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, August 31, 2010

Pisgah Bouldering Weekend And An Upcoming Review Of The New Stone Fort/LRC Guidebook

What a great weekend to be in the shadows of Looking Glass! The temps were more than bearable and the rock was freshly cleaned by recent rains. We got up to the forest around noon on Saturday, set camp quickly and hurried out to The North Face boulders for a long session. After spending about an hour working all of the Warm Up Wall problems (V0-V3) and every silly variation I could think of, I headed down to the lower area of boulders to work on some problem I had only messed around with a few times. I ended up sending a few new (for myself) routes...a fun V2 slab problem on some razor sharp crimps, and one that starts on these big sidepulls and goes up to a blank slopey/slabby top section...felt like about a V3. Then I worked a problem that has obsessed me in the past, and has shut me down everytime before...I have always called it "Big Jug". Just left of the sidepull problem is a giant flat jug half way up the face...I started doubled there and got my feet high on the face and threw a left hand deadpoint for the small thin sloping rail about 12 feet up, the real crux of the route. After a few misses and a couple of craters on the pad, I stuck the skinny rail and brought my feet up underneath me to be able to reach towards the top for another thin sloper and finally top it out...finally, after like 5 or so years it went! I thought the route was much tougher than most of the V3's around, so I feel comfortable calling it a solid, fun, V4. After this, I sent another V3, a route I've called Pyramids, that starts low on an angled sloping arete and follows it up to the apex and tops out...along with Giza V2, the other sloping arete on the Egypt boulder. Both of these routes are a little tricky and a little powerful, but overall a bunch of fun. After finally wearing myself out, we packed our stuff up and headed back to camp for the rest of the day. Sunday, we got up after a perfect Pisgah night and headed out to the Roadside and Nowhere boulders. We were pretty worn out from the previous days climbs, but I was still able to send Nowhere V3 and goof around with a few other routes. There was a lot of moisture on the boulders, so many of the routes weren't climbable...cutting this session pretty short. No matter, it was still a great hike out to the boulders and its always relaxing in the middle of Nowhere:)

I have also got some good news from Greener Grass Publishing...I'm getting an advance copy of the new Stone Fort/Little Rock City Guidebook (hopefully it'll be in my mailbox when I get home today) and plan on putting up a review here in a couple of weeks. We have planned a trip over to Chatty for the 17-19th of September so I can use the guidebook first hand and see how user friendly it really is. As soon as we get back, I'll post the review and share the experience with everyone...I'm really looking forward to getting back to one of my old stomping grounds!!!

Rumbling Bald Season Is Approaching...

Here is a repost from Anthony Love, the CCC president, about the parking situation at the Bald. Please take a look at the link to the pdf file which shows where parking is and isn't allowed. Please follow these guidelines and recommendations when visiting the Bald, so we can avoid a possible problem with the park...Thanks!!!

"Fall will be coming to a boulderfield near YOU soon. This year, we would like to help spread the word amongst climbers that we ALL need to make the effort to carpool to Rumbling Bald on the weekends. The parking issue at the bald will be more of an issue this year as the Town of Lake Lure WILL tow cars parked outside of the State Park Gates.

We have devised a flyer to help spell out the availability of parking at Rumbling Bald. If you can please help us spread the word about parking. Feel free to send this flyer to your friends, hang it up at the gym at your colleges outdoor programs office. Please help us get the word out.

Thanks, look forward to seeing you all out there."

Here is a link to the pdf file with a map of the parking situation...
Rumbling Bald Parking Announcement

Here's the link to the forum post also...I think you have to have an account to see this post, but making an account is free and fast and gives you access to the most up to date Carolina climbing info.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Running From Yellow Jackets and Stone Summit

So, I finally got a chance to get out and do some climbing this past weekend. I ran out to Little Eastatoee Friday evening and realized exactly how weak and out of climbing shape I was! It took me forever to get my first route, and it was just a V0 I used to send in my sleep. After that I moved on to the V3, Outta Sight, right beside it. Outta Sight isn't an easy V3, and based on my performance on the V0, I thought I'd just flail on it...and I least for the first few tries. After that, I was able to barely squeak out the send and surprise myself. From there I sent Sock Puppet Smile V1 and Ragdoll V2 and moved on to The Batman boulder. I flailed for a while on Bruce Wayne V3+ but finally sent, and then moved on to one of my favorite routes at LE, Two Face V3-. After feeling a little more comfortable on the rock, I loaded up on the SDS and threw big for the top edge, tossed my heel hook and then felt a series of pinches in my butt. For a second I thought someone was behind me, but I soon realized I was getting stung by yellow jackets. I hopped down from the route and immediately noticed that my pad was swarming with about 100-150 bees and they were all pissed off at me for padding over their nest. I got stung another 10 or so times while I was running away, cussing. After 10 minutes the bees calmed down enough that I could get all my gear except my pad, which I had to leave and come back later to get after the bees finally chilled out. Wow...what a price to pay just to climb a few routes! Here is a repeat post of the video I made earlier this year out at Little Eastatoee that has all of the routes I just mentioned...

On Sunday we ran down to Hotlanta and met up with some friends at Stone Summit, the nations largest climbing gym. After the customary belay test, we ran around like little kids on Christmas, gawking at all of the routes and cool features. I'm not one to get all excited by a gym, but this one has a lot to offer most any climber. The bouldering area was much larger than most gyms and had a lot of variety of routes in most grades. I was stoked to send a fun V4 and tons of V0-V2's. The roped walls were incredible, with a variety of features and more lead routes than I'd ever seen at any gym. This is the first time I've roped up, outside or inside in like a year...really, had it been that long? I was happy to send about 7 or so routes, from 5.7-5.9+. They even had an upstairs with cardio and weight machines and a small gym for the kiddies. I have to admit that I wanted to do the sit start under the T-rex slide/boulder, but my wife thought it would look too odd:) And probably their biggest attraction is the 70m roof that goes out over the main climbing was truly impressive to see folks climbing the roof or the traverses and clip the chains at the end. If you're in the area or driving through Atlanta, I'd make plans to stop and climb for a few wont be disappointed!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So after having a hard time the last couple of weeks with some small kidney stones and a severe infection, I'm feeling better and trying to get ready for boulder season. We recently bought some gym equipment and I've been working out a few times a week to try to drop some pounds and up my strength/endurance. Besides a little training at home, I have been so busy getting ready for the new semester at work and dealing with all sorts of random acts that need to be dealt with, that I haven't had as much of a chance to get out and climb as usual. I have a great schedule this semester though and can hopefully get a few days of bouldering in each week after work. I have had a chance to hit a few boulders in the last week, but nothing much worth mentioning...especially in this stifling heat, in between the intermittent showers. It really makes good sends harder to come by! Hopefully this weekend I'll get a chance to head out and climb something somewhere fun.

I don't know if you have a regular list of websites that you check daily like me, but I noticed just the other day on Greener Grass Publishing's website that the new Little Rock City/Stone Fort guidebook is due out in October. If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you remember Greener Grass sponsoring the Horse Pens Bouldering guidebook giveaway contest I had back a few months ago. I've been in contact with them again and it looks like they are going to be able to give me a couple of these new guidebooks to giveaway too! So stay on the look out later this fall for a new contest for the latest installment in the Greener Grass collection. If you've never been to LRC...whats your problem? Get your road trip plans together for the first cool day of fall and hit this place up. The sandstone is impeccable and the routes are some of the most classic in the Southeast. I was lucky enough to have LRC as my "local" (2 hour drive is local enough) bouldering crag back when my wife was at the University of Tennessee (in Knoxville). I got to go down there almost every week and sample some of the best routes I've sent or seen in the sandstone belt. Dragonlady V4 is still one of my favorite routes and the Mystery Machine boulder has some of my favorite routes of anywhere...Incredarete V1 (V3 SDS) is a classic no matter where you'd find it. Another benefit to getting this guide is the fact that a portion of the proceeds will be given to the SCC to help fund other projects and purchases. Click on over and get a copy on pre-order to save $5 and get it the same time the stores do in October.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kidney Stones

So I have had this uncomfortable pain in my back for a couple of weeks, but I just thought it was a results of me getting old and my body just crapping out finally...even though I'm just about to turn the ripe old age of 35:) Yesterday I woke up and noticed a lot of pain and problems with my urine...after a visit to the "doc-in-a-box", as the Nurses I teach with like to call Urgent Care, the thought is that I'm struggling with kidney stones. What a bummer! I finally make it through the summer semester and right when I'm about to get a little break and possibly take some bouldering road trips...I'm laid up hurting. Oh well, hopefully this will pass really quickly and I'll have some new trip reports up soon!

I would like to mention that my homeboy George Evans is fighting a terrible injury also...he took a bad fall while bouldering at Stone Summit in Atlanta and did some major damage to his ankle. I hate to hear this from George, especially seeing as how he was gearing up his training for Hound Ears and now the comp is an after thought. My biggest get wells go out to him and his ankle...if surgery is needed, or even if it isn't, I wish you the fastest recovery possible and hope you can still make it out to Hound Ears in October!