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 projects...my 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 blog...no 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 me...as 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
-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)