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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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Southeast Guidebooks On The Way

Its not like this is hot off the presses, but its something that's got me pretty psyched still...our pals over at Greener Grass have not only made a nice donation to the SCC to help out with the new climbers campground that's coming to Chatty/Soddy Daisy, but they have also teased us a little with news of their 2 upcoming guidebooks. One of my all time favorite boulderfields is Lilly in the Obed in Tennessee...if you've never been there, what are you waiting for? Lilly has some of my favorite sandstone formations to climb on and I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time there while my wife was finishing up at UT. Not only is Lilly a great set of boulders, but the sport climbing at the Obed is...wait for it...legendary! Greener Grass has announced that this incredible climbing and bouldering area will be getting its just deserves in a new guidebook that should be out in May, a perfect time to check out the Obed. There's nothing like climbing all morning and evening in the summer and chilling out in the river during the hot of the day at the Obed! Don't forget to check out the video I embedded in yesterday's post of Jimmy Webb and crew crushing at Lilly. At the top of this post is a shot of Jimmy getting the second ascent of the James Litz testpiece Tilted World V13 and here's a shot of Shattered Minds V10 from Jimmy Webbs blog.

The other tome they are releasing will cover roped climbing and bouldering in Little River Canyon in Alabama and will be written by Adam Henry. I haven't been to this LRC yet, but Ive heard its amazing! I look forward to the book to give me motivation to take a couple of road trips and see some new stuff...and I hope some of this news gets you psyched about the near future of SE climbing also!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Latest Bald Trip & A Double Shot Of Videos

With work back into full swing, my time for bouldering is considerably shorter lately. Since I last posted, I've made it out to some local boulders a couple of times and even found some new boulders in the Jocassee Gorges that might have some good routes on them...but the trip that sticks out to me is the trip to the Bald last Friday. My schedule allows me to hit the Bald all day on Fridays, and I plan on doing that as much as I can before the end of the season...I'm psyched! On my previous trip to the Bald, I was working St Peter V4 with the Matts and felt like I could link through the hard section for the send, so that was my project for the day. I started out by running into a couple of guys in the parking lot and walking in with Ron from Fox Guides. We stopped at St Peter first and jumped on it before I was really warmed up...he had no problems cruising the route, but I felt the need to hit some easier problems first and then give it my all for the send. So I headed over to the Family Boulder, while Ron went off on his circuit, and climbed a ton of great warm ups...all of the routes on this boulder are not listed in the guide, but they are listed towards the bottom of this page. With 12 V0-V2 routes, this may be one of the best beginner/warmup boulders in the entire field. After that, I headed back to St Peter and put a few more tries on it before the other guy I ran into in the parking lot showed up...I think his name was Matt (I'm the worst with names, sorry if you read this and I got it wrong). Matt took a couple of tries to send the route and then I ended up taking another couple of tries myself before I found myself past the crux and working the jugs up to the top out. Besides New Jedi Mind Tricks, a proud V3/4 line I recently put up in Jedi, this is the hardest route I've climbed in a long time. You can see the line, which climbs the tall prow, in the picture above.

From there I decided to work on one of my other long term goals at the Bald...climb all of the easy (V0-V2) routes in the entire place. Going into this visit, I only had 6 V2's and 1 V1 left to finish up the 135 or so easy routes in the West Side boulders. So I headed to each one of these routes in hopes of finishing this goal up today also. First I hit Bruce Lee over at the Cave/Ladder boulders and sent it after a few tries...odd but pretty fun problem. Then I headed out to a boulder I hadn't been to before, a rarity for me at the Bald, called the Cornerstone Boulder. Below is a shot of the boulder with the cliff in the background. I sent the 4 fun routes on that boulder pretty quick; Top Shelf V1, Spasm Chasm V2, Old Man Route V2 & Stepping Stone V3. I really enjoyed Old Man Route...pretty fitting based on how I feel lately:)

From here I headed down to the Terraces to work on Zwilling and the Unknown V2 on the Henkels boulder. Zwilling took me a couple of tries, but I thought it was a great exciting route. Just enough to hold on to, but not enough to make it feel super safe while looking back at the fall you could take into the mini-chasm. I think this was my 2nd favorite route of the day. After working the V2 on Henkels for a few tries, I realized it wasn't going to go and I was running out of juice for the day. On my way back to the car, I passed by a route in the Cluster that George was working last time we were up here, Sun Wall V3, and thought I'd spend the last of my energy trying to send it. Surprisingly, I sent the route on the 3rd try, and felt pretty content to wrap up my day with that send. A shot of Sun Wall is below.

I've been to the Bald hundreds of times in the last 10 years or so. The first visits were always exciting and filled with wonder at the amount, variety and quality of the routes. But after a while the luster wears off and the visits are less exciting. I was happy that this felt like one of those first days! There were very few people in the boulders, it was so pleasant to be able to hear the sounds of nature and the wind blow without it being drowned out by the masses. I'm stoked to get back and finish the other 2 V2's in the West and then turn my attention to the East Side and the 30 or so easy routes I have left to do over there.

On another note...videos
There are 2 videos I've been really diggin lately and so I wanted to pass them on to those that might not of seen them yet.

The first is from SC's native son George Evans...check out Doug killing it at the Bald!

Doug's Good Day from George Evans on Vimeo.

And the other one is of one of my all time favorite boulderfields...Lilly in the Obed. Check out this beauty from Jimmy Webb!

Lilly Boulders 2011 from Jimmy Webb on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Long Time, No Post

Sorry for such a long delay in posting...its not because I don't have much too post about, its mainly because I have been so busy with work and climbing a bunch. Since Oregon and my last post, I have climbed outdoors at least every other day. I got to head up to the Bald and hang out with Matt at Frixtion, his girlfriend Melisa, Matt B.(who's writing the guidebook to Dixon),Adam and George on New Year's Eve. Much better climbing that day than the party in Greenville that night! We went all over the West Side boulders; from Gateway to Shady Grove to Hanging Chain to the Cluster...I was completely worn out from such a fun day with friends! I didn't really tick off any new routes that day, but was happy to repeat a bunch of climbs I'd already sent. Take a look at Matt's post on Frixtion if you haven't already for some great photos and a video of him sending a beautiful line out at the Hanging Chain boulders. Then work took back over my life for a week...meeting after meeting to get us prepared for the new semester can get a little tedious, but local bouldering in the afternoons was the cure for that. I ended up hitting Bearfields or Jedi almost everyday last week, adding some awesome new FA's and attempting to finish up some topo's that will be released on the Carolina Climbers Coalition website when the areas are officially open. At the present, there are problems with the parking situation, but we are investigating a new approach with no access problems that will hopefully be the answer to this issue. The new approach will take about 30-45 minutes of hiking to access the boulders, but will guarantee that we will not be trespassing at any point on private property...which is the only sustainable solution! I'll fill folks in and link up to the CCC page when they finally get the OK to release this info. Keep an eye on the CCC site in the near future for the first post about bouldering in the Jocassee Gorges. Now, after day 4 of being snowed in by this big snow storm, we finally made it out of our holler and to civilization...I think I preferred being snowed in:) Here are a couple of shots from a quick bouldering session I had in the back yard...hope you had as much fun in the snow as I did!