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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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Toons, Bond, Jedi & the Southeast...and a great CCC meeting too!

Sounds like a weekend on the couch, but it wasn't:) This weekend has been on my radar for quiet sometime now...my wife was out of town and I had a chance to climb til I couldn't see straight. That worked out good, because I've had a few routes, in couple different boulderfields on my mind lately. I only got photos or video of Saturday and Sunday and I havent had an opportunity to work the files up yet, check back for footage very soon.

Friday started out good...I was able to hit the Bald early and I wanted to tick off some of the harder climbs that had been on my mind. I headed straight for Toon Town, in the Far East, to work on Underdog V4. I had worked this route some with George last week, and thought that it was within my reach. Overhung climbing is not really my strength, but mantles are, so Underdog was a challenge, but doable. I tried to prime myself with some HIT and Rock Ring training over the last week, a quick fix trick that has seemed to work in the past for my weaknesses. I warmed up a little and then sat under the roof on that HUGE jug flake, threw up to the huecoes under the roof and finally reached high for the top...and fell right on my back. Dang, this thing still felt pretty hard for me! I sat back down on the jug flake again, powered past the point I just fell on, and mantled out the send. This was one of my main focuses for the day, so feeling fulfilled, I got a little ambitious and sat on the starting holds on Thundercats, a new V5 Chris Dorrity mentioned on the Bald Bouldering Website. I got a foot under the roof and another on a crystal on the lower edge of the face, and pulled up onto my left hand in the slot...and immediately fell on my back again. Surprisingly, the start felt very doable for me, so I gave it another shot, powered through the start to latch onto the arete and sent second try. Latching onto the hold at the bottom of the arete and swinging out almost threw me off, but after gaining some feet, I headed for the top out. I was so psyched & I couldn't believe it...this is only the 3rd V5 I've sent at the Bald, so it was a nice treat. Another V4 nearby, and the last route I needed to clean out the Toon Town area, was Transformers. I had tried Transformers the week before, and thought that the mantle was the hardest part. I sat under the roof, sent the traverse, loaded up big for the mantle, and wrestled it over for a quick send. I had only been there 20 minutes and had finished 3 of my 5 big goals for the day, the rest of the day would just be gravy on top. I had actually went there hoping to send most of the Bond routes, which are very near Toon Town, but didn't mind "watching cartoons" all morning either (needless to say that Transformers and Thundercats were 2 of my all time favortie cartoons when I was a kid)! I'm such a Bond fan, have been for 25 years, so I at least needed to attempt them all, to see what would happen. I headed to the 007 Boulder first and sent 007 V2, Dr. No V0 and From Russia With Love V0, and then I had a flash send on You Only Live Twice V3 on the Bond Boulder. By that point, I had finally burnt myself up on the harder stuff and didn't have much left for the other V3's and the V5. On the way back to take a break under the Toon roof, I stepped in a deep hole, between some talus, and cut and deeply bruised my knee and lower leg. I laid there on the ground like a little boy or Peter Griffin after he banged the snot out of his knee (you know the episode I'm talking about). This pretty much put an end to my day, and I could barely walk out of the East Side. Feeling pretty high from sending some hard routes for me, I left feeling pretty low and wondering if I needed to go see a doctor.

After driving the hour and a half back home, I took some ibuprofen, got some lunch and realized I wasn't as bad off as I originally thought. Feeling ansy and still somewhat full of energy, I headed out to Jedi to work on a few projects, Fear The Turtle V3, Turtle Arete V3 and Terrapin Station V5. The last time I went to Jedi, I was chased out by some bears, so I was somewhat apprehensive about even going in the first place. I took one of my dogs, as an early warning signal and protection, but didn't have any problems. I was able to send Fear The Turtle and worked the top moves to Terrapin Station, but no complete send. Finally feeling exhausted, I packed it up and pointed myself towards home.

Saturday, I wanted to get up to the Bald early and avoid some of the crowd, so I got there around 9:30 and headed back out to the East Side. Feeling somewhat worn out from the day before, I made it my goal to send as many V0's and V1's as possible, and see all of the boulders I haven't yet seen. I went straight out to the Cereal Area, sent a few easy routes and then I heard some familiar voices coming from Pit BBQ. I made my way down and met up with Andy and Caleb from Clemson, just in time to see them both send Pit Bar-B-Q V6...video coming soon. Afterwards, Robert, one of my old climbing buddies, called and happened to be on his way to the Bald. I went to meet him in the lot and we ended up sending some V0's-V3's around the Breakfast Area and the South East, a spot I hadn't really been to before. The only new route of mention was The Continuum V3, a neat route that starts in a deep hole and follows some crimps to jugs, to a somewhat easy topout. Around 4:30, he had to head back home and I headed for the CCC meeting to help represent SC climbers. The meeting and people were great and everything seemed to be productive and focused towards fundraising and more access. Check out the minutes of the meeting to see what is going on in the Carolina's. Once again, its the highest priority that we help get the Bald Boulders paid off, as soon as possible, so please try to help out as much and as often as you can...if you can only give $5 a month, its still helping to pay off this incredible set of pebbles! If you are not a member of the CCC, please consider it. One of the great perks is the ability to climb at a CCC member only boulderfield in Asheboro NC...check it out!

Sunday, I was planning on taking it easy and maybe hitting Little Eastatoee after I took a bike ride, but George, back from an overnighter at Horse Pens 40 (check his blog for a report and a video of Doug doing Slider V9) and Caleb got in touch and wanted to hit Jedi. I still wanted to work Turtle Arete and Terrapin Station, so I was totally game for a session. We got there, looked around, and we all picked a project to work for a little while. I finally put a send on Turtle Arete, a slabby V3 arete, Caleb worked a V5 problem on one of the Looking Glass boulders, and George and I sent Ticklish Innards a fun V2 deadpoint/dyno from so small crimps. We ended with George resending Use The Force V3 for a new video he's working on, and then headed out to recoup before Monday.

I had a great weekend climbing! I got to send a few hard routes and projects and tick off some easy new routes too. I was able to hang out with climbing friends old and new, and attend a CCC meeting in support of expanded access. I couldn't have been anymore satisfied!!!

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