Friday, January 8, 2010

Little Rock City & Dayton

Now that I am staying at a house the rest has been great especially considering that it has been frigid outside and climbing seems more like a survival sport. Matt and I went to LRC our first day and I was extremely impressed with the rock quality and the variety of holds was much greater than in Rocktown. Lrc actually was quite a crimpy area, at least in comparison to the rest of the south. It was very cold and I was psyched to keep moving after we had an amazing warmup with problems like the Wave and Genghis Khan both V5 and then moved on to the Cinderella boulder where Matt wanted to try the traverse which he did after a couple of goes. While we were at the boulder and Matt was resting I decided to try the 'Cinderlla V8?9?' and managed to flash it. This felt good as I usually dont try to do flash that much but when I topped out I almost vomited because how cold and painful the whole experience was. I was very psyched about this and then climbed another classic called 'The Pinch V7/8' in a couple tries. Afterwords Matt toured me around and lets just say I very psyched to return. At the end of our session I wanted to see the classic 'Super Mario V4' so we walked over and I flashed that and climbed the 'Red House V7' and that was a day, a great day.
The next day we went to Laurel Snow, which is a state park outside of Dayton, TN. It is much more spread out and of a different texture then what I have seen of the south thus far. It is home to the famed Dayton Roof(aka the roof as people seem to know it). This roof holds some of the most amazing and sculpted holds that are similar to the Warpath cave of Idaho's Castle Rock. I was very impressed with most of the climbs and I just tried to get comfortable with upside-down climbing. I flashed a V6 and then started to work on some other climbs in an extremely ADD fashion. After this brief session we checked out the excellent 'River Dance V9'. I came very close to doing this climb very fast but the park closed at sunset and we were not about to be locked in!! More to come.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rocktown, GA and the exodus of The Red

In December I was still in the Red and I found that sport-climbing and the winter time are not the best matches. Sport-climbing ends up just being to time consuming and when you only get to warm up and the try the route your psyched once and maybe a second time if your lucky then it just isn't enough climbing. I think sport climbing is better left for the longer days of summer when its too hot to grab the itsie bittsies on boulders. I held out until the very end with friends Matt, Lauren, and Keith until they all bounced back to the mountains of Colorado's Front Range. Then I hit the road despite the apocalyptic weather conditions and made my way south Chattanooga only to decide that Rocktown, GA was to be my first major stop. I met up with friends Brent Perkins and Jim Patton, both of which are RED fixtures. I was immediately impressed by the quality of the stone. The first hour I was telling everybody stranger and friend alike that this climbing is full of beautiful movement on exquisite stone.
I found that climbing short days at the end of the RED season had left my power at a low and I had some work to I set out on a mission; climb, climb, climb.
After three days of climbing I was starting to feel back into it(read: my fingers were tuned up and felt springy again) and I climbed 'Brown Hole V8' & 'Paparrazi V8' both in a little session and after some work I was able to climb the mega classics 'The Orb V8' and 'The Vagina V8' & 'Sherman Photo Roof V7'. These climbs were my favorites but I also managed to climb many many quality problems and the only regret is that I would have loved to show up in the south in some kind of bouldering shape so I could see whether the 'Stout' or 'Sandbagged' grades of the south were accurate or what, but since I used the area to get back into some bouldering fitness I have no real idea. Either way the climbing is phenomenal.
It has gotten very cold in this neighborhood and I am now staying with a dear friend from my time in Rocklands, Matt Ballard. Life is good and it off to check out new boulders tomorrow at LRC. Got 'Em.