Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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 Trail...here'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.