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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Monday, January 30, 2012

Float The Boat 2012

This past Saturday was a beautiful day in Atlanta for the annual Float The Boat bouldering competition at Boat Rock! Boat Rock is one of my personal favorite areas to boulder in the Southeast, and Float The Boat is my favorite comp every year (yep, even more than the Triple Crown comps), mainly because of the similarity to the style of bouldering common in the Upstate and Jocassee Gorges that is dominated by slab problems. I didn't make it to last years comp, so this is the first year I've competed in the "Geritol" division (for all of y'all out there that didn't realize I was that old school) which is for folks 35 and up. You can see the crowd gathering before the comp and some shoe companies offering demo shoes to try out during the comp in the picture above. I didn't get any pictures of actual climbing during the comp, because I was too busy climbing. I ended up getting the highest score I had ever gotten in the comp, which was very satisfying considering that I haven't been able to do much bouldering in the last month or so, and in the process I sent a couple of new routes I hadn't sent before. My biggest point routes among my 10 routes that counted were Deweese Slab V4 (new route for me) and Marvin Webb Slab V3/4, and then I filled in the rest of my score card with a bunch of V3's (Nosey Women, which was the other new route for me, The Shield, Yellow Mon, Spiderman, Lost Digits, Rockhouse Traverse, Sourwood Arete, and Dream Scoop). When it was all over, I was very close to a podium spot (less than 20 points away if I read the final score tallies correctly), so I ended up settling on 4th out of around 10 or so competitors in my division. I love to try to compete at a comp, but its usually just with myself, but I was hoping that I had done enough to get at least 3rd...even though I fell short, I had a great time, I still beat my personal best from previous years, and feel even more motivated for next years comp.

Now to turn the focus back to local areas and projects (found a sweet new boulder with 4 awesome projects, only a 5 minute walk from my house) before this warm winter heats up even more and puts a premature end to the Southeast bouldering season. The CCC and I are still in the process of working towards access in the State Parks and on State Forest lands and hopefully will have some new news by the time the Jocassee Gorges Trail Day comes around on March 24th!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day!!!

That's right folks...the first ever Jocassee Gorges Bouldering Trail Day has been scheduled for March 24th 2012!!! Put that date on your calender, ask off of work, tell the wife and kids they need to fend for themselves that day (or bring them with you) and come help clean up the parking areas and trails to the easy access bouldering areas in Jocassee! All of the plans are still in the work, but the date is set and its sure to be a great time. If you weren't able to make the Table Rock Adopt A Crag, this is your chance to give back to the local area and maybe even discover a new spot to shred your tips. If you were at the Table Rock Trail Day, then please continue your support by coming out and helping us with this project too. The more folks that get involved, the better the trail day will be. After the morning work (scheduled from 8:30am-1pm), we'll take to the pebbles and wrastle as many routes out of them as we can! Camping will be available only 10 minutes from many of the boulders and a good time is guaranteed to be had by all! Click on over to the CCC announcement for all of the details! And also check out some of the pictures of some Gorges bouldering after the Table Rock Trail Day at this address...

Below are a few pictures of boulders in the Jocassee Gorges too...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Life, New Guidebook, Recent Route Development and Float The Boat 2012

So...I haven't really posted much lately, even though I've had the time off from work for the holidays...I've had my hands full with all sorts of other fun stuff. The main distraction (not like its a bad thing) from posting is my daughter, Lily. I've tried to dedicate more time to being with her and helping out with all of the usual baby duties (or doodies, either way). I haven't been bouldering much, maybe once a week, compared to before Lily arrived, usually 4-6 days a I have a lot less to talk about on the blog lately. I've also been focusing a lot of my efforts on publishing a set of guidebooks to the Upstate Bouldering areas that I talk about on this website...basically a souped up version of the mini-guides I have made available on this site with updated info, new routes and more local info on other activities to enjoy. I'll definitely let everyone know when the first edition of the main guidebook has been released...I plan on selling it for as cheap as I can and a major portion (if not all) of the sells will be donated to the CCC to help with future boulder purchases!

The times I have been able to get out and grope some stone have been great though! I have been sessioning at many of the local boulderfields, Little Eastatoee, Beasley Gap, Bearfields and Jedi, and sending a few new FA's almost every time out. I have added around 20 new routes, from V0-V4/5 at Bearfields and Jedi in the last week or so and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Some of the highlights have been Crocodile Smile V4 that has 2 powerful high step and rock over moves to a blank bulging Font-esque slab, Terrapin Station V5 (aka Friday the 13th) which is a tricky steep slab that has been a long time open project (sent that last Friday, the 13th), Tiger In A Trance V3 that requires a stretched out, marginal toe stab in order to move through the cruxy deadpoint to the top, and Storm Shadow V2 and Snake Eyes V4 that both start on some super sharp and painful crimps and Snake Eyes traverses on more of the same crimps before an exciting top out, while Storm Shadow skips the crimp traverse and traverses into the same finish by using some tricky slab moves. Just before the Table Rock Trail Day, I also FA'ed a super long term project I called Cryptical Envelopment V5 which starts on Walter's Wild Ride and moves around the bulging arete to finish on the same top out as Grind Of Sound Mind and Ground Chicken V4/5, a different start to George Evans's route, Grind Of Sound Mind V5.

After being a little more sessile and feeling disconnected from bouldering a little, I have had a big fear that by climbing would take a big hit and I'd never be able to send much harder than a V3 again...but these sessions have helped me to see that I can still concentrate and project routes as hard as I ever have. V4 and V5 are not easy to me and to add a handful of these lately has definitely been fulfilling!

I'm also super stoked to be travelling down to the Dirty Dirty (Atlanta) for the Float The Boat bouldering comp this coming weekend! It's always a good time with friends you already know and friends you meet during the comp...I haven't been to Boat Rock much lately, but I'm so looking forward to getting back to one of my favorite Southeast boulderfields and hopefully sending some new routes!

Be on the lookout for an upcoming clean up/trail day for the bouldering areas in the Jocassee Gorges...we plan on helping out with the areas I mention here on this site and possibly bigger projects that could finally provide a better access to Jedi and the Bearfields without a nearly 3 mile hike in!