Monday, October 17, 2011

The Old is New

This weekend a few friends and I ( Rami Annab, Kasia Pietras & Taylor Mcneill) took a trip to a couple old areas that I haven't visited in years. Beautiful, remote granite boulders nestled in the thick green foliage of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I first visited these areas 6 years ago and haven't returned in 4. Needless to say I was psyched for another peek. What I recalled most about the area was that the boulders were granite, unlike the majority of rocks that litter the southeast. Also, i remembered the boulders being relatively blank. Little to no features, no jugs, and small crimps. A recipe for hard boulders, yea? Saturday morn we woke up early and drove 45 minutes to the 'roadside bloc' that hosts a single amazing project on a perfect 40 degree overhang. This boulder was strange and quite difficult. Essentially the boulder consists of a hard v9 bottom, to a v9 or v10 dyno at the finish. Temps were not the best that day but I was lucky enough to snag the FA dubbing the line Bushido V11.

Bushido V11

After this we were all psyched to take the 15 minute hike up the mountain to the next cluster. This area I remembered well, and I knew there were at least 2 nice projects waiting to be climbed. One of which being a simulator of LRC's slab testpiece Space. I got the rope out, rapped down the thing and started cleaning. Rami got out his assortment of brushes and started scrubbing as well. 30 minutes later we had the problem prepped and ready and only 15 more minutes after that the boulder was climbed for its 1st and 2nd ascents. Spaced and Dissonant V6 is her name.

While all this was going on Taylor was over at the other project basically mowing grass off the top. He eventually got it cleaned up nicely, and we were able to climb the problem. I called this one Spitting Cobra V8, and though it's a small(ish) problem, it packs a powerful punch!

Overall the smokies exploration was a success, and I am very confident that this area holds more amazing projects to be climbed.

Me (4 years ago) on a project in the Smokies

Needs some cleaning

Big butt looking boulder up the road

Sunday we all decided to head out to the Lilly Boulders and spend the day trying some new boulders and getting in some mileage. 77 was the high so we were a bit skeptical at first but the day proved to be decent. I was able to complete all the moves but one on Chinese Arithmetic V13, while Rami and Taylor both put in super efforts of Testify V12. I was also fortunate enough to discover a brand new project on the Recluse roof! I am so psyched on this thing, and I am positive that once it is completed it will be somewhere in the v14/15 range. Can't wait for the cold weather!!

Here's a short video from the weekend.



Matt Christie said...

If you were climbing on the west side of the Smokies, then the rock is most likely Thunderhead Sandstone whch is super fine grained and more like granite than the traditional southeastern sandstone.

Daily doses said...

Yea, i knew it was thunderhead. But damn, it's crazy how it's just like granite! Are you familiar with any other areas to climb around there?

Karley Sullivan said...

glad to see you climbing out there again. you need to go to the inverted triangle roof right across the street from the overlook you have pictured. I think i showed it to you years ago. tons of boulders up there.

Heath Bailey said...

Yo man. I can turn you onto some areas there too. I was an archaeologist there for a couple years, and played in those woods quite often in that time. There's a v10+ project up the road from these boulders called 'Lower Gear'-a compression roof of sorts to a high crack. I couldn't do it. It sits right above a sign reading 'Use Lower Gear.' 'Use Lower Gear' is the v7 sit to its left, and there's more up the hill still. Both are on the uphill/left side of hwy441 as you drive towards NC from G'burg, can't miss it! I live in New Mexico now, so have at it!

Daily doses said...

Nice man! I found some boulders up the road one day as well that might fit the description? I'll edit this post and add a couple shots I took, let me know if its the one your talking about.

Heath Bailey said...

Yup. The 'butt crack' is the Lower Gear proj. I wonder if my chalk is still on those boulders? It goes away so quick there, seeing as how the amt. of annual rainfall equals to that of a temperate rain forest. I can send you a little topo that I drew up in '08 or '09 of the boulders surrounding that one if you want. Lower Gear is the step up, everything else comes in at moderate. It probably doesn't have the movement that your Bushido line does but its splitter hard.

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