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, November 30, 2010

A Lot Going On Lately

I have been so busy with the holidays, climbing and access meetings that I haven't had a chance to post up in a while...

Since my last post I've been able to climb at Dixon, a couple of local spots and the Bald a couple of times.

At Dixon, I climbed a bunch of fun easy stuff on this boulder...

After warming up, I sent 2 super fun routes, the route up the right side felt like a V1 and the left side felt like a V2/3, on this boulder...

And then sent a sweet slab problem from a big sidepulling sit start on the downhill side of the Classic Overhang boulder, felt around a's a shot of that route.

After sending a few more routes, I packed it up and met with Stephen Scoff, the SC CCC rep, and Larry Hyde, the superintendent of Crowder's State Park, for an informative overview of how Crowder's manages climbing. If you are a long time follower of this blog, you might remember earlier this year there was a push for better access in SC. Since then, I've been working with Stephen to try to open up more bouldering and roped climbing in the state. This was one of the many meetings we have had, or going to have, to push for more access. Larry was an incredibly nice guy and a great asset for climbers in NC and at Crowder's. He helped us out by giving us a lot of information we can use to demonstrate the advantages of climbing for our meetings with a couple of SC parks. Nothing makes a day of bouldering better than doing something to give back to the climbing community!

I'm stoked that I've had a chance to hit the Bald so much this fall, and each trip I seem to finally bag a route or 2 that has hassled me for a while. On one of my recent trips, I finally headed back to the Middle East and Far area I don't visit too often. I sent a few fun easy routes, and Fire V3, on the Fire boulder seen here...

After flailing like a little sissy on Silver Platter V2 (is this thing really a V2?), I headed over to my real targets...The Forbidden City V2 and Rift V4. After working the upper moves of Rift and finding the best foot beta for me, I loaded up and worked the SDS until I had linked it all together for the send. This has to be one of my absolutely favorite routes at the Bald...especially due to the fact that it was named after a Phish song! Check out the beautiful music on this boulder...

From here I went out to the Forbidden City V2 and took a couple of tries to send this wonderful route. What a great boulder problem! Listed as being similar to Dime Crack, but easier, the movement felt like it was set in a gym and put a big smile on my face after the send. A sds traverses out left to a series of edges that goes up the short face to a pretty easy top out...check out the picture.

After sending a few more easy routes, I called it quits for this session...ticking off Rift was big for me, its always been a project of mine...but climbing The Forbidden City was just as fun and rewarding!

Besides our meeting with Larry Hyde at Crowder's, Stephen and I have had, and will be having, more meetings with some of the SC state parks and DNR about climbing access. We have had some successes in some of our recent meetings, and hope for the same with the next meetings. I'll fill everyone in when everything gets ironed out and this will hopefully give SC climbers a new climbing landscape in the coming year.

Besides all that, I want to wish George Evans good luck at the last leg of the Triple Crown at Little Rock City/Stonefort. George has finally (kinda) gotten back up to speed from his broken ankle and I hope he pulls hard and has a good time finally being able to boulder like he used to! I also want to wish Adam Johnson (take loads of pictures for your website) and Doug Ianuario a great comp and trip to Hueco afterwards...I'm so damn jealous:) If you haven't checked out Adam's awesome photos and your hiney on over there and check it out. Bro man got some skills!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

G-Vegas Represent!

If you havent seen the newest DeadPoint Magazine video of Eric Singleton climbing Waste Not, Want Not 5.12b/c at Looking Glass...check it out! Nice work on the send and way to represent the old school Rocks and Ropes gym crew (that was the gym I climbed at 2-3 times a week, back in the day) and Looking Glass Outfitters.

Click here to go to DeadPoint and watch the video

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slave Driver...Finally

This past Friday, I had a chance to run up to the Bald and work on one of the last real "haunting routes" I have at the Bald...Slave Driver V3. The leaves were incredible and with the sun shining bright, it felt like I was wrapped up in the color yellow.

Slave Driver has been another off and on project for me over the last few years, very similar to Shady Grove/Basketball Mantle, and so I decided I had to finally take it serious and project the route until I sent it and got that monkey of my back. I've sent a lot of V3's, at a lot of different boulderfields, but this is by far one of the hardest, if not the hardest V3 I've ever sent...and quite a few strong folks have mentioned that Slave Driver might be a little sandbagged at a V3 too.

I worked the stand start until I finally had it a little dialed (am I the only one that has to bump through the little crystal at the top to reach the small "thank god" knob with my right hand?), then I gave one good solid effort on the sit start and ended up linking through it. To say the send pushed me to my limit was an understatement...I literally felt blown up afterwards and decided to call the day a success, despite originally planning on climbing for a lot longer. It felt good to send another route that has been taunting me every time I walked by it, and that satisfaction was enough to keep me smiling all weekend!

Here's a sweet video of the East Side, from a couple of years ago, that Matt Christie put together. Slave Driver is climbed at the 40 second mark and Matt makes it look easy! You can also see Crystalline Entity in this video, a sweet V5 slab that I was also working on Friday...I think this should go next time, with a spot.

Saturday I woke up early and shuttled some friends to Whitewater Falls so they could do an overnighter on the Foothills's a shot of the beautiful morning view out over Lake Jocassee.

While I was there, I had a quick session on the small set of boulders next to the bathrooms. There are really only a handful of routes worth climbing, but I've always found them to be fun. Here are a few photos of the boulders. The first is a shot of the Slab boulder as you approach it from the parking lot. The other 2 shots are of the Snapping Turtle boulder behind it. Most of the routes on both boulders have some solid slopey crimps that make for some fun climbing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Triple Crown: Horse Pens 40

So, this past weekend was the second leg of the Triple Crown, down in Steele, Alabama. The weather was cold in the campground, but the sends were awful hot in the boulderfield! I was able to head down early on Friday and climb a little with the Clemson Crew before the comp on Saturday. Here's Autumn Parham sending Dope...

Bumboy is one of the legendary boulder problems in the world, one of my all time favorites, and I was able to send it easier than ever on Friday, with some crucial beta from Adam and George making all of the difference. On Saturday, the place was packed and hyped! Competitors were everywhere in the park, giving their all on some of the best sandstone routes in the Southeast. No matter if you climbed V0 or V10, everybody was cheering for everybody else and the smell of comradory was in the air more than the smell of competition. I was able to send a few 3's (Bumboy, Orca & Double Groove) and the rest of my scorecard was filled out with some of the most fun V2's around (Dope of course being one of my favorites)...needless to say, I was nuzzled deep in the Intermediate category with no chance of placing, but I definitely had a blast climbing!

The real competition was for the Mens Open division, which Jimmy Webb dominated. Here's a couple of shots of Jimmy climbing Skeletor V10 and God Module V11...2 routes that helped him claim first.

Brion Voges wasn't too far behind Jimmy for 2nd in Mens Open. Here's a couple of shots of Brion on Cadillac Thrills V9 and Slider Sit V10...

And rounding out the top 3 was Brad's a shot of him on Illusions V11.

The top 3 getting Crowned...

Angie Payne won the Womens Open's a shot of her on The Flow V7.

Here is Deadpoint Mags Coverage of the event...and also some great photos and coverage by Clemson climber Adam Johnson over at Adam Johnson also has a great set of photos over at his website that I stole for this post...thanks a million Adam for letting me use your incredible images! You can get the full lowdown on the winners of each category at the Triple Crown Bouldering website, and the complete results with everybody's score should be released soon too.

Also...Here is a great video of Adam and some other climbers at the comp, check it out courtesy of George Evans.

HP40 Triple Crown 2010 from George Evans on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Help the SCC Win A Grant To Invest In Southeast Climbing!

For some reason, the vote button wont show up on the above widget here to go to the SCC's page to vote if the button isnt available!!!

If you havent heard yet, the SCC is competing for one of the Pepsi Refresh Grants to help maintain and aquire more climbing areas in the Southeast.

The SCC's Goals for this project are...
•Purchase and preserve 40 acres in AL currently closed to access
•Purchase and preserve 38 acres in TN currently closed to access
•Build new and maintain existing hiking trails throughout southeast
•Responsible land stewardship and inspirational team building
•Community outreach: Promoting the joys of climbing AND preservation!

In order to help the SCC win this grant, they need everyone's help with voting. You can vote everyday and the SCC encourages you to do so...the most votes wins, so help makes this a reality for all southeastern climbers!

Here is the great video the SCC put together to promote their bid for the grant...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haunting Bald Routes

Over the Halloween holiday, I had a chance to run up to Rumbling Bald a couple of times and work on some routes that have continually haunted me over the past 8 or so years. The leaves were still turning nice colors and the Beauty Berry was out to remind us that its fall and winter is on its way.

The first session I was able to knock out 3 routes that have been like giant monkeys jumping on my back...Shady Grove/Basketball Mantle V3, Unknown V4 on the Brevard Fault boulder in the Central Boulders, and Unknown V2 (problem 10f) on the Gateway boulders in the West Side. Each one of these problems has given me fits for years, and it was so nice to finally send all of them...especially Shady Grove, seen in the above picture. Shady Grove was what most folks I knew called the problem for years, but the guidebook came out and said that the real name for the problem was Basketball Mantle...either way, it and Slave Driver have been 2 V3's that have never gone for me, no matter how much time and effort I have put into them. I wasn't even looking to send Shady Grove, but after walking by it and avoiding looking at it like it was an ugly ex-girlfriend for so long I thought maybe I should pick the project back up. I had put a couple of tries on it during a session last month, but during this session, the problem flowed better and the crimps were much stickier and easy to yoke up on. After getting the high right hand sloping crimp to feel good, it was just a matter of the sketchy top out onto the delicate slab...which made my knees shake, but I still was able to top it out.

From here I went out to the Brevard Fault, seen above, and sent the tricky V4 to the right of it...a sds on some crimps leads to a short crimp traverse and a delicate move to and over the sloping lip leads to the top out. Here's a picture of the V4 route...

Brevard Fault is one of my favorite Bald V2's and so I've always put a little extra time on the V4 beside it, every time I hit the Fault...and it finally paid off.

The other problem seems so benign, but for a V2, it has haunted me for years and years and always felt like it was sticking its tongue out at me everyime I walked by. On my way out of the West side, I stopped by for my usually token attempts, but surprisingly had no problem with the crimp on the lip that usually gives me trouble. So the first session was one of my better Bald sessions in a while, and it was especially rewarding to finally send Shady Grove!

Yesterday I got a chance to head back up to the Bald and finish off a few more monkey-on-my-back-routes. I've sent Crescent Crack V2 before, but it has been years and years since I have sent it was nice to get on it and send it first attempt. It always seems that loud idiots gather near this route and I am not one to send routes with a lot of distractions around...if I wanted to climb with a bunch of morons, I could of just went to the gym! One of the last times I was trying to climb it, a couple of kids were throwing their toy cars at me as I climbed and their mother refused to get them under control...I couldn't even believe that the mom was that stupid and had such little respect for other climbers nearby!!! So, needless to say, it was nice to get the resend out of the way when it was chill and relaxed. From here I went over to the Cluster and sent the short Unknown V3 on the Top Rope boulder, across from the Silliness boulder. This is another route that I have tried off and on for a few years, but never really spent enough time on it to send it right. On a previous visit, Adam Johnson made it seem like such an easy I was a little motivated to actually work on it to try to make it look as easy as he did. From here I went up to the Terraces and got shut down on Big Crimpin (more like Big Limpin for me), but I did get a chance to see Doug and Dale from the Clemson crew send a couple of awesome classics out at the Patio Roof...Dale sent the crazy hanging-from-one-foot problem Terminator Exit V6, and Doug sent the incredible route Kamikaze V10. Here's a shot of him getting ready for the big dyno...

Some of their friends were able to video both of their sends and hopefully I can link to their video when they get it polished up and available...definitely worth a watch or two! After hanging out and having some fun with those guys, I headed on over the Central boulders again to try to finish up a route that I was working on my previous session, Azimuth Coordinator V4.

Azimuth Coordinator, seen above, is kind of a crimp route, but really its mostly a tall favorite:) So, I loaded up on the big sidepull flake and smeared my way up to the small pinch/crimps and barely to the top just before I was about to lose it and fall off. This ended the second of my 2 Halloween sessions...I was completely happy with the routes I had sent and felt like I got more treats than tricks in my bag this year!

Here is another photo of Shady may notice the sign on the tree informing boulderers that this is part of the property just recently purchased by the CCC. The loan is still far from paid off...please do what you can and give as much or as little as you feel comfortable giving to help us get this property paid off and permanently keep it in the hands of the boulderers that really enjoy it!

The Triple Crown is heading to Horse Pens 40 this all you sloper buffs, get your open hand on! I'm really looking forward to a big party with a whole bunch of like minded people!!! If you havent seen the newest installment of Andrew Kornylak's Beta it is.

The Beta - Branch Bacardi from Andrew Kornylak on Vimeo.