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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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Rock City aka How I Fell Back In Love With Sandstone



I want to start with an apology for not having any good pictures of my trip...I stole all of these pics and videos of other folks on some problems from the net.

So, I finally got a chance (I've been floored all week at work) to write up a quick post about my visit this past weekend to Little Rock City in Chattanooga. I headed over to Chatta-boogie on Friday and hit LRC with enough time to send plenty. I started out with a couple of warm ups and immediately jumped on Kingpin V6, a route I was working/projecting on my last visit. At first I didn't think there was anyway I could send it this trip, but the friction and foot holds finally became familiar to me and I sent it after about 20 minutes of work. This was a great route and wouldn't have taken hold of me and made me project it if it wasn't so much like Fontainebleau...I really enjoyed figuring out the tricks to Font routes last summer and it gave me that same psyched feeling! I was stoked to send my project at the beginning of the trip so I could then run around sending other stuff. Feeling like I was on cloud nine, this was my first V6 of the fall bouldering season, I wandered around until I found Adam and Doug over at Tristar and Celestial Mechanics. They had been there since like 8 that morning, so they were running out of steam and getting ready to pack up and take off...but not before Doug made us all look bad by practically campusing Tristar. After hanging out and sending some easy routes with Adam, they took off and I started focusing on some tough slabs. My pinky has been feeling better since I've been trying to only climb once a week, and so I wanted to climb slabs mainly Friday to keep it from getting tweaked and ruining my main session on Saturday. So after Kingpin, I climbed Jupiter V3 and Humpty Dumpty V4, two slabs on the wall beside Kingpin. Fun routes, but not as fun as Crystal Ball V5 and Clarence Bowater Survival V3 on the Two Shoes Jack boulder. I had high hopes of sending a V5 slab this trip, and Crystal ball looked doable last time I was here and sent Two Shoes Jack V4. I was stoked to finally get to the sloping rail towards the top and have sent a super fun and delicate slab! Clarence Bowater Survival was right next to Crystal Ball and had a few sketchy moves towards the top that got my blood moving. After these routes, I was getting a little tired and wanted to start cooling down, so I climbed a bunch of V0-V1's...but on my way out, Hairy Underclings V3 caught my eye and sucked me in. Hairy Underclings ascends a bubbly sloper wall reminiscent of Horse Pens and the Bumboy area. The satisfaction of climbing Kingpin was definitely a highlight of the day, but I'd have to give Hairy Underclings the props for being my favorite route of the day...it was that much fun to send! Friday went much better than expected & I ended up sending at least 1 route in each grade from V0-V6, which is always a stellar day for me!

Saturday I was able to climb for a while...and I ended up sending a lot more than I expected. I went to LRC with 2 goals, climb (or at least get a little closer to sending) Kingpin and to try to send a V5 slab problem. Since I had accomplished both, surprisingly, on Friday, I decided to just roam around and climb what looked good. I had sent Mystery Machine V3 years ago, but I wanted to send it again, since its one of the ultra-classic V3's, so I started out here and had to work pretty hard to get the send. After Mystery Machine, I climbed Ruby Roo V2, which was a bunch of fun and seemed like an easier version of Hairy Underclings, and then sent Mutiny V2 right around the corner. From here I thought I'd aim high and try a few more harder routes, or at least for me. Adam had shown me the moves to Fat Cat V5 the day before and mentioned that he thought I might could send it...so I sat underneath the jigsaw like face and pulled onto the chalked crimps and sidepulls and flashed Fat Cat. Here is a video from YouTube of Fat Cat...

I was super surprised and stoked to send another solid route. After climbing the easy routes on the Blind Spot boulder, beside the Frumundathunda boulder, I headed around to the Main area to work the dyno problem Trailer Hitch V5. I had this route in mind before I got here, because I thought I could send it without my pinky getting too tweaked...and I sent 2nd try. Here is an older video of Trailer Hitch...

From here I ducked into the Cell to finish up the day by sending Green Lantern V3 and Jump V3. I only had 1 route left that interested me, Fixer V4. Here is a video with Fixer at the 2:08 mark (and Mutiny V2 is the first route, but its referred to as the After School Special)...

I had tried to work Fixer earlier in the day, but a crew of loud obnoxious guys came up and ruined the experience with a radio blaring really bad pop music. When I came back at the end of the day, I was barely able to send it with the last little bit of strength I had left. This ended Saturdays sendfest, and I couldn't have been more satisfied with Saturday and the whole LRC trip...3 V5's and a V6 was much more than I thought I could send and made me remember how much I really love sandstone and its comfort and ease to climb. I spend most of my time on the east side of the Appalachians, and granite routes that aren't as forgiving, so it was good to feel like I had accomplished something.


On my way home, I ruined that feeling by stopping off at Boat Rock in Atlanta and getting my butt handed to me:) I sent the usual routes on the Easy Crack boulder and added a new V3 send with Kashmir Crack, seen above. Besides that, I just felt spent and weak and like I had left everything on the boulderfield back up in Soddy Daisy...but that was the goal of my trip anyway!

2 comments:

  1. Nice post, and good crankin! Can't wait to get back to LRC soon. I've only been once. Are you going to HP40 for the comp?

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  2. Yep, heading to Horse Pens in 2 weekends. I'm looking forward to getting back on some sandstone...had a few sessions on granite since then and my tendons hate me for it:)

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