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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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lately...

So, I haven't really been posting much about my personal trips lately...and over the past couple of weeks, I've had a variety of sessions.

About 2 weeks ago, George and I had a chance to hit 3 different types of climbing in 3 days. The first day we were invited to climb a "multipitch sport route", right here in SC. Well, it turned out to be more like a V4 boulder problem with a 90 foot 5.5 slab finish...I wouldn't exactly call it a 5.12, but it was somewhat fun none-the-less. The next day, we took a trip out to the Keowee Wall and sent until we could barely paddle back to the landing. The water was high, but the climbing was still fun and high enough to get my heart pounding a little. If you head out to Keowee though, look out for the copperheads that are always in the crack on the right side of the wall (Copperhead Crack 5.7/5.8)...baby copperheads still have enough poison to cause some trouble. On the third day we ran up to the North Face of Looking Glass and hit the boulders below Glass Menagerie. I love the North Face boulders, but evidently, so do the black flies and gnats. I'm not one to complain to the point of leaving without climbing much, but these bastards made me I feel like a diva from the Snickers commercials complaining about the bugs, but I counted an average of 20 of these little biting jokers on me at any one time...just too much for me to handle. We only stayed about 2 hours and sent all of the easy routes on the Warm Up boulder, along with a few routes on a couple of other boulders. Nice visit, but I'll make sure to bring the bug juice next time. That wrapped up a great weekend...multipitch, DWS and bouldering was a nice trifecta!

Since then I have been out on a limited basis...its getting to the end of the semester and work has gotten seriously hectic. I had a chance to head out to the Bearfields and send one of my last projects of the season, and the last great line on the legendary Meat Grinder boulder...Final Frontier V6. This is another impressive slab that requires the mental prowess to levitate up a near vertical slab and top out on the highest point of this highball boulder. After Final Frontier, I went over to another area a little past the Bearfields that I call Exile. The boulders and routes are kind of short and slopey...a combo of 2 French claims to fame, Napoleon and Fontainebleau. I had checked out a few routes at Exile before but focused more on the Bearfields, in essence, leaving some good routes to be developed later. I sent 3 routes that had been on my to do list for a year or so and found out that they weren't as easy as I first thought. One of the slopey routes was bumped up to a V4 from a V3 and another V2 was bumped up to a V3...tough but fun slopey slabby climbs. It felt good to leave the Bearfields that day and feel like I didn't have any projects left for the season!

Since the recent colder spell, my mind has been telling me to get out and keep developing. I have only had limited time, so I have taken a couple of trips up to Little Eastatoee in the afternoons. I went up there earlier this week and resent Yeti Areti V4 and FA'ed a highball/deathball route I called Sweaty Yeti V4/5 (tough to grade under the circumstances, but V4/5 at the easiest). I had no intention of sending Sweaty Yeti, but I made the mistake of stepping out onto the suspended slab and not having a way back to solid ground without taking a 10 foot fall onto a pyramidal rock underneath me. After putting my weight on a small edge on the face, I realized there was hardly anything to hold on to, and no way to back off, so my only option was to go to the top. After some desperate slopey micro pinches/crimps and non existent feet, I open hand slapped on to the tough mantle top out and could finally stop thinking about the possibilities of breaking my leg if I had to bail. It was nice to get out to LE again after leaving it alone for so long...not a bad little choss pile to have close to your house:) Hopefully I can get back out to a couple of boulders in the next week or so and send some more fun stuff before it heats up too much. I hope everyone else was granted an extra window to finish their projects too...and you sent every single one of them:)

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