Monday, July 2, 2012
Local WNC Spot-107 Boulders
The 107 Boulders
The 107 Boulders are a small set of intimidating boulders on the side of Highway 107, just outside of Glenville, North Carolina. Not only are some of the routes tall with powerful committing moves, but they are RIGHT beside the sometimes busy highway…making it feel like you gotta climb your best. Fully exposed to the sun and within a quick drive of Cashiers and Western Carolina University, these boulders make a great spot to crank down to prep for the next road trip, after class or work sessions or as you’re driving through the hills on your way to another destination. I’ve passed by these boulders for many years on my way to paddle the Nantahala and Tuckaseegee Rivers, and always wondered if there were any routes on those oddly convenient boulders…ends up there are…and some of them are pretty damn good!
The boulders tend to be a little tall and some have bad landings…but it cant be denied that it just makes for some very proud routes! The routes follow either slabby lines up a pebbled face or pulling hard on sharp crimps and some slopers. Overall though, there is a small variety of shapes, sizes and height of boulders and surely everyone can find at least a route or 2 to satisfy them. If you aren’t accustomed to climbing outside, and even if you are, this place might eat your skin in less than an hour.
Justin Briggs drove the development of this area and created the topo and “107 Boulders Guide”…full credit to him, his vision of sending these routes, creating and making available the downloadable topo and guide and putting this little spot on the local bouldering map. Justin is seen crushing the classics in the videos in this post. Andrew Blease was extremely kind in providing me with the “107 Boulders Guide”, so I could make it available in this post, and also for the beta posted on Mountain Project that turned me on to these boulders in the first place. Thanks and all the credit goes to these guys for their hard work!
Check out Justin giving a tour of the classics…
And on the FA of Dendrophiliac V9…
From Cashiers, North Carolina, drive approximately 7 miles north on Highway 107 to the obvious boulders on the left side of the road, You’re most likely to drive past it the first time, so slow down and turn around at the recycling station on your left, just after the oncoming traffic splits into 2 lanes, on your way down the hill. From WCU campus, head south on HWY 107 for 20 minutes or so. Look for boulders on the right after the road opens up into 2 lanes. Park on gravel road.
Toss out the pads…
Season and Route Recommendations:
I recommend (if you can stand the attention from the oncoming traffic) every route on the Front Door Boulder, especially Carolina Bamboo V3…well worth stopping for alone. Along with Carolina Bamboo, I liked Triple-B V3, Horizontal Waterfall V3 & V4, Saddle Up V2 and Thorn In My Side V1. I visited when some of the boulders and trails between boulders were becoming thickly covered with spring and summer growth, but it seems like the routes I recommended above will remain climbable most of the year. The best time of year for these boulders seems to be fall-spring.
Cut, paste and print up the picture and guide below to a Word document to create a hard copy version of the 107 Boulders Guide...
Directions: From WCU campus, head South on HWY 107 for 20 minutes or so. Look for the boulders on the right after the road opens up into 2 lanes. Park on gravel road. Toss out the pads…
1. Carolina Bamboo- V3 Sit start in middle of face, up on sidepulls, trend left on slopey ledge, big move to horn, keep it together for the mantle.
2. Hetch Sketchy –V1 Tall black slab
3. Short Project… Start on slopey sidepull, go up left to rounded top(v7-8??)
4. Thorn in My Side- V1 Start in seam, follow crack up and left
5. Triple B- V3 Start on ramp, climb straight up and over slopey bulge
6. Blue Heron- V1 Slab to the right of arete
7. Downclimb or V0
8. Easy E- V0
9. Saddle Up- V2 Start same as Cellar Door move through jugs to slopey ledge
10. Cellar Door- V9 Start on pinch and sloper, trend right then at lip up and left on more slopers, crux at the top…
11. Way Off- V0 Start on crystals trend up and right on crack, finish above undercling
12. This is for Babies- V1 Start to the right of Way Off on crystals go straight up
13. Push and Pull… Start on crystals to the right of Babies, go straight up
14. Bulge Project… Start on slopey block, climb up blunt prow (v8-9??)
15. Teaches of Peaches- V0 Layback crack
16. Whispering Eye- V8 Sit Start on crystals crimps, big moves to gain slopey crimps at lip, move left along lip to the apex of the boulder
17. Crap in a Bag- V3 Start on sloper and arête, climb face to jug and top out
18. Uncleaned potential line…
19. Project… Start on big undercling, gain juggy sidepull, throw for crimp rail(v10ish)
20. Rock the Boat- V4 Start at the lowest point of the lip, follow slopey lip up and right
21. Dendrophiliac- V9 Sit start low on undercling crimp, move to pinch and crimp, big move into jug sidepull, pull up on arête, move right to the slopey lip, mantle the large sloper on the slab / Project Variation: 21a. low right start on crimpy sidepull, big iron cross move to come into Dendrophiliac(v11-12??)
22. Uncleaned crazy line…
23. Find your Balls- V5 Sit start just left of Dendrophiliac, move up and left on pinch rail, pull through to left facing seam, go straight up from crystals above seam
24. Horizontal Waterfall aka “The River”- V3 from the right/ V4 from the left: Sit Start on sidepull(right) or undercling(left) , move up through pinch/undercling to slopers and top
25. A New Beginning- V5 Sit Start low on right facing sidepull , gain obvious jug, use pinches and sidepulls to top / Variation: 25a. Beginning Anew- V6 Start low in break on the left, climb into same finish
26. Revamp- V2 Start in jug break, climb up arête and over bulge
27. Hallway project…. Stand start on blocky holds at head height, go straight up without using the arête (V7ish??)
28. Vendetta- V4 Start on arête and sidepull, climb up triangle feature to slopey top
29. Milk Thistle- V3 Stand Start in jug sidepulls, climb up and left on slopey slab features
30. Crunchy Arete- V1 Just around the arête and left of Milk Thistle. Stand start by pinching the arête and mantling. Smear and bump to top.
31. More hard slab projects… start in crystal band, go straight up to juggy crystals, top out around 25 feet…
32. Ultimate arête project… start on blunt arête crystals, trend up right on slopey arête until squeezing prow, top out around 30 feet…
33. Andrew’s slab- V0 Choose right or left line
34. Easy slab problems- Multiple easy slab, take your pick
35. Giant scary arête!!!
36. New line- needs cleaning
37. Uncleaned slopey traverse
38. More uncleaned potential
39. Shortie- V1 Start on jug, hit the top
40. Crazy crack project…
Any questions, comments, new problems, or whatever- call/ email me
Justin (847)-471-9834 / Justinisnot@gmail.com