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, September 21, 2010

Little Rock City

This weekends trip to Little Rock City was a lot of fun! The new guidebook was spot on and led me to a few places I had overlooked in the past. I ended up "batting for the cycle" (at least 1 route in each grade V0-V4) both Friday and Saturday & finally sent a few classics I hadn't sent before.

Friday, after warming up on the Fire Crack Boulder (some of my favorite warm ups anywhere...isn't that Flake awesome!), the highlights were sending Gutterball V2 and Strike V3 on the Bowling Ball boulder and then ticking Mystery Groove V4. Mystery Groove was a fun route that climbs a series of slopey pinches to a slopey/slabby top out...a classic for the area.

Saturday I got there early and headed right to the Super Mario boulder. After warming up on the easy V0's on the Dumb Luck boulder, I moved on to one of my big goals for the trip, Super Mario V4. I usually climb the top out before I climb the whole route, just to see what I need to prepare for at the end...and so I sent Super Mario from the second hold in to begin with, but after that, I just couldn't get it together for the entire send. So instead, I settled for the easier send of Underfling V3 right beside it, not as fulfilling as Super Mario but good enough to start out with. From there I went out to the very end of the boulderfield and sent a handful of routes I hadn't done before.

The Graham Cracker Boulder is one of the most picturesque in the field and well known for The Shield V12. There's some easier routes to the right of the beautifully broken face, Twin Cracks V1 and Graham Cracker V2.

I sent the V1 and got to the top of Graham Cracker and my sphicter puckered (its tall) and I backed off at the very last moment...what a waste, I should've just topped it out.

The arete problem Open It Up V0 was a fun ride on the Jigsaw boulder too.

The Rib V1 was a slab reminiscent of the Meat Grinder Boulder in the Bearfields if SC, and the V1 traverse to the left of it was fun too. After that I headed back and hit the Pancake Mantle V2, a tougher send than I was expecting, and then headed to one of the classic V3's in the field, Ribcage. There was the first crowd of the day parked under Ribcage & The Sternum V5. With plenty of pads ready, I jumped in the rotation and eventually sent Ribcage...after quiet a few bumps and bruises. From there I thought I might as well put a few laps on the last V4 I wanted to try, Two Shoes Jack. I have to admit that I'd rather put time in on a slab than an overhang any day, so Two Shoes was a perfect fit for my near spent condition. After about 8 tries I found myself at the slopey shelf at the top of the route and super pleased I had put the send together! From here I headed closer to the clubhouse and worked a little more on my project for the trip, Kingpin V6. This is the last route on the Bowling Ball boulder I haven't sent, and one of the most Fontainebleau-ish routes in the field I've found. I finally linked it together and made my way to the tough left hand mantle at the top, but just didn't have enough to finish it up and top it out...I'm looking forward to hopefully finishing it up on my next visit. Seeing my strength waning, I jumped on and sent the V0's and V1 on the Cornerstone boulder and immediately packed it up for the trip.

As I mentioned earlier, the guidebook was spot on and led me around a boulderfield I'm somewhat familiar with and helped me find the routes I never knew about. I've been to LRC tons of times before, but this trip was honestly one of the best I've had! Instead of walking past routes I didn't know were routes or didn't know the grade for, I had a chance to finally see the whole gamut that LRC had to offer. Sending Ribcage, Mystery Groove and Two Shoes Jack were definitely the highlights of the trip...and it just got me more amped for my next voyage to the Stonefort in October!

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