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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Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Southeastern Guidebooks On The Horizon

If you haven't heard yet, there are a couple of new Southeastern guidebooks with release dates rapidly approaching!

Greener Grass Publishing has a new guidebook coming out in the beginning of July...and it has just recently become available for a discounted pre-sale. The Obed: A Climber's Guide To The Wild And Scenic by Kelly Brown will be the definitive guide to one of my all time favorite places to climb, boulder, and swim when all of that gets too hot to do! I've posted many times about the time I've spent in Knoxville with my wife, then girlfriend/fiance, while she was finishing up grad school at the University of Tennessee...and my happiness with hitting the Obed a couple of times a week as my local crag. I mainly bouldered at the Lilly Boulders, but Obed was where I also cut my teeth sport climbing and made plenty of lasting memories with my wife. Andy Wellman at Greener Grass has been kind, again (he's been so awesome to hook me up with copies of the HP40 Guidebook and LRC Guidebook to review in the past!), to me by sending me a copy to review hopefully this week or next. To honor his trust in my reviews, we're scheduling a road trip to K-Vegas and The Obed for one of the coming weekends! Take a peek at a sample of the guidebook if you haven't already.

Here's an excerpt from Greener Grass...
"The Obed Wild and Scenic River is a magical landscape of meandering rivers, dense forests, breath-taking vistas, and for the climber – miles upon miles of sandstone cliffs. Located in Northeastern Tennessee, about an hour outside of Knoxville, the Obed has been a secluded and peaceful climber hangout for more than 30 years. Originally a traditional only climbing area, the early 90’s sport climbing revolution transformed the Obed into one of the finest sport climbing areas in the United States. Known for its unrelenting steepness, the Obed is host to the largest collection of horizontal roofs (equipped for your climbing pleasure) anywhere in North America. The rock at the Obed is a very smoothly textured, but well featured version of beautiful Cumberland Sandstone that many climbers describe as nearly perfect. Combine these amazing attributes with one of the friendliest and easy going climber campgrounds to be found – Del’s Lilly Pad – located mere minutes from an assortment of crags, and you have a playground that should be a mandatory visit for all traveling climbers.

The Obed: A Climber’s Guide to the Wild and Scenic is the first ever exclusive and comprehensive guide to the climbing at the Obed. Included within are a lifetime’s worth of routes found at six separate crags – The Obed, Y–12, Lilly Bluff, North Clear Creek, South Clear Creek, and Little Clear Creek – as well as a complete guide to the largest and most popular bouldering area in Northeastern Tennessee – the Lilly Boulders. The book is authored by Kelly Brown, a longtime Knoxville local, and one of the primary route developers at the Obed. Kelly has had a life long relationship with the Obed, where many of his most powerful and memorable experiences have taken place, and does a fantastic job of sharing both his love for the area as well as more than 20 years of history that only he knows."

If you are planning on getting a copy of the guidebook, you might as well click on over, get a $5 off discount, be entered in a $200 road trip drawing, and help support the Eastern Tennessee Climbers Coalition at the same time! If you've never been to The Obed or haven't heard of it before, then do yourself a favor and visit won't be disappointed!

The other guidebook I wanted to mention is just being finalized and is getting ready to be sent off to the printers...The Dixon Boulders Guidebook should be out pretty soon also! If you have never been by the Dixon Boulders, or Dixon School Road (DSR) Boulders, at Crowder's Mountain State Park in North Carolina, you should really check them out. Sometimes referred to as the Buzzard Roost, the Dixon boulders have had a jaded history of kind of legal, to being completely poached, to now being completely legal and encouraged! Thanks to the work of the NC State Parks and the Carolina Climbers Coalition, the Boulders Area of Crowder's Mountain State Park were officially added to the legal bouldering scene last year, and thanks to Matt Bielejeski, the guidebook isn't too far behind. I've always found Dixon to be very similar, but very, very different from the roped climbing at Crowder's...lots of sharp edges, but a different variety of features. If you're interested in the latest on Dixon and on the Guidebook (he's looking for pre-sale numbers and advertisements right now), check out the "Dixon School Road Bouldering" group on Facebook...its a great community to ask questions and share pictures and info with! I'll be reviewing this guidebook also when it's hot off the presses, so stay tuned. I'll also be interviewing Matt soon about the guidebook and his other passion...making and enjoying techno music.

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