The break started last Friday and Saturday at Boat Rock in Atlanta...one of my favorite bouldering spots in the South. We started out at the Spiderman boulder, and I surprisingly started out my break on a high note. After feeling strong on Spiderman Crack V2 and Spiderman Direct V3, I then made quick work of Spiderman Traverse V4. I was then able to add the extra traversing that changes Spiderman Traverse into Antivenom V5...for the send of my first Boat Rock V5. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been dealing with some injuries, and I felt like it was going to lead to an early end of the bouldering season...so I was pretty psyched to send something so hard, at least for for me. Feeling confident, I laid down for the start of Venom V5. I couldn't even pull off of the ground for the first few tries and then I made a little progress and figured out how to hold my heel hook and at least suspend myself from the start...now its on! After clamping down with my thighs, and bleeding from both, I made the one hard move to get the problem started, got my feet beneath me and traversed over to one of my favorite top outs at Boat Rock. Venom became an instant classic for me, it felt so good to send and was the highpoint for Friday's session.
After climbing some routes on the Bad Boys boulder, we headed out to the Yellow Arete area, just in time to see a couple of sends of Yellow Arete V4...one of the super classic Boat Rock problems. I've never had good success on the route, but I love to see folks send it! We were all climbing on the smaller boulders close by, sending mainly easy stuff, when we encountered another new favorite of mine...The Shield V3 (SDS V4). To be such a simple problem, I really enjoyed sending it, and Brian sent it too. I followed The Shield up with Mantle One V3 & Mantle Two V3, and then we called it quits for the day and headed out for dinner.
Saturday we went back to Boat Rock and had another good day of sends. Brian has been projecting Sourwood Arete V3, almost every time we go out to Boat Rock...so it was good to see him finally send it! This is another one of the area classics and a super fun route. We then went down and sent some of the problems on the Waves In Motion boulder and the big Beach slab, and from there we decided to head out to the Half Pipe area, somewhere none of us had been out to before. Bread Basket V2 has such an obvious feature on the rock, the bread basket, that it calls out to you to climb it. Then I sent the rest of the routes on the same boulder...Pipe Dreams Arete V3, Diamond Head V2 and the easy slabs in the Half Pipe. We added a few other easy routes to the tick list and headed out to the Glove. Brian wanted to work on Eagle Slab V3, and I have always tried to figure out Dogwood Arete V4 when I'm nearby. Brian blew a hole in the soles of both of his climbing shoes, so he was shut down completely...and I was shut down on Dogwood, yet again. We could hear the cold beers calling out to us from Brian's fridge, so we headed back to rescue them and put them out of their misery:)
That was the end of the first trip of Spring Break, and what a good trip it was! I found out that I wasn't as injured as I thought I was, and the time off/down time I took actually helped me to rebound and send at the top of my game. Its always a blast to hang out with Brian and Sara and see Atlanta from an insiders point of view too!
|From Little Eastatoee|
I was feeling beat until Monday, when I stopped off at Little Eastatoee and sent one of my last projects there...West LE Fadeaway V4. This is a fun route that includes a good variety of movements. I was happy to wrap up my Little Eastatoee tick list for the season!
My second trip of the break was to Horse Pens 40, what most consider to be the mecca of southeastern sandstone bouldering. I'm a slab fan, so both Boat Rock and Horse Pens are right up my alley! Since I had been back from Boat Rock, I kept thinking about a route I could have sent, but didn't really try...the V4 SDS to The Shield. So on my way down Tuesday, I stopped off for a quick lunch break at Boat Rock and headed out towards Yellow Arete to send it. It didn't take too many attempts to figure out the sit start and balancy move required to link into the stand start version of The Shield, and add the send. Right around the arete from The Shield is an obviously overchalked hold that is used to launch off of and dyno to the lip...Robert's Throw, a V6/7. I had looked at the route on the first Boat Rock visit, and gave it a couple of attempts, but didn't really give it my best. After working out the best, highest feet that would work, I gave it a couple of solid attempts. Unexpectedly, I almost snatched the lip within my first half dozen tries, and stuck it with a dozen. I heaved my body over the top out mantle and was super psyched to have sent! Robert's Throw and Venom were the 2 definite highlights of my 3 Boat Rock visits over my break.
HORSE PENS 40:
After the drive-by sending in ATL, I headed on to Horse Pens. This was only my second trip to HP40, and my first time camping and night climbing there. My last trip was almost entirely about sending Bumboy, so I really wanted to see as much of the place as I could this time. After setting up camp, I headed out to the Ten Pins area to send a bunch of stuff I wanted to last time I was here. After shoeing up, I pulled on the first few routes and then started rapid sending. Some of the highlights for me included Sunbeam V3, Baja V2, Ketchup V1, and Copa Cabana V2(hasnt this been a V3 up until now?). Then I went over to the Spirit area and sent some of my favorites of the trip...Snibe V1, The Stranger V2, and Spirit V3. Spirit was one of the highlights of Horse Pens this trip. I figured out the top moves pretty quick, but had some trouble with the SDS. Thanks to a guy from Nashville showing me the SDS moves, I finally linked it all together for the send. At this point, I had exhausted myself in like 2 hours, so I headed back to camp for a bit.
For my second session, I really wanted to work on Centerpede and Millipede, but the action on Bumboy was way too intense to be around. A nice guy, that I had met earlier, was flipping out trying to send, while some death metal thrashed out of some ipod speakers nearby...way too much for my generally mellow mood. Its funny how so many people can get so frustrated and lose their cool while they're climbing. I took the new guidebooks advice and headed around the corner to the much less crowded Orchid V2. I really enjoyed Orchid and Sure Thing, both fun typical slopey HP40 V2's, and also added Lay It Down V2, Busu V2 and Pearl Necklace V2, other good feeling routes. After sending Merlin V1, one of the best V1's I've climbed, I headed over to work on Orca V3, one of the routes I've always wanted to send. I worked it a little last time I was here and got nowhere, but I felt like a different climber this time. After figuring out the big right hand slap to the top, I took another dozen or so tries to be able to move out left to the crimpy sloper and top it out...what a sweet route! This, along with Spirit, were the 2 highlights of my trip to HP40. Feeling like my muscles were becoming jello, I headed pack for a rest at camp.
After dinner and night fall, I headed out to some of the Roadside boulders for a quick night session. I sent a few V0's and Lucky Charms V2 to finish up a great day of climbing! Wednesday morning I was the first person awake in the entire campground, so much for sleeping late. I was able to get another short session in before 8am, and realize that my fingers felt like over hydrated hot dogs, rolling around on a bed of nails. I gave in to the fact that I was completely spent and packed it up early and headed home. I had an incredible time on this trip; Boat Rock and Horse Pens, with so many quality sends...made for one of my best road trips ever!
Table Rock Webcam
Thursday, I went hiking up in Table Rock State Park and identified a possible new bouldering area that the CCC will be asking for in a new proposal to the park. I climbed just a few easy low ball routes (I don't want to make anyone angry and jeopardize future access) but found these routes fun and the boulderfield very worthy of asking for in the proposal. News of this proposal will be coming in a future post.
Friday, George and I went to Granite City and had an easy day of sending V1's. I also topoed some new stuff and updated the old topo with more accurate grades...look for it to be posted up within a few weeks.
Now its Saturday and I'm trying to rest up, as well as, get some biking and paddling in before I have to be back at work on Monday. The heat has come on so fast that we skipped the springtime 70's and went straight to the summer 80's, so bouldering season down here in South Carolina is on its last leg...I couldnt be any happier with how I climbed and the routes I ticked on my break though. It was a great way to wrap up (or start wrapping up) an incredible bouldering season!