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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Friday, December 23, 2011

Annual Winter Portland Bouldering aka Climbing On Snot

The annual voyage out to Portland Oregon to spend time with my wife's family is in full swing...but this year has been sunnier than any of the previous, giving me hope of finding some dry boulders to pull down on. I made my way 30 minutes outside of Portland to the local boulderfield at Carver today (you can see the main Carver cliff in the background of the above picture), expecting to find at least a few routes to climb. I was treated to...the usual snotty conditions.

Most of the holds on most of the routes were still pretty slippery and especially on the footholds, it felt like I was trying to get friction on a wad of snot. I looked around and found a few climbs that had dry enough holds to pull on and ended up sending more than I thought I would.

I started out sending Left Arete, seen above on the Super Cool boulder, a V0 that felt more like a V2 with the slippery conditions.

From there I went around the corner to the Columbia boulder and sent another V0, Jugs, seen climbing the arete on the bigger boulder on the right side of the picture below.

After that I was feeling somewhat warmed up and hit the Carver Classic boulder and sent Go Again V1, and followed that up with a surprise send of Even More Classic V3. Go Again follows the chalked holds on the boulder to the left in the above picture and Even More Classic starts on the boulder just to the right of Go Again and moves low into the start of Go Again and climbs that same route. Both were good routes, but once again, the snotty rock conditions made these routes feel much harder than their ratings.

Almost dejected and thinking about heading out of the boulders, I decided to check out a few chalked up routes around the corner on the Dig Out boulder. I climbed the fun V0 Maintenance Men and then climbed the V1 traversing extension called Rally On Traverse.

On my way to the Dig Out boulder, I caught a glimpse of a sweet looking route on the Wrecker Anchor boulder that seemed to have perfectly dry feet (at least until the upper section) and was begging to be climbed. So I went back to the route and thumbed through the guide to find out it was Barfly Betty, one of the classic V3's at Carver. After pulling onto the starting moves and seeing that I could make my way past what seemed to be the crux, I loaded up for the send. After moving off of a low jug under a slight overhang, I matched on a sloping and slippery lip and made my way out to fall into some big sidepulls/pinches. At this point, I thought the route was over, but found myself towards the top of the route cruxing hard on some slimy holds...but I focused on a single small mushroom growing near the top out and pushed for the send. I barely snatched the top before I almost slipped off and onto a bad landing (I only have a 2'x1'x.5" start pad out here, so I really didn't want to fall). I truly enjoyed this exhilarating route and was psyched for the send...especially in such bad conditions. You can see the whole route in the above picture and the top section of sidepulls/pinches and the little shroom in the picture below.

Despite the off conditions, I really enjoyed today's session and climbing some new routes I hadnt done before. I love spending time out here with family, but it always makes me thankful for the perfect wintertime sending conditions we have in the southeast, and the plethora of great boulders we have to climb on!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Horse Pens 40 Triple Crown Video

George just recently put up a great video of the Triple Crown comp at Horse Pens 40 this past November...if you haven't checked it out over at his blog, then feast your eyes on the sends below!

Triple Crown HP40 2011 from George Evans on Vimeo.

I'm out in Portland on our usual Xmas Northwest trip...the weather might actually cooperate for me to hit some outdoor bouldering while I'm here this year, I'm psyched! I hope that everybody gets a chance to pull down on some boulders over the holidays and get their psyche on as well!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures From Table Rock Adopt A Crag

Matt Riley took some fantastic pictures of the Adopt A Crag and quiet a few pictures of the boulder session at Jedi...
Click here to check out the entire photo album!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Table Rock Adopt A Crag Was A Super Success!!!

This past weekend was a very successful Adopt A Crag at Table Rock South Carolina! With nearly 40 volunteers, the trail work took half as long as expected and included quiet a bit more work than originally thought. After meeting around 8am, the volunteers were split not 3 teams of workers to maximize the man group went all the way up to the saddle between the East Face and the Stool and worked their way back towards the beginning of the trail, another group started in the middle of the trail and the final group started at the beginning of the trail and worked towards the group in the middle. One major task was relocating the start of the trail as to avoid interrupting the cabin users when approaching the cliff (originally the trail started beside the parking for cabins 15 and 16 in the park...please use the new reroute to minimize complications between climbers and cabin users). The crew made short work of this new .1-.2 mile reroute by trimming trees, levelling trail sections and installing a fence to separate the climbers trail from the back yard of the cabins. The middle group cleared the trail as they made their way closer to the saddle and the steepest and most eroded part of the trail. With incredible efforts by all involved (especially 5 year old Phineas) a series of 20 or so rock steps were installed to minimize erosion and make the steep hike a little easier on the way in and out. If you get a chance to go up there before the season ends (December 31st), I highly recommend checking out the steps! The last group trimmed trees, removed downed trees and park staff used a chainsaw to clear the larger trees that weren't able to be carried.

After clearing the trail, installing the fence, finishing the steps and the park staff cleared out the big stuff with the chainsaw, it was only 12 noon...and everybody was treated to some incredible SC climbing! Several groups headed up to the East Face to climb some of the heady face climbs that characterize Table Rock, while another group loaded up and headed just a few miles down the road to go bouldering at both Jedi and the Bearfields. Good times were definitely had by all, and the stories around the dinner table and fire confirmed it! Around 6pm, BBQ and veggie chili was served and soon after, a raffle full of killer prizes was held, raising almost $400 and culminating in a nice North Face jacket and Mammut Rope as the 2 big prizes. A South Carolina climbing slide show and video were shown after the raffle and then the festivities started to wrap up. The park graciously donated the White Oaks campground for the weekend so all of the volunteers would have a place to stay...many thanks goes out to the park for this nice gesture! Several folks stayed around for the incredible climbing weather on Sunday as well, ending a perfect weekend of events and climbing. The climbers trail has never looked this good, and the hard work we all put in is sure to let the state parks know how much climbers love and care for their crags, approaches, and the parks that allow us to enjoy these awesome natural playgrounds. So the trail day was a HUGE success...and on top of the almost $400 raised at the raffle, Sunrift Adventures from Travelers Rest donated another $300 to bring the total raised for the CCC to around $700! A GIANT thanks to anyone that came out and worked hard to help efforts were greatly appreciated and mean more for future access than you may know! Here is a quick write up about the event from the SC rep of the CCC, Stephen Scoff...

BOO-YAH! SC TRSP Adopt A Crag!


Nearly 40 participants warmed up a sharp and frosty Saturday morning by really shaping up SC Table Rock's climbers' trail. Deadfall removal, fence and step installation, and general grunt work were cranked out by all. Thank you volunteers and park staff!!

A few remaining daylight hours allowed for some quick cragging and bouldering. (STAY TUNED: Pics coming soon!)

The complimentary BBQ and vegi chili hit the spot and we raised nearly $700 for the CCC thanks to our gear raffle and a generous cash donation from Sunrift Outfitters!

The slide show and a bit of exciting video brought the evening to a close with a great tour of NC/SC classics and obscurities.

I'd like to especially thank:

Poll Knowland and all of his park staff

Brad Caldwell, Partner in Crime

Mark Hinen, Palmetto Pig

Laurie Aker, Earth Fare The Quality Supermarket

Sunrift Outfitters

The Access Fund

The Backpacker Quality Gear

Recreational Equipment Incorporated

Matt Riley, Riles Images (Plus his wife's brownies)

Andrew McDowell and Marvin Dawson (topo creators)

MY Mom, (Awesome oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies!)

And of course all the volunteers!!

Thanks again and I look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Stephen Scoff

I have a few pictures still in my camera of the evening festivities and Matt Riley will also be posting some pictures soon that I'll link to in a future post.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick Trip To The Bald

With the end of the semester comes a few opportunities for me to get away a little early from work and head up to the Bald for a chill afternoon session...and yesterday was a great day for it! I've had a hit list of routes I've been wanting to tick off for a long time and one of my main goals at the Bald has been to climb all of the V0-V2 routes there (which is around 300+ routes) and to send all of the 3 star classics that are V3 and below. My last 3 star classic V3 was Red Clouds Above in the Southeast area on the East Side, which can be seen riding up the oblique seam/crack in the pictures. I've worked this problem a few times before and honestly couldn't make ANY headway on it, even from a stand just seemed to perplex my body as to which way to move and pivot to stay on the rock. So, with that goal in mind, I took off to the Bald ready to test out the healing tweaked finger and hopefully mark Red Clouds off of my hit list!

I first headed over to the Eight Ball and Winter Of '99 boulders to warm up, and I sent all of the routes (Winter Of '99 V0, Winter Of '06 V1, Eight Ball V1, Corner Pocket V2 and a V1 traverse that went out left below Corner Pocket) on both of these boulders first try. I felt strong warming up and had high hopes heading over to Red Clouds Above. Once at the Red Clouds boulder, I flashed Lizard's Lounge V2 first and then felt like I could flash Red Clouds...until I sat for the start and fell soon after making the first move or so. Its at that point that I realized I was getting seriously pumped! So I started working the stand start and sent the top half of the problem a few times before I tried the sit start again. Being confident that I could send if I could just get my feet under me instead of under the roof, I flailed and flailed on the SDS for about 30 minutes before it just came together and I linked into the stand start and topped out...I was so stoked to finally send this fun and classic problem! I put a couple of bad pictures in this post, I only had my phone for a camera and the sun was setting fast, so the lighting was bad...or at least that's my excuse for putting up such fuzzy pictures;) After the send I noticed my hands were practically numb from pulling so hard and not giving up on the final send, and then I noticed that I had a nice big pinky flapper (on the middle phalanx, below the top knuckle). After taping it up and feeling near spent, I decided to just hit a few cool down routes at the Breakfast area and take off. While sending the Unknown V2 on the Warm Up boulders, right at the entrance to the Breakfast boulders, I realized that I had put my crashpad in some dog poo:(

I was furious that some moronic boulderer or hiker would allow their dog to take a shit right in the middle of a landing zone and not have the decency to clean it up...knowing that if they didn't clean it up that other boulderers would end up putting themselves or their gear in it!!! I'm not one to let too much shenanigans go on in a boulderfield and not say something to the idiots causing the problems, its called taking personal responsibility...and I expect that out of everyone that boulders at the Bald. If you just HAVE to take your dog to the Bald (pretty much a bad idea from the get go due to all the reoccurring problems dogs have created over the last 5 or so years at the Bald), then please keep them under control, on a leash and for god's sake, please clean up their poo and pack it out with you...leave no trace applies to boulderers and their dogs! If you see some moron letting their dog cause problems, then don't be afraid to stand up to whomever it is and let them know that is not acceptable...even if it was John Sherman, John Gill or Chris Sharma is all of our responsibility to tell folks that are jeopardizing all of our access to straighten up or get the hell out!!! I have 2 dogs myself, and love them to death and enjoy taking them with me on hikes and the occasional boulder session, but I always have my dogs under control and never allow them to cause these sorts of serious general though, I just leave them at home to avoid any problems all together. If you are not willing to take personal responsibility for your dog, and realize that you will have to sacrifice part of your bouldering experience in order to do so, then just don't bring your dog with you...its that simple! If you aren't prepared to keep them on a leash and pick up after them, then leave them at home or just don't show up at the local bouldering areas!!!