Wednesday, April 20, 2011
With the rise in temps and loss of perfect sticky bouldering weather, I have almost stopped climbing completely and started mountain and road biking more and more. I like to take a little time off from climbing each year to try to heal up a few nagging injuries and focus on muscles that aren't overused, but out of shape from lack of use. Biking always helps me to shed a few pounds and mountain biking especially helps to firm my core up in order to hop and navigate the bike around and over obstacles. But after a week of riding all my favorite trails at Isaqueena, DuPont, Bent Creek, the Jocassee Gorges and the Swamp Rabbit Rail-to-Trail, I really started to miss bouldering and the challenge of sending new routes. That's always been one of the most attractive aspects of bouldering to me...progressing and climbing new routes (FA's or just new to me). I've grown so accustomed to being focused on projects and developing new areas, that I have yet to get bored with bouldering in over 10 years. Even when I'm not climbing my best, I still like to get out and climb something different or clean up a dirty route I've overlooked before. I almost forgot about that zest that bouldering gives my life over this past week of biking...and after a great road ride on and around Highway 11 the other day, I stopped off at Little Eastatoee at sunset to send a few of my favorites and work a few projects. After this short bouldering session, I felt so rejuvenated and excited again...and 2 days later I'm still excited. Ahhh...the power of bouldering!!!
One of the better boulders at Little Eastatoee is the Best Feeling boulder, seen above with routes drawn on it. There are a few slabby warm ups on the right side of the boulder and then there are 2 area classics climbing up each side of the bulbous arete. Space Together was a route I sent a couple of years back, and at the time I felt it was around a V5...but it felt like I was sending the line incorrectly and there was probably an easier way. After dialing the stand start in with a few sessions, I ticked off the sit start again and felt that it was more like a V4 than a V5. Another upstate boulderer sent the route a month or so back also and thought it was a 3 star V4...if you are in the area you should definitely take a stab at Space Together V4! A squatty sit start leads to a full length reach/deadpoint out to a small 2-3 finger, half pad crimp...get your left hand established on the slopey edge and your feet pasted to the rock perfectly and go to a small crimpy sidepull before deadpointing up to a small 2 finger divot/pocket near the top, before finishing on a pretty easy top out. After ticking off Space Together, I turned my attentions to the unsent route to the right of it...Best Feeling. Named after a Keller Williams song, and covered by String Cheese Incident, Best Feeling V3/4 is a tough stand start route that climbs similar territory as Space Together. Start with a right hand crimp on the face and left hand around the corner on a shallow, slopey crimp...get your feet established under you and super highstep your right foot onto the sloping edge below the right hand crimp. Ratchet yourself up to a couple of bumps and a slopey sidepull for the left hand and a slopey crimp below the mini-lip of the boulder for your right hand and then on to the same 2 finger pocket on Space Together and finally the top out. After goofing around with this route for a couple of years, I finally put it together for the send, and it felt so good.."it was the Best Feeling in the world"! Both of these routes are super classic feeling and climbing routes and absolutely amazing to be this accessible and close to the road! If you haven't visited Little Eastatoee yet, get out there early in the morning or around sunset and climb a few of the worthy routes at this outdoor bouldering gym!
I will be finishing up the second edition of the Little Eastatoee Bouldering Guide here soon and will make it available on this website as soon as I can get it ready. Until then, here is a route list for the photo topo of the Best Feeling Boulder seen above.
1) Space Together V4
2) Best Feeling V3/4
3) Super Scooper V0
4) Kang'Solo V0
Friday, April 15, 2011
Cruxn.com is having it's official launch right now, and you can win a $250 gift certificate from Misty Mountain or 1 of 3 Triple Crown Bouldering Series passes for later this year! Click on over to Cruxn and get in on the giveaway!!!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I have been so busy with the upcoming arrival of our baby girl and work to be able to post much lately...but I was able to rattle off a post on Cruxn.com last week on activities to do here in the Upstate of South Carolina when the weather gets too hot to boulder hard. If you havent already gone over there and checked it out...what are you waiting for?! I've included some beta for mountain biking, lake and river kayaking and swimming hole hunting...and I added a quick comment about deep water bouldering on the local lakes too. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I finally finished my retro-review of one of my favorite DVDs of all time...3 The Hard Way. 3 The Hard Way is a great climbing flick about the first ever Triple Crown Bouldering series back in 2003. For the full review and lots of "purty pictures", click on over to Cruxn.com!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sorry for the break in posting...a lot has been going on in my life lately! I have had my fair share of bouldering sessions since last I posted a trip report, but the fact that my wife is now on her last month of pregnancy and our daughter Lilly is about to arrive has taken much of my free time I might have used to post. We are so excited about this new phase in our life and cant wait to show our little girl the world we love and play in. I know it'll be a few years, but I cant wait to take her on her first boulder session in Carolina's!
I have had a chance to get out and boulder at quiet a few spots lately. A couple of weeks ago I had the week off for Spring Break, so we did a tour of the local boulderfields...North Face of Looking Glass, Granite City, Jedi, Bearfields, Little Eastatoee and Beasley Gap. I was looking forward to heading to Stone Mountain and the to Dixon for the Crushfest during my break, but the rain cancelled those plans. I wrapped up the SC bouldering season by finishing up a bunch of projects I had on my ticklist. A few that stick out in my mind are the FA's or Higher Country V4 and Bounty Hunter Traverse V4 in Jedi, Best Feeling Arete V4 at Little Eastatoee, and Eclipse Dyno V5 and Full Moon Dyno V4 at Granite City. Its always good to send those routes that you cant get out of your head, before the heat of the summer arrives and pushes those projects back to the fall season! I hope that everyone had a chance to finish up their projects before the heat rolled in and have something to motivate you and to keep you psyched until the cool temps come back around.
I have also been working on a review of one of my favorite climbing videos "3 The Hard Way" for a few weeks now, but I just cant seem to get it finished and published...but keep a look out for that real soon on both this site and Cruxn.com.