Since I've last posted, I have been trying to finalize a few routes that have been on my to do list for a little while. After the weekend extravaganza at the Bald and Jedi, I have been keeping it pretty low key and bouldering only a little here and there. I ran out to Little Eastatoee one afternoon and added about 5 more V3 and below climbs to the area, to bring the total number of problems up to 70 established and almost 100, including the projects that haven't been sent. I also made a couple of trips, one with George, to the Bearfields last week to work a couple of projects that we've been focusing on...Final Frontier Slab V4ish and Alley Oop Scoop V4+/5-. We worked the tall slab problem, Final Frontier, to the committing point, but neither of us had a cool enough head to punch through for the FA. We then went to work a route that I've been thinking a lot about, Alley Oop Scoop. You start out by throwing to a small crack, basically the only hold on a big 3 foot vertical scoop. After latching onto the scoop, you have to fight for some decent feet, so you can match your right foot to the starting hold and push past a tough outward compression move to balance up on the hold and stretch far for the slopey top out. We couldn't top it out, but I was getting close on the first crux move (the foot hand match), so I ran back out there last Friday and luckily sent for the FA. This is one of my favorite climbs of the Spring season and almost claimed half of my finger and part of my rotator cuff when I sent it. I am still sore and having trouble with my shoulder from the tough, cruxy compression moves. This will probably be my last "hard" (or at least for me) route of the Spring.
I'm starting to feel the need to put the climbing shoes and crashpad down for a while and focus on some other outdoor activities for a little while, especially biking and kayaking. I've had a great, possibly the best ever, climbing season (fall-spring) this year, but I like to take a break every summer, so I don't get burned out on climbing. I still hope to make it down to Horse Pens and up to Dixon before things heat up too much, and even then take a couple of trips up to Boone this summer...but I've been thinking more about biking and zooming through the woods at break neck speeds seems to be calling me right now:)
I was also lucky enough to be involved with a meeting involving a couple of the administration at Table Rock State Park. The superintendent was very nice and considerate enough to listen to the CCC and help us, to help them, increase the use of the rocks in the park. Not only did they listen, but they encouraged us to help out and to submit paper work for new and further access. One of the most important things that has come out of the meeting is that we are about to start taking actions here in SC to try to get better access situations. The first big action will be a giant trail day to rework the climbers trail at Table Rock. We will need massive amounts of volunteer work, so please be ready to help when we put the call out. Hopefully, this time next year, we will see the results of some positive changes for climbers and the park alike. The superintendent also has his hands in many of the other recreation and conservation efforts in the upstate that can benefit us climbers, so our efforts in the park can have giant impacts on some areas that may become available to climbers very soon. In summary, we may have just made a very powerful ally in the fight for SC access...we want to prove that we are capable and confident to help out and be the backbone of this eventual movement. Please help when called upon and give your time and effort to help procure access in the upstate! Until then, get out and enjoy the last good month (maybe even weeks if it keeps heating up so fast) of climbing weather...and send those projects before you get weak over the summer:)