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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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Free Bouldering Tours...Again!

I just wanted to link up to my post on Cruxn, in case its more informative than the previous post on the Bouldering Tour Giveaway!

Get your entries in and share your favorite boulder route with the Upstate Bouldering community!

Monday, August 29, 2011

WNC Local Spot-Corner Rock

I'm not going to act like I'm an expert of this area near fact, I still haven't gone up to check the area out. But with so many hard problems and with easy access, this place is destined to see more use! Dave Sharratt has put some great topos and a nice video up on of the place, so click on over there and check it out! I hope he doesn't mind me reposting the video, its got some great climbing in it!!!

Corner Rock, North Carolina bouldering from david sharratt on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Upstate Bouldering Sponsors Adopt-A-Crags...Win A Bouldering Tour!!!

Upstate Bouldering is proud to announce that it will be sponsoring 2 upcoming Adopt-a-crag days!!! As I’ve mentioned in many recent posts, there are 2 local Adopt-a-crag days coming this fall/early winter, the WNC Climbers Weekend/Looking Glass Trail Day on September 24th and the Table Rock SC Trail Day on December 10th, and I have decided to officially sponsor each one of these events! So what does that mean to you??? Besides seeing a couple of snazzy new UB Sasquatch logos on some flyers and t-shirts…

Free Stuff!!!

Specifically, the chance to win 1 of 5 free bouldering tours at each event! Fox Guides will guide for the tour of the Looking Glass and Cedar Rock boulders on September 24th and I will personally guide a tour of some of the best Jocassee Gorges boulders on December 11th, the day after the Table Rock SC Trail Day.

How do you win one of these insider’s tours of such incredible areas???

Easy…post a comment on this page or send me an e-mail with a picture, video link or just a description of your favorite boulder problem from the Western North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina or Northeast Georgia areas! I will also give everyone that follows Upstate Bouldering on e-mail (see the link at the top of the page) an extra chance to win!!! Send me your favorite boulder problem stuff and follow Upstate Bouldering on e-mail and you'll have 2 chances to win one of the awesome bouldering tours!
It doesn’t matter if it is a V0 or a V10, a lowball or a highball, a well known or obscure route, rated highly in a guidebook or a piece of garbage in many folks’ eyes…send in the name of the problem, the area its located and a reason why it’s your favorite problem, along with any pictures or video links (send the url, youtube or vimeo link) you might want to add and you’ll be entered to win! 5 Winners will be chosen at random out of all that enter and I will announce the winners for each of the 5 bouldering tours 1 week before the trail day! If you would like to go ahead and book a slot on the Looking Glass and Cedar Rock tour on September 24th, then click here and follow the link on the Fox Guides page…if you win a tour from Upstate Bouldering, and you’ve already signed up, then you can bring a friend along and give the tour to them!

Also, if you havent noticed Upstate Bouldering's ads in the new Dixon Guidebook, then look again or order your guidebook! The UB Mountain Silhouette ad shows Table Rock, Pinnacle Mountain and some of the best bouldering in the Upstate that's hidden in the Jocassee Gorges near these prominent SC images.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

WNC Climbers Weekend Bouldering Tour!

If you haven't signed up for the Bouldering Tour of Pisgah at the WNC Climbers Weekend coming up on September 24th, what are you waiting for? This is a rare chance to get shown around some of the best boulders in the WNC area, by a local with lots of knowledge that you cant find on paper anywhere!!! A $20 donation to the CCC is next to nothing to pay to see these incredible boulders and routes and have a sweet guided tour of one of the most beautiful areas in the Southeast. The webpage says that boulders at Looking Glass and Cedar Rock will be toured, and I for one am stoked to see some boulders I haven't ever seen before up on Cedar Rock! Click on the 2 highlighted links in this post to take you to the info page on the WNC Climbers Weekend and the registration form for the Bouldering Tour.

Dixon Guidebook Is Here!

So the Dixon Boulders Guidebook has finally hit the hands of those that had preoredered it...and it is a nice addition to the NC and bouldering guidebook collections! Thicker than expected and chocked full of great info, the guidebook doesn't disappoint! I plan on posting a review of the guidebook, along with an interview with the author, Matt Bielejeski, early next week. If you haven't ordered one yet, what are you waiting for? The morning temps are hinting that fall is just around the corner and the Dixon boulders will soon be in prime condition for sending! Order your guidebook today and help out the CCC, the organization that has helped you out by procuring access to these and other incredible boulders across the Carolina!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sasquatch Boulders

I posted a new logo of a bouldering sasquatch/yeti on my previous post to hint at things to come...towards the end of this past spring's bouldering season, I went up to a new small set of boulders I had had my eye on for a couple of years. The approach was a little hideous, straight up a steep hill, and the boulders were well hidden and very elusive to track down. Due to the solitude and remoteness of the area and how it eluded me for a couple of years before I finally tracked these boulders down, I decided to call them the Sasquatch Boulders. I had originally wanted to use this name for the top half of the Jedi boulders, but the reference was soon lost and that area just became known as the "Top of Jedi". I immediately started development of the boulders on my first visit and sent around 15 or so routes in the V0-V3 range. I'm still in the process of developing all of the routes in this area, and with the temps soon to drop, hopefully I can finish the initial routes up very soon. With the end of this initial wave of development, I plan on releasing a mini-guidebook, similar to the Beasley Gap Boulders, to the area so everyone else can enjoy these new routes too...until then, here's a look at one of the topo's and one of the better projects, route "b":)

If you are in this area and want to get in on a day or two of route development, shoot me an e-mail ( and we'll try to organize a day to get out and send some new stuff!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jocassee Gorges Boulders Clean Up Days

I'm planning on having a few mini-clean up days for some of the bouldering areas in the Jocassee Gorges of upstate SC! Unfortunately, many of the local "outdoorsmen" tend to throw out their trash near several bouldering areas and I think its time we lead by example and show the land managers, DNR, that unlike some of the other user groups, we're willing to clean up instead of destroy these beautiful foothills. Besides picking up litter, we'll also make minor adjustments to approach trails by clearing debris or downed limbs so pad people can have an unempedded path to the boulders. The best day to avoid hunters will be on Sundays and I wanted to do them in October or November so the temps would be great for a big boulder session after the clean up! If you would be interested in helping out and getting a tour of some of SC's boulders, please let me know and I'll start organizing for the Sunday that fits into most people's schedule. I dont mind grilling out afterwards to feed everybody too:)

E-mail me at or pm me on the CCC site (my user name is "phoenixfire") to get in on this chance to get the best tour of these local boulders you could ever get and help keep them pristine for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Updated info about the Dixon Boulders Guidebook

Matt Bielejeski got in touch with me last week about some changes that have happened with the Dixon School Road Boulders Guidebook. There is a new, snazzy cover (seen above) and the internal pages are now going to be high quality black and white...but besides that, its going to deliver all the beta mentioned in the previous post! Don't forget folks, a major portion of the proceeds for this guidebook will be donated to the CCC to directly affect another NC bouldering mecca, Rumbling Bald! This is a incredible opportunity to get some much needed info on the Dixon Boulders, with great problems on par with the Bald, and help pay off the West Side Boulders all at the same time...for me, that just sounds like a win-win situation for everybody. Thanks again Matt for giving back to the organization that helps to maintain access at ALL of NC and SC's boulderfields!!! Here are some updated images you can expect to see in the new Dixon Guidebook...don't forget that the guidebook is expected to arrive in folks' (that have already ordered) mailboxes any day now AND with fall arriving soon, its best to get the guidebook at the beginning of the season so you can conquer as many routes as possible this year!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Upcoming Adopt-A-Crags and Summer Trips

Wow...I didn't think it would take this long to get this post out, but having a kid really does change your life (and free time)! Now that the Fall semester has begun, I should have a little more time, while Lily is hanging out with Nanna, to get posts out a little more regularly...and there are lots of things happening this fall to post about! If you haven't heard about the Western NC Climbers Weekend/Looking Glass Trail Day and Pisgah Boulder Tour or even more local, the first ever Table Rock, SC Adopt-A-Crag, then save some dates and join a bunch of like minded hooligans in helping out with some trail work and then enjoying some climbing/bouldering and good times afterwards! I am also trying to find out if anyone would like to get together on a few Sundays in September and October, tour some of the boulderfields in the Jocassee Gorges and clean up litter and do some minor trail work. If you would be interested in meeting up one Sunday, doing trail work for a couple of hours and then bouldering for the rest of the day, get in touch with the e-mail link at near the top of the page or just leave a comment on this post, and we'll get something organized. I thought this would be a good way for folks that dont have much experience bouldering in the Gorges could get a tour of some of the boulders and give back at the same time!!!

This summer has been focused on my daughter Lily more than anything else...and with that and the unbearable heat, I lost a good bit of muscle and gained a few unwanted pounds. So I'm really looking forward to the cooler temps and chances to steal away to the local boulders and get back into bouldering shape!

Besides a few bouldering day trips to Granite City, the North face of Looking Glass, and the Nowhere and Roadside Boulders, my big trip this summer was to Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia, last month. Only an hour or so north of Boone, NC and just a hog snort north of the NC/VA border, Grayson Highlands is an incredible summer destination for the Southeast boulderer. Aaron Parlier has put the place on the map with his voluminous work on Mountain Project, and is in the process of writing a guidebook to this scenic area. We made the 4 hour trip last year and stayed at a sweet cabin only 3 miles from the gates to the park…so we went with the same plan this year too. Highlands Hideaways has some reasonable prices for a variety of lodgings with all the luxuries a climber needs. We stayed for 4 days and despite the daily rainfall, I got to boulder for 2 sessions each day!

We arrived at Grayson in the early afternoon, and after dropping the wife and sleeping baby off at the cabin, I headed straight to the Contact Station Boulders to check out True Grit, one of the ultra-classics in the park...turns out that unless you have some damn strong pulleys and tendons, the crimps on this route feel like hell and flow very oddly. After not wanting to tweak a tendon, I stepped around the corner to the Periscope and Ranger Rick Boulders and ran into Jim Horton, one of the Triple Crown Bouldering Comps Co-Organizers, and some of his friends.

I was still pretty cold and needed to warm up a little, but I jumped in with them anyway and was barely thwarted by Periscope V3, Bombsight V3 (both of which can be seen on the photo above...Bombsight goes up and left while Periscope heads out and right to finish on the top point) and Ranger Rock SDS V4. Jim and pals sent these with style, while I sent some V0's and V1's to warm up, and then we headed down to the Contact Boulder where I repeated Copperhead V3. From here the other guys took off and I headed up to the Listening Rock area and sent some more easier warm ups. After feeling warm and ready to pull harder, I headed back and sent Periscope V3 & Bombsight V3 without a hiccup. I sat under Ranger Rock SDS V4 looking up at what boils down to a 1-2 crimpy move V4. After a few tries and feeling like it wasn't going to go, my shoes stuck the starting holds just enough to allow me to bump up to and past the bad crimp and send what would be my hardest route of the trip. I felt on top of the world, right out of the gate and had high hopes for more quality sends for the other 3 days. Below is the Ranger Rick Boulder...

The next 3 days were not as productive as the first...

I climbed at the Listening Rock area a good bit and sent some fun lines like The Hive V3 (seen in the above photo) and Lingual Arete V2/3 (seen in the photo below).

We went up to the Highlands Area, hung out with almost 20 wild ponies at one time, and sent a few fun routes while we were up there. This was the first time I hit the Highlands Welcoming Boulder and I actually really enjoyed these odd, shorter routes. The other area that I enjoyed was the Fantastic Four area, near the entrance to the park. I enjoyed sending Quartz Caterpillar V1 and the lower start version of the route, Metamorphosis V3 on the Thing Boulder. Besides these highlights, I also checked out the Campground Area and I went back to explore a little more in the Picnic Area, but I didn't send anything worth a mention there.

Overall, it was a great getaway from the oppressive heat of the South Carolina summer, and I was glad to tick off a few fun routes I hadn't sent before!

As I mentioned, hopefully my posting wil pick up and I'll be putting out some more content a little bit more regularly. I've still got some reviews coming of Flashed crasphpads and a variety of brushes...they're taking a little longer than I expected, but they should be out here soon:)