Monday, October 29, 2007


I went bouldering at Rocktown, GA this past weekend. Great fun. The weather was pleasant. I met a few kind humans, but mostly had the place to myself. Despite my three week hiatus from climbing, I climbed pretty well. I repeated a couple of easier classics, and managed to send The Vagina (v8), a problem that I worked on one day last year. This problem epitomizes the quality of climbing at Rocktown -- unique holds on a roof to a relatively slopey, but probable topout. I could climb in this style until I'm too arthritic to move... which might be sooner than I had hoped. My middle finger is swollen to about twice its normal circumference right now. (Go ahead, make crass jokes about The Vagina and a swollen appendage. I expect as much. Real mature.)

The finishing moves on The Vagina.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Palmetto Bear, Ursine Affair

Over the past couple of years, I have been graced with some really interesting wildlife encounters. I've been face-to-face with a mountain lion outside of Aspen. I've seen a fox killing a marmot on Handies Peak. I've seen moose in areas with supposedly sparse moose populations. I've seen several bears throughout Colorado. I've had afternoon tea with a Sasquatch (allow me just a bit of hyperbole here, would you?). And this past Sunday, I got to add another creature sighting to the memory bank: I saw my first South Carolina bear*.

Simone and I were hiking in Jones Gap State Park, reconnoitering for boulders (well, I was looking for boulders; she was looking for raccoon poop to eat and ungainly squirrels to dispatch). We came around a bend at the top of a cove, when the forest exploded, and a relatively small, stocky black bear sprinted for the top of an opposite hill. Being that it is a South Carolina bear, it belted out a rebel yell as it crested the hilltop. I was psyched!

Unfortunately, it all happened too quickly for me to snap a picture. So it goes. Below are a few pictures of Colorado wildlife, none of which are great, I am aware. But this blog is primarily a place for me to purge some of the photos I've collected over the years, and so I will.

Marauding Marmot

A black bear across the way from our campsite in the San Juans this summer. Needless to say, it gave us pause (sorry).


"You want a piece, bitch!?"


*I'm well aware that bears, lions, tigers, birds, bees, and any other fauna one might wish to name don't give a shit about those cartographic contrivances we call borders. Ultimately, the fact that this bear happened to be south of the SC/NC border only matters to human chumps like me. I doubt this bear has any SC state flag emblems on any of its polo shirts.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bishop, CA

I'm headed to California soon. I'll be there for two weeks, bouldering in Bishop and hanging with Zach in the Santa Cruz area. I can hardly wait. Columbia is starting to drain my morale a bit, and I'm really looking forward to recharging in the Eastern Sierras and the California coast. The trip will hopefully be a beautiful mosaic of bloody fingers and pleasant wines. Both of my hedonistic urges will be gratified.

Below are some pictures that Justin and I took of our Bishop trip last spring.

Justin on the Iron Man Traverse


Me trying and failing on Cayla. This is one of the coolest problems at the Druid Stones, and I can't wait to approach it with new beta this year.

Whatta boulder... Hanging out at the top of High Plains Drifter.

Entry moves to Skye Dance

More Skye Dancing

The Cave Route

More of the Cave Route

Change of Heart

Sure is purty.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Scouring the hills...

I've been devoting a fair amount of my leisure time to exploring the state parks in the northwest portion of South Carolina. There is climbing to be had in this region -- I'm quite convinced of it. SC has largely been overlooked as a potential bouldering destination, in part because some of the prominent rock formations are officially closed to climbing. Whether or not all forms of climbing are prohibited is less clear. As far as I can tell, there is no explicit language forbidding climbing in the parks' "Rules and Regulations." I suppose I'll parse language and chat with the rangers when the time comes. But presently, I'm really enjoying the exploration. Plus, my middle finger is in a state of disrepair, and I don't think I'll be climbing for another couple of weeks. So I might as well hike.

I've had the most fruitful outings at Table Rock State Park, and have included some pictures of the rock. The granite here is immaculate. Where potential lines exist, they are astonishing.
Too bad there's no rock in SC
Yes, there are worse fates than poking around the woods in search of boulders.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Narcissism Set to Motion: Bouldering Video 1

This is a lo-def video of me climbing Nose Candy at Rocktown, GA. J. Fish and I spent a couple of days there in May of 2005.

Rocktown is one of the great Southeastern bouldering areas, containing a slew of problems in the V5 to V8 range. It is one of my all-time favorite places to hang out, and I hope to go there frequently over the winter.

Decomposers: The Unsung Heroes

Velvet Foot

Shaggy Mane

Aspen Bolete

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hound Ears

This past weekend saw the Hound Ears bouldering competition in Boone, NC. As the opening leg of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series each year in the Southeast, the Hound Ears comp allows climbers to trammel upon the peace and dignity of this posh mountain community. It's their one day a year to do it, because Hound Ears is officially closed to climbing all other times.

The day was extraordinarily fun, although conditions were less than optimal. It's still pretty muggy in these parts, and the holds were incredibly greasy. I climbed pretty well, but didn't achieve the mileage that an all-day-one-day-a-year event calls for. I managed to make an already underlying middle finger injury (injury to insult?) official, and will have to take some time away from climbing. So it goes...

Waking up on the morning of the comp

Whole lotta foam...

Unknown climber on Blasphemy (V5)

Anthony on The Proud (V7)

Parlez Vous Parkay (V6)

Trying hard...

Anthony on the Lunatic Arete (V4). We all languished a bit on the day following the comp. We managed to get up and go climbing at the Lost Cove, but this was one of the few problems with which anyone engaged.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Look at me, love me.

Well, I've decided to enroll myself in that academy of narcissism, the blog. Poke fun if you wish. I certainly would. But know this: This blog has consciousness-expanding qualities the likes of which have never been experienced on the web, much less the blogosphere. By tuning in regularly to my rantings and photo postings, you will be penetrating my soul and gleaning enlightenment therefrom.
This blog is not for the faint-hearted. There will be bouldering photos. There will be landscape photos. I will drink wine and toss inhibitions to the curb. I will unabashedly use profane language. This is all exceedingly and overwhelmingly original. You have been warned.