Rainy Post-Finals Week

Well, school is finally out for a few weeks, and now I’m sitting at home staring out the window waiting for the world to dry out so I can get my hands back on some rock.  I did squeeze one dry day out this past weekend and made it up to Boone to invest some time in Zen on the Mad Skills Wall at Grandmother Mountain.  This thing suits me surprisingly well.  The crimps don’t hurt my fingers, I guess they’re just big/sloping enough that I don’t have to close off on them.  They almost climb like fingertip-slopers or something.   Really rad holds.  Anyway, no luck on it this weekend, but I hope to get back to Boone one more time (I’ve been saying that for like 4 trips) to finish the area off for the season and move on to sandstone!  It’s hard to turn Boone down when it’s been so warm everywhere else and the highs have been in the 50’s up there…

(Upcoming spray warning) One trip prior to this past weekend, I finally did Throttle.  I couldn’t be more excited to move on from it.  That thing was HARD for me.  It’s nice to finally be able to try other lines at Grandmother without  having that thing looming over my head in the warmup area.  </spray>  That same trip, we also made the hike up to Apocalypse Prow to work that thing out, and surprisingly enough, I was able to do all the moves on it.  This thing could be the best line in Boone, if only the hike didn’t put your knees out of commission for the following week.

That’s most of what I have to share lately.  Just watching the forecast for 4 or 5 different areas and trying to decide what’s next.  Excited to see what the rest of the season holds.

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See you guys out there.

Warm Weekend

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…

‘Tis the Season

So the weekends I haven’t spent climbing at the Triple Crown have all been invested in hiking and projecting at the local spots around Hwy 11.  Here’s some pics of some stuff I’ve found in the area, though it’s mostly blank, hard, tall, or some combination of the three.

Dylan checking the roof for holds.  There ain’t none, I chipped ’em all off.

Highball slab in SC, shocker.

50 feet tall and blank *sigh*.  Maybe an opportunity for something on the right face, but it would have to be TR’ed.  Or maybe you could plug some cams?!  WHOOOOOO

New line I found and cleaned up to find that I can’t do the first move.  Looks like I’ll have to recruit a strong friend to come do it.  Big first move to a sloping edge traverse to jugs.  Hope the start hold doesn’t break with my fat arse trying to pull on.

Eric taking a stroll up a new classic in the Bearfields, Alley Oop Scoop (V3/4).

I’ve got some footage that I’ll post up soon of a little circuit of old and new lines I’ve been running up there that’s actually really nice.  The trail day is up there this weekend, it will be nice to see folks up there cleaning the area up and getting into the local boulders.

After stuffing my gullet last weekend for Thanksgiving with the fam, I made a trip up to Rocktown and Zahnd with Brazell to take advantage of the surprisingly cool temps (highs were in the 40’s!)

We spent Saturday opening up new projects for the coming season.  Brazell put some effort into the Womb (V10), Blackout (V9/10), and Swamp Sauce (V8) (which he was kind enough to leave unfinished so that we had a reason to go back down to Blue) while I punted off of Blue (V6), Big Bad (V5), and realized that the finger is not close to allowing me to get back on Nose Candy (V6).  I did manage to put down the line to the right of The Hobbit, Full Circle (V4/5) as well as doing some thing to the left of the Womb that was pretty dumb and a new warmup in the orb area that was real nice.

We went to Zahnd on Sunday as soon as we woke up and warmed up so Brazell could try Harvest Moon (V8) and I could put some effort in Chisel Chest (V5) and Razor’s Edge (V6).  Unfortunately we didn’t do any of those problems (typical) but Brazell did do the low start to Razor’s Edge, Gillette (V7/8) and I did a rad problem around the corner called Bear Hug (V3).

As it gets colder, I have a revised (long) list of things I would like to do this season (or next season, or whenever I get strong).  It’s similar to my New Year’s resolutions list from last year with the addition of some new ones and removal of a few I decided I was less psyched on…

HP40

Getcha Some (V5), Uniball (V4), Mortal Kombat (V4), Trick or Treat (V6), and Honky Tonkin (V4).  Most of these should be pretty reasonable this year, considering I can sack up on Mortal Kombat and catch Trick or Treat on a cold enough day.

Rocktown

This area houses my longest list, and I hope to spend the most time here this year.  The Hobbit (V5), Croc Block (V5), Little Bad (V4/5), Big Bad (V5), Blue (V6), Nose Candy (V6… need a working finger…), Pythagorean Theorem (V4, accdg to the new guide book…), Sinus (V3/5/wrong name?  Left of Pythagorean), Iron Claw (V7, hopeful…), Slaper (V5) and Soap on a Rope (V4/12).

LRC

My list is shorter here this year, mostly harder stuff I would like to break through with.  Special Agent (V7), Grimace (V7/8), SPACE (V8), White Trash (V5), and Rage (V5, still punting off the topout holds).

Rumbling Bald (ugh)

Maybe I’ll do some of these if I ever decide to go back to the land of the anti-George.  Pit BBQ (V6), Lewis Lunge (V5, will not happen with my finger as it is…), Green Knob (V5), and the sit? V7?  People say it’s not much harder?

Zahnd

Equally psyched on here and Rocktown.  Which is convenient, considering they’re basically next door to each other, minus a 30 minute drive down the worst road ever.  Razor’s Edge (V6), Chisel Chest (V5), Turret (V3/4?) and Solar Flare (V3, bad end of the day climbing going on here last weekend…)  Real pumped to get back.

Boone

Throttle (V5, finally close on this thing), West Texas (V3), Beasley’s Face (V5), Nitrous Oxide (V5), M1 (V3, ugh), Mighty Mouse (V5, ugh), Haptos (V4).  Probably getting too cold up there right about now.  Maybe next year, or maybe we’ll have another freak warm weekend and I’ll get back up there again.

Hueco

Everything.  Lobster Claw (V5), Moonshine Roof (V4), Sign of the Cross (V3) are priority.  There are lots more, but these need to happen quick next time or I’m gonna lose it.

I’ve got a list of lines locally that I want to do also, but I’ll keep those to myself for now (since nobody cares what my slab projects are anyway) and fill you in as they happen.

That’s enough blogging for one morning.  Before you slam it, fram it.

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Fall Break

So this past weekend was the second leg of triple crown in Chattanooga, and it was a blast, as always. Chatt is an awesome town with good food, good people, and good climbing. I didn’t quite meet my goal of getting bumped into advanced, my project was wet, and it was hot, but it was still an awesome time. The golf course boulders were open again, so I spent a fair amount of time out there but did manage to make my way back into the boulders for a bit later in the day. Here’s the rundown of the day (beware of spray).

Witch’s Hat – V4 (on the fairway)
The Coven – V5 (on the fairway)
Titleist – V5 (on the fairway)
Right 45 – V4 (on the fairway)
Shotgun – V6
The Wave – V5
Unusual Suspect – V4
Big Mike – V4 (on the fairway)
Little Mike – V2 (on the fairway)
Gran Torino – V2 (on the fairway)

So all in all, not such a bad day. Would have liked to keep everything above V4 for the sake of competition, but what can ya do? I’m very excited to be back on sandstone as the temps cool down. Here’s a little vid of a George-style prob from Horse Pens 40 that I miracled my way up last spring.

Boogie Wonderland from George Evans on Vimeo.

If you were avoiding spray, you can start reading again safely now. We spent Saturday evening with our buddy Michael in Knoxville. Basically the whole time, we were preparing to bail on route climbing with him Sunday, and proceeded as such, breaking the news to him over a full stomach at Cracker Barrel the next morning as thunderheads rolled in over the Obed. With bowels gurgling we departed for Clemson for an afternoon round of disc golf and some quality grill time Sunday evening.

Monday I woke up, and realizing I was on fall break, started scrounging for somewhere to climb. I didn’t scrounge for long, quickly realizing that Boone was in the mid 50’s, and packed my things (which I really hadn’t even unpacked) and rolled out with Ethan, another Clemson bro. We hit some stuff on 221 in the evening, mostly getting manhandled, then slept through a hurricane and woke up early to get a morning Lost Cove sesh in. I finally did what might be the boulder problem I’ve been “trying” the longest of all, Patio Arete (V4). I remember pulling onto it 4 years ago and thinking it was impossible. Fortunately we’ve come a little way since then and it felt plenty reasonable at the grade today. Hyper-classic. After petering around for another hour or two climbing whatever I could still scramble up given the weekend’s events, we rolled out and headed back. The drive couldn’t have been nicer, the leaves are lookin’ sexy as hell right now.

So that brings us up to speed, I’m back in Clemson at work trying to keep from poking my eyeballs out while I wait on the wall to close so I can go home and watch SONS OF ANARCHY with my redneck roommates. Gotta love it. Happy trails.

Southern Ascents

Like all of my posts, I will start this one by apologizing to anyone reading for the lack of posts.

I finally finished editing some footage from last season just in time for a competition the American Alpine Club and Misty Mountain are holding during Triple Crown. Here’s the vid me and Adam are submitting, Southern Ascents (see what we did there?):

Southern Ascents from George Evans on Vimeo.

So this past weekend was the first leg of Triple Crown at Hound Ears and I was finally in (semi) healthy form and was able to climb some things I wanted to climb. Adam, Andy, and Greg all crushed, as did the rest of the crew. I’ll let you chase down their scorecards if you’re interested in knowing exactly what they sent (think of it like some sort of fun interactive blog post where you get to do more). The two highlights for me were the Heretic and the Claw (kind of totally different styles). The Heretic might be the most fun I’ve had in Boone. 20ish feet tall with a cruxy first move and a dicey move to the lip off of a crimp. It was excellent. The Claw was a nice face climb right behind Fuc Yo with really cool incuts up a tall face to an easy topout. Classic. I spent the rest of the day checking out the rest of the field and groveling falling off the Nudge, which is a terrible impossible v4 mantle that nobody’s ever done. Big shout out to those who put it on and make those events possible, they are awesome. The next leg (at LRC/Stone Fort) is next weekend, looking forward to it. I’ve got high hopes for that one. Happy trails.

Finals Week

So here we are, another month between updates.  Truth be told, I have a good reason this time.  I took a month off of climbing to recover after Hueco and have just recently started to climb again.  Can’t tell a whole lot of difference one way or the other so far, but time will tell if the time off pays off.  The real reason for this post, however, is that I finally finished up the first video (of what should turn out to be about 4 or 5) of the climbing we did this winter.  Adam shot all the footage, as usual, and I dragged my arse editing it for several months, as usual. Pretty happy with how it turned out though! As soon as the schedule settles down a bit and I get into my summer job in lovely Aiken, SC (land of horses and golf), the others should make their way off of my computer and onto the interweb for everyone to get a sniff on.

LRC/Stone Fort Winter ’12 from George Evans on Vimeo.

Hueco Tanko

So last week we took off and ditched the warm, humid southern spring to hit up the dryer (with the exception of one day of sandstorming-blizzard-rainfest) Texas weather in the legendary Hueco Tanks State Park.  Anybody that reads this blog with any regularity is probably familiar with the New Years resolution list I put up a few months ago, and might remember that I had a list of problems from Hueco that I wanted to do this year when I went back.  To make a long, whiny story short, I didn’t put down a single problem on that list.  This is partially due to the fact that I didn’t get to a couple of them, but primarily due to the fact that problems in Hueco are hard.  I certainly tried Sign of the Cross (V3) and Ghetto Simulator (V2/5.13d as far as I’m concerned), but left both for a future trip.   Moonshine Roof (V4) also proved to be a pump-fest that spat me off the lip several times on our only day on East Mountain.  Lobster Claw (V5) was another that spat me off after sticking the crux from the start, and Wicicala Cave (V5) is just straight hard.  The new problems that I did somehow manage to do went as follows (to avoid the spray, skip past the bullets straight to the video).

  • V-Obsession (V5) – Cooler problem than I gave it credit for, looked sharp but turns out you hardly use the intimidating holds at all.
  • Girls of Juarez (V4) – Classic hueco roof jug pulling, and better than the 2 stars in the guidebook suggest.  The landing looks a bit spooky, but really turns into nothing with a couple pads and the best spotter in the southeast behind you (I’m giving you the stick Adam). 
  • Walrus in a Blender (V5) – One big move that finishes into a classic V2.  Cool horizontal dyno into a one handed swing on a super positive jug though, unlike anything else I’ve done outside.  
  • Choss Training (V3) – Bit of an epic.  Tried on the last trip, thought it would be a cake walk this year.  This turned out not to be the case.  I spent three days throughout the trip trying the big one-two-jump beta from the huge foot down low and got reaaaaal close that way, but eventually had to unlock some whack beta with a lil’ crimp pinch and some higher feet.  Finally did this thing on the last day, with the ranger honking  her horn at us to get out of the park.  Everybody else did it in their approach shoes.  Shout out to Ashima, whose tiny-hold usage was an inspiration to this no-jumping oaf.  Also, thanks to Dougie Fresh for walking back across the mountain to this thing with me for a last ditch effort.  IT’S TUESDAY, HERSH!

So with the blathering about my 4 new sends behind us, I’ll leave the two people who’ve made it this far through the post with a video me and Adam put together (which, for once, I’ve managed to finish editing in less than 6 months).

Problems featured are V-Obsession (V5), Girls of Juarez (V4), Moonshine Roof (V4), Coffee Achiever (V5), and Free Willy (V10).

1 Day

Spring break is starting at 5:00PM today for yours truly, and we’ll be making a return trip to the lovely Hueco Tanks near El Paso, TX.  My back is a bit sore, I’ve got a hole in my finger, and this has been a long, lousy week, but barring anything going terribly wrong on the day-long drive out there, things should get much better around 5 or 6PM tomorrow night, when we arrive at the ranch.  I’ve got a few problems in mind, with Moonshine Roof being the one that would really make the trip for me.  Here’s a few videos that I’ve been watching to get amped up for it, as if I need any help getting psyched…

Our classic vid from Hueco last year:

Raise Up from George Evans on Vimeo.

One from Patagonia of Lynn Hill crushing Dragonfly, Moonshine Roof, DDD, Chblanke, etc…

A new one from LT11

Louder Than 11 in Hueco from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

Another new one from LT11

2012 Hueco Rock Rodeo – Highlights from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

LT11 apparently spent a lot of time in Hueco this year…

New Years in Hueco Tanks – Evangalion (v13) from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.

And a couple others:

There’s a lot of other good ones, but these have been on replay for me this week. 2 classes and 4 hours at work left!

Winter Trips

So I’ve spent a lot of time on the road this winter (if you want to call it that, it really has hardly gotten below 50 in the souf).  I seem to be slowly ticking through the New Year’s Resolutions post I made a while back.  This weekend, we made it out to Rocktown to get another chance at Golden Shower and I finally managed to put it down!  Adam did all the moves on the Orb, and Doug did a bunch of new 8’s, so we’re all pretty psyched as of late.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do on the list though, so we’re planning to keep hitting it hard straight up through when it turns warm again, presumably in a month or two.  At least the groundhog came through and saw his shadow today, so we’ve got 6 more weeks to cross our fingers for good temps.  Also, me and Adam have started working on a big video project covering a lot of areas in the southeast, so be on the lookout for that sometime this spring.

Happy trails.

Mulletino Vidya

Here’s a vid of me sending mulletino to the lip/thrashing my shoulder.

Nice to cross a roof problem off the list, I hate steep climbing. Did this one for Ouyang. Ended up having a really good day that trip, finally finished off Green Lantern (which is probably the same difficulty as Mulletino) and repeat some of the harder stuff I’d done there in the past. Still waiting on that cold weather though, it was still in the 60’s during the hot parts of the day this weekend…