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, January 25, 2010

Float the Boat 2010

Float the Boat finally happened this past Saturday down at Boat Rock in Atlanta...and once again, it didn't disappoint! I was lucky enough to be surrounded by my wife and some great climbing friends all day at one of my favorite South East bouldering areas...needless to say, I really enjoyed it:) I was able to hit every area except Joe's Woods & Half Pipe, and send 4 new V3's and a new V4 in the process. If you don't know how this style of comp works, you climb as many routes as you want, each route has a point value, and your final score is the sum of your 10 highest valued routes. Among my ten routes were some old favorites, Sleazy Slab V3, Sourwood Arete V3, Dream Scoop V3, Rockhouse Traverse V3, Blues Crack V2 and some new routes, Blind Melon V4, Ski-Bop V3, Eagle Slab V3, Yellow Mon V3, and Marvin Webb Slab V3/4. My favorite route of the day had to be the Marvin Webb Slab. I wasn't expecting to send it, because I hit it at the end of the day, and after getting past the low crux and feeling comfortable on the slab towards the top, my feet blew and I almost took a 15-20 ft slide down a bad slab...very memorable send! I didn't place in the top 3 of the Intermediate division (actually 8 outta 19, not bad) but I did get to climb my butt off and had a lot of fun doing it.

Most of those that follow this blog have heard me mention George Evans, one of the newest SC Jedi Slabmasters...I was super happy to see him WIN the beginner division! He climbed hard all day and I think did incredible, especially seeing as how he had never been to Boat Rock before! Big Congrats to George...what a great week-before-your birthday present! Another blog follower, Brian Barnes (Barnesey) finished 3rd in the beginner division with a strong performance on his part...congrats Brian! Mine and Brian's wives both competed with Katy Weisensee getting 5th and Sara Barnes getting 4th on the womens beginner division...congrats ladies on climbing your best, it was a lot of fun to cheer you on and watch:) Caleb Smith, another super nice and super STRONG Clemson climber, also competed and sent quiet a few impressive routes including Firewoman and Yellow Arete (one of the super classic Boat Rock routes)! Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves, if they won some prizes or not.

Here is the SCC write up for the comp

I thought it was a very successful trip to was so nice to get out to a boulderfield that I don't get to hit very often and hang out with some good friends, send some new routes, drink some good beer, and see some of my best buds win some great schwag at the same time! Big thanks to the SCC for putting this shindig on every year.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rollover Video

Here is a short video of a fun problem in the Bearfields...Rollover. Enjoy!

SC Climbers: A Call to Arms!

Like many SC Climbers, I was recently sent this e-mail from Stephen Scoff. If it is at all possible for you to make this meeting, please do so...and you can get a sweet day of bouldering in at the Bald too. Together we can all unify our voices to help solidify access to SC's incredible climbing and bouldering opportunities. Please contact Stephen on the CCC website, if you are a member or use the messageboard, or directly by e-mail at
Many thanks to Stephen for your previous and upcoming hard work to help make all of this happen!

The Carolina Climbers Coalition is holding their Spring Meeting on Saturday, February 27 at Lake Lure (exact location has yet to be determined). The meeting will be a “public” one open to CCC members and non-members alike.

This is a great opportunity for us to not only to impress upon the CCC the “SC contingent”; but also assist us in banning together for the sake of SC climbing and bouldering resources.
It’s hard to beat Rumbling Bald in February so there should be no better excuse to save this weekend for there.

SO, please rally your partners, fellow gym rats, spouses, spotters, subs, belay slaves, girl friends, boy friends, acquaintances, frienemies, etc.

Numbers count—let’s make our mark.

Please let me know if you plan on attending. Please pass this info on and do your best to encourage others to attend.

I’ll keep everyone up to speed on responses. I just hope I get a confirmation back from YOU!


Stephen Scoff
SC Rep
Carolina Climbers’ Coalition

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I'm still toying around with my new video camera and learning better how to use it and make, hopefully what have been, better videos lately. Here's my latest video called "New Year's Resolutions" with 11 different routes, between V0 & V3, from either Rumbling Bald, the Bearfields, or Little Eastatoee. I haven't started taking any videos in the highest quality the camera will take, didn't realize it til the other day, so hopefully the next video will have better clarity & quality. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Recent Training and Bouldering

I've finally started to shrug off the extra pounds and muscle atrophy from the holidays, but I still feel like I'm not climbing at the top of my game. I've noticed a few mantles and roofs/overhung routes that feel much harder than usual, so I've tried to address this by watching my nutrition a little closer and doing a little HIT training. Nothing like getting on the HIT strips to make you face the reality of how out of shape you are:) After a little training, I felt stronger on these style of routes, but still climbing a grade or 2 below my potential.

Yesterday, I went out to Little Eastatoee and topo'ed another area, The Bubbles, and put up another mini-guide in the previous blogpost. If you're out at LE and want soemthing besides the boulders at the Bridge, this is the next stop down the trail to offer some routes. Its not as good of quality or quantity of routes compared to the Bridge Area, but its nice to have a couple of different areas to spread visits out to. This is actually one of the first areas I've ever bouldered, along with Jones Gap State Park, nearly 20 years ago, so it has some personal memories for me.

I also took a second look at some shorter routes that I just kept ignoring at the Bridge area, and was pleasantly surprised. I named one of the boulders the Batman boudler, one of my favorite all time superheroes, and sent a few great quality, burly, low ball routes...maybe some of the best at LE. I FA'ed Utility Belt V4-, a short terribly slopey mantle, Bruce Wayne V3, a short SDS with decent holds to a interesting mantle, The Dark Knight V4, Bruce Wayne into Utility Belt, and Scarecrow V3, similar to Bruce Wayne. I almost sent Two Face, an eaier V3 just to the right of Scarecrow, and worked some on The Joker, what I feel will finally check in at around a V5 due to some horrible feet and a bad SDS. I also worked a couple of other problems on a boulder beside the Batman boulder, which I called the Saw Boulder. I named it after one of my favorite movie series due to a pig nose looking feature on the corner of the block. Pigface is a V2 that uses the pig nose feature to mantle onto a slopey slab and a pretty easy finish, and "I Wanna Play A Game..." is a simple V0 with enough feet to stand up before wrestling the upper slabby stuff for the finish. Its good to find some more quality routes and add some new stuff to the Bridge Area Mini-Guide, which has currently been updated as of 1-13-10. I'm looking forward to working on the rest of the Batman problems and hopefully finding a few more new climbs over the next few weeks. As usual, I'll post updates and newer topo's as they are revised or created...stay tuned!

Little Eastatoee Bubbles Area Topo & Mini-Guide

Here is a new topo for the Bubbles Area at Little Eastatoee. There really aren't too many climbs out at this area, and they aren't of the best quality, but because this is one of the first spots I started bouldering, about 20 years or so ago, I wanted to topo it so it might see more action. Old and In The Way was the first climb out here, and was first climbed in combat boots by local "climber" David Hayes, back in the early 90's (I've never seen him in a pair of climbing shoes, but I have seen him send a 5.10 in cowboy boots:)). After I really started to focus on bouldering, this was one of the first places I revisited to start developing. All of the routes mentioned have been climbed at one time or another and many of them are now under a sheet of moss, so you may have to take a brush to some of the holds to re-animate the routes. I still think that Jerry's Beard, the hardest route in the area at a V5, is a Little Eastatoee classic, and not as easy as it first looks. I have always enjoyed the challenge of climbing the Bill Graham Slab in hiking shoes, with a crashpad on to get up to Jerry's Beard and Old & In The Way...and Casey Jones is a fun route that is destined to have some local hardman come and add the difficult SDS to make it an area classic too. If you're out at Little Eastatoee, and don't like being watched by every car that rides by while you're climbing in the Bridge Area, take a short hike over to the Bubbles and see if anything tickles your fancy!

To get to the Bubbles, you can take either trail, the hard to follow trail that heads up beside the Bridge Area, or take the old fishing trail that stays down near the creek. These 2 trails rejoin each other about 1/4 mile from the Bridge Area, right across from the bottom of the Bubbles. If you continue on the trail after the other 2 converge, it takes you down to the Indian Rock House Area and Rhodorete, which will be topo'ed very soon. Even if it is a little mossy and chossy, I think there are still a few climbs out here that are worth a visit to check out. Enjoy!

The Little Eastatoee Bubbles Mini-Guide

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Float the Boat...Postponed...Again!

So, with Float the Boat being postponed til this weekend, and having already planned to visit my family for part of the weekend, I thought I wouldn't get to climb in the comp. But as the weather gods would have it, they have just postponed the comp again until January 23rd, and a weekend that we have free....YES! I was a little bummed that I wasn't going to enjoy the awesome slabs and skin shredding pebbles that Boat Rock is known for, but now I'm psyched again. I hope all you other folks that had originally planned to go to Float the Boat will be able to make it also.

By the way, this is the 100th post on my blog...thanks for sticking around this long:)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Float the Boat 2010...Postponed.

Unfortunately, the comp at Boat Rock this weekend had to be postponed due to snow and icy conditions. We traveled down to Atlanta early on Friday, so we could get a warm up session in before the pre-comp party, and realized as soon as we got to Boat Rock, it would be postponed. Not too deflated, I still got to send a few classics on the only dry boulder we could find, and one of the most classic warm up boulders in the Southeast, Easy Crack. Here's a video of the experience, enjoy...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy (Late) New Year!

Well I hope that everyone has had a great holiday season and the new year is treating them nice so far. I have been pretty busy with work and getting back into the swing of things...but I have had a chance to get out and climb 7 of the last 8 days. I spent a lot of time out at Little Eastatoee trying to add some harder routes (V3's and a V4, I ain't climbing too hard right now) to the mini-guide. If you haven't checked out the mini-guide lately, you should, its been updated with about 5 new routes, some of the grades have been adjusted, and I have added a tick list and problem distribution graph too. I think that LE is up to about 35 sent routes and 7 or so more that are identified as goal is to have 50 routes in the mini-guide before the end of the spring bouldering season. Little Eastatoee is a great after work winter spot to boulder; a 30 second approach on top of full sun from around mid morning until the sun goes down, makes it convenient and warmer than most spots. I slipped out to the Bearfields a couple of times and then George and I took a trip to Rumbling Bald yesterday and bouldered until our fingers were numb!

These past climbing days have been a good way to start out the new year and get ready for the Float the Boat comp this coming weekend. Last year, Float the Boat was one of the most fun times I've ever had while climbing...and I think this year will be even better. One of my long term home boys, that now lives in Atlanta, (the blog follower "Barnesey"), along with his wife, will be competing and one of my current home boys, George Evans, will be competing too. Along with George, another STRONG Clemson climber, and blog follower, is going to compete too, Caleb Smith...I'm super psyched that he's gonna climb, it'll be nice to see him crush the routes I've only dreamed of:) By the way, if you haven't noticed, I added Caleb's blog to the blog list on the right hand side of the webpage...if you haven't checked it out yet, you should. He's been writing up a storm and putting out all kinds of good thoughts and ideas out there...some of my favorites so far would be his first post, especially his reasons for becoming a better climber over the last year, and his most recent blog on training. Its great to see another Upstate Boulderer/Climber starting up a blog and giving us all something good to read.

I just added a new SC local spot for Columbia climbers, Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve. I had heard about the place, but hadn't been able to get down there to check it out, but George has hooked it up on his blog. I basically summarized his blog posts, linked to them along with a couple of other good Columbia resources and put them up in a blog post. I am also have another local spot in the works that's not too far from Little Eastatoee, but it might be a month or so before I can get it up on the matter, keep your eyes peeled. I am also about to start the next video contest, but it will cover videos from anywhere in the Southeast (SC, NC, GA, TN, AL, WV, VA, KY). If you or someone you know would like to support the next video contest by donating a prize and becoming a new blog sponsor, please contact of now the prize package will include a video of Witness This (the great Boone bouldering movie), a UB highball spot pad, a brush set and a chalk bag with chalk. Get those cameras rolling and start getting some footage together!

This past year has been a good one for me and this website, and I hope it has been good for everyone else too. I hope that I have provided some info to folks to motivate them to climb and to get outside to a local spot, either here in the Upstate or where ever you may be. I feel like I had one of the best bouldering years I've ever had...I make a lot of goals and keep track of a lot of my progress and routes that I climb so I can look back later and see the overall flow of the year. Here is a little personal "year in review" of some of the numbers and routes that made 2009 so memorable for me:

-Days bouldered: 150 out of 365
-Different places bouldered: 36
-Different countries bouldered in: 6
-Different US states bouldered in: 7
-Total number of routes climbed: ~4000 total, ~1000 different routes
-FA's: ~120
-Favorite bouldering spot this year: Fontainebleau & Portugal
-Hardest routes climbed: Short Circuit V8 (Rumbling Bald), Morning Star V7 (Rumbling Bald), Yonah Man V7 (Mt Yonah), Flexorcisor V7 (Lilly) & Doggy Style V6/7 (Portugal)
-Most memorable routes: Morning Star V7 (Rumbling Bald), Dancin' Bones V5 (Bearfields), Bikini V5 (Portugal) & Buddha's Belly V4 (Lilly)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Local Spot-Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve & other Columbia Boulders

Columbia, SC is about as far south and east in the state that you will find dedicated rock climbers...there's really no hills or mountains, all the way to the coast, for too many people to pick it up as a hobby. But with USC in town, the college crowd brings a diverse group of folks to boost the local scene of young professionals and gym rats. I've had quiet a few e-mails and inquiries about climbing near Columbia...and so here is your outdoor local spot, instead of being confined to your local gym. If anyone has anything to add, please post a comment to help these flatlander's out:)

All that I have ever been able to find, bouldering wise, near the Columbia area are a few boulders in the river near the Zoo, and some sandstone boulders in Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve, located about 30-45 minutes outside of town. George Evans has done a great job of describing these boulders and some of the problems in his blog, so most of this is just a reference to what he has done...all the credit for this area can be given to George's efforts. Please let me reiterate, Peachtree Rock is not intended to be a climbing area, and boulderers will be sharing the space with other users, be courteous at all times...please represent SC boulderers well by not causing problems by being loud, vulgar, or rude in any way. It goes without saying to leave no trace, especially litter, excessive chalk, tick marks...and dont trample vegetation or trees. Remember that there is NO CLIMBING ON PEACHTREE ROCK ITSELF!!!

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve: Hiking Info and Trail Map

Early Info on Peachtree Rock & Other Bouldering Near Columbia

Peachtree Rock Introduction

Peachtree Rock Photo-Topo's

Peachtree Rock Update and Video