Thursday, October 8, 2009
A Big Ol' Black Bear, Huckleberry George & Yonah Bouldering
We were up at Jedi today, and George was so close to linking it all up and sending Use the Force, when I looked up the hill and saw the absolute BIGGEST black bear I have ever seen! I took a quick double take to make sure it was a bear...it was and it seemed to be curious about us bouldering in his boulderfield. Talk about access issue, HA:) There's a reason why one of these places is called the Bearfields;) I have seen about a dozen black bears in the mountains of Southern Appalachia; some while driving, some while hiking and a direct run in while mountain biking. Usually they turn tail and hop along off the road or trail as soon as they see you, but this one started heading down the hill, directly towards us. Needless to say, we packed it up quickly and headed out ASAP...right after George got one more burn! After almost sending it, we drove to the Bearfields and finished our session by reclimbing the old school direct start to Ground Turkey, the V2 highball route we reclaimed a couple of weeks ago. After that, we worked a couple of more slabby problems on the Meat Grinder boulder, and then I started working on a new problem I've had my eyes on for a while. It's a subtle slopey climb that requires next to nothing feet with a super high heel hook/smear to a difficult mantle. I felt like I was close but still I need to spend a little more time figuring out the whole sequence. I'm heading back in the morning to hopefully send both this one and a beautiful V4 ish problem that Andy sent last week.
Also, I just found out today that George, the newest SC slabmaster, has some great pictures of some of our adventures on his blog...
Check out the photos of us on one of the best V3's around, Use the Force.
I also started to post the Local Spot highlight for Mt Yonah bouldering near Helen, GA the other day, but I held off. When I finally posted it today, it bumped it back a post...so if you didnt notice the guidebook and additional topo of the area, then scroll down and check it out. Yonah has some really good bouldering outside of the area mentioned, so if you explore around, it seems like you find another good quality problem just right around every corner. When it's frozen in the Highcountry near Boone, and Rumbling is putting icicles on your nose too, Yonah is usually the cure with just the right temps and bullet hard granite to satisfy your bouldering craving.