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, February 24, 2011

New Upstate SC Local Spot: Beasley Gap


My apologies for not getting the Beasley Gap Bouldering Guide up yet, it has continued to evolve over the last couple of weeks with new FA's and variations of existing problems. The guide will have around 60 or so problems from Vb-V5 and will sport color photo topo's of each the 11 boulders/boulder sets that have been climbed so far. I should have it completed and published early next week for everyone to enjoy! Until then, here is a little teaser of what you'll see as well as, enough beta to get you to the boulders and on a few of the better routes in the area. Here is the overall map of the area...


Here is an example of one of the topo's you're gonna see.


And here's a quick key to this topo too, in case you stop by and want to climb some of the problems before I can get the full guide up...
1) Beasley Bulge V1
2) Beasley Bowl V2
3) Early Bird Direct V3
4) Blue Bird Days V2/3
5) Early Bird Special V5/6
6) Crystal Crymps V2
7) Mossed Over V0

Above is a shot of me on Bob's Place V2 on the Beasley Gap Boulder, another great boulder full of fun climbs.

So you might ask..."How do I get to these sweet boulders?" Follow the directions below, beginning at Holly Springs Grocery, which is at the junction of Highway 11 and Highway 178, in northern Pickens county.


Directions: From the junction of Highways 11 and 178, head north on hwy 178 toward Rosman and Sassafras Mountain. In a little over 4 miles, and around 1 mile past Bob’s Place Bar, there is a small gravel pull off, big enough for 3-4 cars, on the right...park here. DO NOT park on 178 beside the trailhead....this can jeopardize access!

Approach: Walk along the road for another 100 yards until you see the yellow blazed Palmetto Trail cut to the right away from the road at the “No Parking” sign...go over a small foot bridge and past the information board to the first boulder, the Beasley Gap Boulder. You can approach the Beast area by either hanging a right onto the logging road that cuts away from 178, before you get to the trailhead, and then taking the first logging road to the left, which will put you out at the base of the Beast area…or you can go past the Beasley Gap Boulder to the first switchback in the Palmetto Trail and follow the small trail to the right to get to the top of the area.

Remember that bouldering is a new activity to this area and others have used this land for longer than we have…respect everyone you meet and be friendly!


The Camelback Boulder above has seen few ascents...I'm on the low crux of One Hump V2 in the above picture.

I have concocted 3 circuits of around 25-35 problems each, from beginner to intermediate, that are a great way to enjoy the area. Along with the 3 circuits, there is also a unique "4 pitch boulder problem" called The Beast, that climbs the better routes up the Beast area...a great way to climb 4 V1-V2 routes back to back (to back to back)! Stay tuned next week for the release of the Beasley Gap Bouldering Guide and beta on all of the routes, circuits and The Beast!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jocasse Gorges Bouldering: Beasley Gap Video

Over the last week and some change I've spent 6 days cleaning and FA'ing some new routes at a spot called Beasley Gap in the Jocasse Gorges. Today George, Eric and I went out and caught a few of these on video...enjoy!

Stay tuned for a New Local Spot post in the next week with a full color photo topo guide and beta to the area!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Words From The Jedi Master



If you havent seen this recent interview with the Jedi Master of Bouldering, John Gill, then click on over and read away. Its refreshing to see a new interview of such an influential figure in bouldering, later on in his life/climbing career. If you havent visited Gill's website either, take a look around and soak up much of the history of our passion. Thanks to Brad Mcleod, an influential southern climber in his own right, for the interview...good work!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jocassee Gorges Bouldering


My entire intention with this website was to bring awareness to upstate bouldering resources and to use this awareness to get more, actually establish for the first time, SC bouldering access. Late last year, after a series of meetings with DNR and state park officials, we (the CCC and upstate climbers) were given our first and biggest victory yet...bouldering will be allowed in the Jocassee Gorges! Even though we have already got the OK and have done a lot of the access leg work, I have hesitated to announce that bouldering is now legal in the Jocassee Gorges for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that much of the bouldering lies on or near private property or that you must cross private property to get to the boulders. Please be patient until we can figure out safe and legal approaches to the best boulders and refrain from parking or crossing private property. More info will come out closer to the Fall of this year with info on legal approaches...but go ahead and start expecting some longer hikes (1.5-2 miles or so) in order to get to the best boulderfields (Bearfields and Jedi).


Some very important notes about the Gorges and our partners in this venture, the Department of Natural Resources. DNR prefers that we call bouldering "hiking on rocks" in order to avoid having to create specific regulations and guidelines for bouldering. Hiking is legal in the Gorges and so is scrambling on rocks, but if this was labelled as "rock climbing", then it would fall under different regulations and restrictions. This is an incredible gesture by DNR to not only allow us to boulder, but to also classify it as a different activity so it wont be unjustly regulated. DNR, the CCC and I also ask that we all respect the land and the other users of this land while we explore the peaks and valleys of some of the most beautiful land in South Carolina.


The Gorges are mainly used for its hunting and fishing resources, so be on the lookout for other users and be as nice and respectful as possible. You should also be aware of when hunting season is and display blaze/hunter orange while hiking and bouldering to ensure your own safety. Roped climbing is still illegal, but we have a request to pilot a roped climbing area so that DNR can make a better educated decision on its impact to the cliffs and immediate area. Please respect this request that DNR has made and refrain from roping up, causing problems and setting us back tons of man hours to get to this point.


The easiest area to approach is Little Eastatoee, which makes a good place to start out for beginners and there are plenty of boulders hidden in the woods to offer hard FA's to the stronger boulderers. Be on the look out in the next couple of days for a new area to be posted, Beasley Gap, that will offer a pretty fun V1-V3 circuit of boulder problems and potentially more problems for those looking to explore. Beasley Gap will be a next step for the beginners to test their skills on some crimpier and more overhanging routes...I know I've had fun developing the area and running the circuit myself!

Keep checking back from time to time for more beta on places to boulder and problem locations and information...until then, enjoy exploring!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Climbs That Normal People Can Do: Part 3

Here is the final installment of George and Adam's "Climbs That Normal People Can Do", featuring more Horse Pens action...check it out.

CTNPCD: HP40 Edition Part 3 from adam johnson on Vimeo.



If you missed the other 2...here they are.

CTNPCD: HP40 Edition Part 1 from adam johnson on Vimeo.



CTNPCD: HP40 Edition Part 2 from George Evans on Vimeo.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Climbs That Normal People Can Do: Part 2

If you didnt catch the first part of this bouldering video series, click on over and check it out. Here's the newest installment, featuring more great routes from the 40...Enjoy and let George know what you think!

CTNPCD: Horse Pens 40 (Part 2) from George Evans on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Last Weeks Trip To The Bald



Last Friday's trip to the Bald was a ton of fun. As I mentioned a few posts ago, one of my long term goals is to climb all of the easy (V0-V2) routes at the Bald (that's around 300 routes). After the last trip, I only have 2 routes in the West to finish, but quiet a few in the East...so I decided to head out East and just climb nothing but easy stuff all day. I started out by finishing up the Breakfast area by climbing Broadcast V2. After that, I started looking at a few new lines across from the Berry Patio, and the problems Franken Berry and Boo Berry, on a low boulder. I ended up sending 3 new routes on that boulder that I named after the other 3 Monster Cereals, which is what I ended up calling the boulder. Most folks have heard of Count Chocula, but few have heard about Fruit Brute and (the lamest named) Fruity Yummy Mummy. When I was a kid, I loved these cereals! I personally thought that Count Chocula V2 was the best of the 3 routes (you can see it in the photo at the top), but Fruit Brute V1 was actually a lot of fun too (you can see it in the picture below).



And here is a shot of Fruity Yummy Mummy V0...lame name and kind of a lame route, but still worth a mention.




I added them to the Rumbling Bald Blog under New Routes if you want to see their descriptions.

From here, I headed up to the Cereal area and climbed all of the V0-V2's pretty quickly. I also added Roy G Biv V3 to the send list...an exciting problem up a tall spire/arete. I climbed a lot of fun routes like the Unknown V2 and Unknown V3 on Boulder #60. I really enjoyed the underclings up the slab of the Unknown V3, worth a look if you're in the area. I also climbed a few that I felt were a little too tall for my comfort, especially with only 1 pad and no spotter, like Complete Breakfast V0 and Whole Grain V0. After finishing up the Cereal area, and enjoying watching folks run laps on the classic Cereal Wall routes, I headed east to the Middle East and tackled a few more highballs. The slab problems Shoe Gazer V0, The 6th Man V1, and Glass Jaw V0 on the Gammon Boulder felt a little airy, but not too bad without a spot. These were fun slab problems that any slab master would love, even though they weren't that hard. I added Crumpets V0 on the Black Pudding Boulder before I headed on to the Far East and a handful of routes I needed to finish over there. After sending the short and sweet problem Anole V0, I headed a couple of boulders over to the Forbidden City to finish up Supreme Harmony V2 (which really took a big bite out of me), Heavenly Purity V1 (another bite out of me) and Qian Long V1 before dropping down the trail and finishing on Right Hand Arm Wrestling V2. Right Hand Arm Wrestling had an odd feeling stretch of rock in the middle of the problem, but once past that, the problem felt really good. At this point, there was only fumes in the tank and after flailing on Crush V2 and not being able to mantle the top out on Milk of Paradise V2, I packed it up and headed home.

I felt like I had a full day of climbing and I forgot how much fun it was to just climb easy routes and enjoy the other nuances of the day, instead of focusing too much on a project or route that's too hard for me. Frixtion and Zach Lesch-Huie had a recent post about circuits and the fact that folks seem to focus more on projects instead. It inspired me to take a look at all those easy problems I haven't done instead of trying to tick something at the top of my range. These last 2 Bald sessions have been very fun and rewarding because of this attitude, and I have a renewed sense of drive while I boulder now. I encourage everyone that feels like their getting bogged down in projects to shed that skin and focus on having a fun day every now and then, packed with as many easy routes as you can fit in, and see if it gives you the same rejuvenation it gave me.

Speaking of Climbs That Normal People Can Do...if you missed the quick post right before this one, check out the new video from a couple of locals!

New Video From Some Upstate Boulderers

George and Adam have been climbing a bunch of sandstone lately and here is the first of what is going to be a set of 3 videos entitled "Climb That Normal People Can Do". Check out some fun routes at Horse Pens...

CTNPCD: HP40 (Part 1) from adam johnson on Vimeo.



Sweet video guys! Read more at George's blog and Adam's blog to find out what they've been up to.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jimmy Webb's New V13 In The Obed

If you havent heard yet, Jimmy Webb just added a tougher start to a James Litz V11, Manic Aggression, at the Canoe Hole in the Obed, Tennessee. He's calling it Manic Euphoria and graded it V13...another hard southern line! As mentioned in the last post, a new guidebook is due out in the late Spring of this year featuring the Obed's roped and boulder routes. I guess Jimmy just wanted to add a few more double digit problems to the guide before it was too late! Congrats Jimmy on another sweet send...check out his write up on his blog . Here's the video of his send...

Boulders at the Canoe Hole from Jimmy Webb on Vimeo.