Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Recent Sessions: Lilly Boulders and Rumbling Bald
I was able to get out to a couple of my favorite boulderfields over the past weekend...the Lilly Boulders in the Obed in Tennessee and the West Side Boulders at Rumbling Bald! After spending so much time in Knoxville with my wife while she was finishing up grad school, I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time at the Lilly Boulders, as well as Little Rock City. It's always nice to get back to the Lilly Boulders, smell the familiar smells of the forest, see the brilliant mosses and ferns covering the boulders and feel the freedom the boulderfield always seems to deliver. To be on the small side, Lilly always seems to have a few routes I haven't sent yet in my grade range, and the new guidebook has helped unify older comp guides and give much better directions to routes that used to be cryptically hidden amongst the lush green forest. The Dungeon was finally dry compared to most of my more recent trips to Lilly, and I finally got to send Shackles V2...this thing climbs so well and tops out high enough off the ground to make your sphincter pucker, in other words, a perfect boulder problem! From there I sent Crusty Bugger V1, Skidmarks V1 and Stankfoot V1 before sending Swamp Thing V3, all on the Lilly Pad Boulder. None of these routes were that spectacular, but still fun to resend. I followed that up with a send of Ivory's V3 on the Piano Boulder, a fun overhanging ride up some edges to a straightforward mantle...pretty fun route! I finished up working Ninja With Scissors V4, but couldn't figure out the slopey top out mantle before the sun faded and the fireflies where swimming around me. I packed up and hiked out with the light from the full blue moon...a perfect ending to another awesome session at Lilly!!!
On my way back from Lilly, I stopped off at Rumbling Bald, another VERY familiar and favorite boulderfield. I had gotten a chance to hit the Bald the weekend before Labor Day, when the temps were mild and humidity was down and sent everything on the Teardrop Boulder, Mid Air Prayer V4, the Unknown V3 beside Mid Air Prayer, and Mantle V2 on the Short Crack Boulder. I then headed over to the One Time Use Boulder and sent all the easy routes on it before sending One Time Use V4 for the first time! Bald V4's are not easy for me to send, so I was stoked to add another to the list!
On the way back from Knoxville though, I stopped by with the clouds looking ominous and the humidity and temps too high to get the best friction. I still managed to send all of the routes on the Simpsons Boulder, then hit the Fun Filled Boulder (am I the only one that still calls this thing by its original name, The Arcade?) to send the plethora of easy V0-V1's before sending Unknown V3 (40d in the guidebook) for the first time, and following that up with a send of Right Silliness V3. The Unknown V3 and Right Silliness were new sends for me, so I was pretty excited to tick off 2 new V3's I hadn't sent yet! As I was topping out Right Silliness, the heavens opened up and started pouring on me...I packed up frantically, ran out of the boulderfield and got to the car right as it REALLY started to pour buckets! Good thing I like to pack much of my gear in dry bags:)
These 3 sessions definitely gave me the feeling that I was getting ready for the better conditions in the fall and making progress towards being prepared to crush some projects when the time is right!!! I hope everyone has had a chance to get out and climb something somewhere and get that same excitement and anticipation for the coming bouldering season...if not...what are you waiting for???