2 posts in 2 weeks… I’m stepping my game up…
The Friday before last was spent taking Adam on a tour of the new(ish) lines in the Bearfields before the trail day up there the following Saturday. We put some effort into one of the projects up there which should turn out really nice, besides a nasty spray paint mark right on the face. CT… what were you trying to tell us?
Saturday was the trail day, which ended up having a nice turnout of 15 or so folks from Columbia and the Greenville area. We cleaned up a lot of trail (the new approach will be quite a bit longer, unfortunately, especially to the areas west of the Bearfields.) and also hooked up Jedi with a nice set of steps up to the Use the Force boulder. Several large downed trees were removed from the section of the trail between the logging road and the Bearfields. I had to roll out at lunchtime, just as everybody started to climb, but managed to get a quick lap in on the meat grinder problems as well as a few others in the warmup area. Here’s a video of a little circuit I’ve been running in the Bearfields this fall. Slaaabbbsssssssssss
Needing some time on steeper ground, I daytripped Boone Sunday with Brazell. It was warm. 65 degrees the first weekend in December? C’MON SON. Despite the warm (but pleasant) weather, we managed to enjoy the day and climb some nice new lines. We headed straight to upper lost cove and both got on a nice tall face called Foreign Land (V3ish) which was really nice, if for no other reason than to break up the heinous hike a bit. We continued on up towards the top of the mountain to let Brazell get on his project, Downward Dog (V9/10). While he spread out the pads, I ran up top to find and check out Apocalypse Prow (V7). This has to be one of the finest lines I’ve ever seen. Very psyched to get back up there and try it, if I can ever get someone to spot and try it with me psyched on the hike (which was harder than our V3 warmup, and way more sustained). No go on Downward Dog for Ryan this trip, but I’m sure it will come together in colder weather. We started chucking our pads down hill and chased them through the brambles back to the car.
My real hope for the trip was to get on Throttle (V5) at Grandmother, so we drove over to the parking only to find that the road was SOAKING wet. We were going to hike in anyway and see what it looked like, but Drexel and Kelley passed us on the road and were kind enough to turn around and inform us that nothing was dry up there, and invited us to join them on 221. We quickly jumped on board and drove down to M1 where Brazell began working on Instinct (V9) over a sea of pads and I finally nutted up and did M1 (V3). What a classic line, even if it is a bit scurry. Tons of big, jug-tugging moves to the standard Boone heel hook/mantle at a little over 12 or 13 feet.
We then followed Drexel, Kelley, and a few others in their crew up to the Iceberg, which I had wanted to get on for a long time. After warming back up on a nice V3/4ish sloper problem around the corner, we padded up the middle line on the tall Iceberg face (V5ish) and started giving it some burns. It turned out not to be so bad, particularly if you’re tall enough not to have to deadpoint it and you can just lock it off. We spent the rest of the day at the Texas boulder, with me wussing out of the big move at the end of West Texas (V3) and Brazell getting close on What’s East of Texas (V6/7) around the corner. I also tried Cocaine Highway (V5/6) a bit to no avail. We dipped out, thanking the Boone crew for the tour, and wrapped up the day with Brazell quickly putting away What’s Up Arete (V6) and putting a bit of effort into the V7 direct finish. Next time.
It’s almost finals week here in Clemson, which means a lot of stress separated by long periods of studying/climbing between exams, presentations, and projects. I hope to make at least a couple of weekday morning trips up to the Bearfields before starting a long trip next weekend to sandstone and eventually going home for the holidays. Hoping for cool and dry, but we’ll see… see you guys out there!
Edit: I forgot to post this for a few days… I owe another update of the past weekend in Boone…