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 did...at 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 area...it 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 hours...you wont be disappointed!