Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Ok. I'm sorry. But seriously? The Southeastern United States is a pretty awful place. I love the climbing there. And I have some dear and sweet friends whom (for reasons beyond my grasp) still reside there. I spent about 10 days kickin' it down there in the "red states". I flew in to Asheville, NC to visit my family. I have to say that Asheville, NC seems like one of the more useless places I have ever been. Then, it was off to Augusta (technically Grovetown), GA to see my favorite family in the universe: The Cones. I got disgustingly and violently ill at their house for 24 hours. I am at least 95% certain that I almost died. Then, it was off to the main event....5 days of climbing (in a row. OOF.) in Chattanooga, TN. Which is decidedly the only place in the Southeast I could even consider living.

My goal: To climb The Shield (V12) at Little Rock City. Or Stone Fort. Whatever the hell they are calling it these days. My secondary goal: to climb the most beautiful lines I could find. More on goal #1 later. For now, let's tackle the pesky business of finding gorgeous rocks to touch.

Right up the road from some of the more well-known bouldering areas is a small satellite area called Pep Boys. This place boasts some of the most incredibly scenic climbing I have seen since the Buttermilks and Rocklands. I crested a hill at one point to see a lone football-shaped boulder leaning right over the creek.


"Oh dear god that thing had better have climbable features on it.", I proclaimed as I scrambled down the slope toward it. I hopped across the creek on some rocks to arrive at the foot of what is, to be certain, one of the most gorgeous climbs these tired old eyes have ever seen. Not too hard. Maybe V7. But holllyyyyy smokes was it a looker. Three holds to the top. And a big, committing last move. All the while a gurgling creek whooshes behind you. Beautiful.

In almost a hurry to get on this thing.

First move is a really nice drop-knee on subtle feet to cross to the first crimp.

About to set up for the last move to the lip.

There were some great little warm ups and moderates scattered throughout this boulder field as well. Kaleigh had committed herself to a really fun little roof problem with a pretty heinous top out.


It seems tall when you're from FL.

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