For those of us in SC, the heat is just now starting to subside, and the crisp feel of fall climbing weather is closer and closer. We've had a few cooler days, but nothing consistently below 75 and dry enough to climb...but the forecast is looking better and better!
This past week, I got back out to the Bearfields with George and one of his friends, and helped them both send Meat Grinder. The pictures from the last post were both images of Meat Grinder...a tall typical South Carolina slab devoid of almost any holds. These were some solid sends for these guys, so it was good to be there to celebrate with them, and encourage them to send it. After the Meat Grinder, we searched around and saw some routes that George didn't see on the other visit...and he reiterated his opinion that the Bearfields are on par with Grandmothers and has Lost Cove beat. These were his local, familiar spots when he was living up near Boone, so he's speaking from more experience than I could. I'm a little biased, since the Bearfields was my home boulderfield for the first 5 years of my bouldering life, but I've always thought that the Bearfields was better than many of the talked about boulderfields around. It was good to hear what others thought, especially compared to one of the most talked about boulderfields in the south. If you're around and want to check out a few of the classics, e-mail me.
I also got out to do a little more climbing and topoing at one of the upstate state parks. I hate to keep omitting the name of the park, but I'm still unsure of the complete access facts. The rangers have said that its OK to boulder, but not to rope up on the cliffs or taller stuff...but some of the rangers still like to hassle me and threaten some sort of action, even though it seems that their boss is OK with bouldering. I'll hopefully get a solid word very soon on access and then post it up on the blog. I've been preparing my topos of the park and collecting routes in anticipation of a guidebook release sometime soon. I'm up to about 600 boulder or DWS routes covering SC, a few spots in NC, a few spots in GA and a few spots in TN. I havent really looked at the details of publishing the guidebook yet, but hope to have some substantial news after the fall-winter-spring climbing season. I have found so many good climbing routes in the Upstate area, and don't mind keeping them all to myself, but I think that it would be a greater asset to our local climbing community to create a guidebook for them. I know many folks don't want info or beta to get out about certain climbing areas, but as long as there isn't an access issue, I think everyone should know what resources are available to them in their local area. I hope that the guidebook will complement Chris Dorrity's Rumbling Bald Guidebook, and provide info for some of the places mentioned in his intro, as well as, fill in the gaps with other, smaller areas to visit. If you have any thoughts on the guidebook, send them to me in an e-mail.