I've been trying to balance all of my activities this summer and rest up my climbing muscles by doing more biking and paddling. I'm attempting to get at least 25 biking miles in every week, and at least 1 or 2 paddling trips each week...living this close to Lake Jocassee makes it easy to get a great flatwater trip in almost any day of the week. I am really trying to have a lull cycle before the fall so I can recuperate and then be fresh to build back up...but my bouldering addiction keeps me looking for sends, even when the mercury keeps rising.
Saturday, I woke up early and sprinted out to Little Eastatoee trying to beat the heat and send a project that has been constantly on my mind...Superman Crack, a V4-ish lieback finger crack with a couple of weird moves at the bottom and at the top. I have known about this route for almost 20 years, but haven't focused on it until just recently when I started developing in the Indian Rock House area. Here is a picture of the route, before the send, with my dog Butter peaking out from behind a small rock mound at the base.
It was honestly one of the ugliest sends I've had in a while, lots of flailing and desperate moves that luckily went. As you can see, there is way too much moss on this route...and if it was cleaned off, it might bump the route down to a V2. But it felt every bit of a V4 when I finally sent it.
After this, I headed over to the Long Shoals area to check out a couple of routes I saw while I was sliding down the shoals recently. George had checked these guys out last year, but we went in a different direction with development at that time. The most obvious line faces the pool at the bottom of the shoals and climbs a broken series of crimps and thin high feet up to a slightly slopey top edge and a fairly easy top out. Here is a blurry shot of the boulder and the route...Long Shoals V2/3.
I really enjoyed sussing out the moves and working to get the send, but I didn't like the nice bloody flapper my right pinkie got on the final send. Well, looks like my wish of shutting down for a little while has now been forced upon me with a bare pinkie pad, and a plethora of minor tweaks that are now starting to haunt me. After the send, and just before the masses of red necks arrived to take over the area for the heat of the day, I cooled off with a couple of nice slides down the shoals...a perfect way to end a hot bouldering morning.
I'm super psyched to be heading up to Grayson Highlands State Park in 2 weeks to check out some great new summer bouldering areas. I mentioned this a few posts back, and have been building with anticipation ever since we made our cabin reservations. Matt Bielejeski, the guy that's putting together a guide to Dixon (near Charlotte), will also be up there at this time, so hopefully we can both get a good taste of whats around and have incredible stories to tell on our return. If you haven't taken a look at what this place is becoming, check out the Mountain Project page for Grayson Highlands.