hill on the left side of the trail. That will drop you at the main boulders in a minute or two. Not a huge boulderfield, but there is some fun stuff there.