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Category Archives: Other

Any climbing area NOT included in the others!

Ups and Downs Climbing at the OBED

Ups and Downs Climbing at the OBED

Last weekend was Memorial Day Weekend, which meant it was time for our 5th annual climbing trip to the Obed Wild and Scenic River.  Usually this trip marks the start of the humid sweatfest that is otherwise known as summer  climbing in the Southeast…but we actually lucked out with a spring-ish weekend.  Nights were cool, and midday highs were in the low 80’s with very little humidity.  Definitely the best Memorial Day conditions we’ve ever had! But when the whole family is involved in the climbing experience, there’s a lot more to great “sending conditions” than just weather.  Without wasting too…Read the rest of this entry →

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Labor Day at the Obed River

Labor Day at the Obed River

If you read last week’s trip report from Grayson Highlands, you may remember that lately we’ve been struggling with bad weather woes, as well as securing climbing partners.  Climbers sans kiddos can wait until the last minute to make their plans, and just head out the door on a whim to wherever conditions look best…we can’t!  For us, no partners means no climbing, so we’ve got to be proactive and plan ahead.  This time around, we ended up with a good-sized group for 2 out of the 3 days.  The weather forecast wasn’t stellar, but it ended up being a…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Wild and Scenic Weekend at Obed River, Tennessee

A Wild and Scenic Weekend at Obed River, Tennessee

Family tradition mandates that we spend Memorial Day weekend climbing and camping at the Obed Wild and Scenic River, an area just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, and this year was no exception.  Despite my excitement to get on a rope again, I was a bit apprehensive about the logistics.  It was only our 2nd time roping up with Baby Z, and roped climbing can be a lot harder to manage than bouldering at this age since I can’t always just hop right down to get to her (although if I’m not there someone else always is.)  Additionally it would be Baby Z’s…Read the rest of this entry →

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Highlights from the Jocassee Gorges (and Adventure Package Giveaway!)

Highlights from the Jocassee Gorges (and Adventure Package Giveaway!)

I am really excited about this week’s trip report – first of all because I love reporting on new places to explore and play, and secondly because I love giveaways!  Jocassee Gorges in Upstate South Carolina is a hidden gem filled with lakes, boulders, trails, and one of the largest expanses of roadless wilderness on the East Coast!  Seriously, if you’re a southerner trying to find a Sasquatch, this might be the place!  I’d known about the area for a while now through fellow climbing blogger, Brad Caldwell (who also happens to be one of the co-sponsors of the giveaway!)…Read the rest of this entry →

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Grayson Highlands Bouldering and Baby Z’s First Camp-Out

Grayson Highlands Bouldering and Baby Z’s First Camp-Out

As Baby Z gets bigger by the day, the weather has gotten more and more beautiful and enticing, causing our family to come down with an increasingly worsening case of spring fever!  Hubby and I have been chomping at the bit to hit our favorite spring climbing areas, and Big C has been psyched to try out the new sleeping bag he got for Christmas.  So when a friend of ours suggested we hit up Grayson Highlands State Park for some bouldering (thanks for the nudge, Michael Chickene!), we decided there was no time like the present for 8 week…Read the rest of this entry →

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Obed, Tennessee Trip Report – 13 Weeks Pregnant

Obed, Tennessee Trip Report – 13 Weeks Pregnant

If I had a dollar for every time one of our crew said the word “manky” this weekend, I’d have plenty of money for a nice date-night dinner with the hubs.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with this highly technical term, “manky” is generally an accurate descriptor of summer climbing conditions in the Southeast.  The rock feels greasy, palms are sweaty, and chalked up holds feel like they are coated in a layer of slimy toothpaste.  Not to mention that smothering wet blanket of humidity Mother Nature tosses over your head while hiking in and out of the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sending Projects (Finally!) at Obed Wild and Scenic River

Sending Projects (Finally!) at Obed Wild and Scenic River

Historically if the weather is good (or often times even if it’s not), 90% of Southeastern climbers migrate to one of two world-class hot spots for Memorial Day Weekend – either the New River Gorge in WV or the Red River Gorge in KY.  But for 3 years running our family has chosen to head in the opposite direction to the Obed River – a smaller (but almost just as good) climbing area just west of Knoxville, TN.  Generally speaking, a “crowded” weekend at Obed is about the same as the average non-holiday weekend at the the New or the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Progress (Not Perfection) at the Obed

Progress (Not Perfection) at the Obed

The Obed Wild and Scenic River is our family’s favorite crag to hit over Labor Day weekend – it’s nice to have an extra day with the longer drive, and we’re able to avoid all the crowds that are swarming at the New and Red River Gorges.  However this time probably could have been talked into going just about anywhere  had the forecast been any better, but it appeared that the entire Southeast was being held hostage by Hurricane Isaac.  We weren’t too worried about the climbing – because of the steep terrain and enormous roofs, the Obed is a…Read the rest of this entry →

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Obed: To Crush or To Be Crushed?

Obed: To Crush or To Be Crushed?

If that were the question, then the answer would most definitively be YES to both, which is great since our plans almost got squashed before we even left the house because of a poor, sick Cragbaby. Thankfully though he started feeling better just in time (when we asked him if he wanted to get in Mommy’s car and go sleep in in a tent he started jumping up and down shouting, “TENT!  TENT!”).  Despite a later-than-planned start, we made it to Tennessee only slightly worse for the wear.   This trip was an interesting balance of both success and failure…Read the rest of this entry →

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Morning Drizzles in the Highlands: AKA Life in the Clouds

Morning Drizzles in the Highlands: AKA Life in the Clouds

From wallowing in the sunny, upper 90’s of the Obed a mere 3 weeks ago to bundling up with foggy mornings in the 40’s at Grayson Highlands this past weekend, one would think we skipped over autumn altogether and moved straight into early winter.  Though the forecast across the Southeast was looking pretty grim, it appeared as though a lone bright spot was hanging over Grayson Highlands State Park with a mere 20% chance of morning drizzles.  However,we soon learned that a lack of actual rain doesn’t necessarily equal dry conditions.  It seemed as though the higher we drove in…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Perfect SEND-tember Combo: Tall Rock and Deep Water!

The Perfect SEND-tember Combo: Tall Rock and Deep Water!

  With Hurricanes Lee and Katia closing in on all sides, we were extremely lucky to get 2 days of great weather on our Labor Day climbing excursion to the Obed Scenic River.  This was substantial improvement over our last Obed trip, when we dealt with thunderstorms every few hours for the entire weekend.  Our posse ended up being a fairly large group, with a wide variety of climbing abilities and goals represented, but what very easily could have been a logistical nightmare turned into a weekend filled with adventure, laughter, and of course – some serious sending!  ***Note for…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Heresy Saga

The Heresy Saga

At some point I think most climbers develop what I like to think of as “Daydream Projects” – routes that for whatever reason, almost seem to call your name.  Maybe its because the route is particularly aesthetic or has a famed notoriety associated with it.  Perhaps the route speaks to you because you know it will  push either your mental or physical abilities (or both!).  Or maybe you keep obsessing over it because you’ve gotten on it so many times and keep falling off at the same dang spot.  You have a connection to the route on a personal level.  You rehearse the crux…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tennessee = Thunderstorms and Composting Toilets

Tennessee = Thunderstorms and Composting Toilets

We set off late Friday afternoon on another weekend climbing trip, this time to the Obed River, in Eastern Tennessee.  The forecast called for a 30% chance of afternoon showers on both days – so of course that meant storms the majority of the day on both days (yet again).  Although I’m relieved that we always manage to make trips more than worthwhile (thankfully once again we were still able to crank hard both days), I’ll be honest that the rain is starting to get old…fortunately this time we didn’t have to spend our evenings hanging out in a soggy campsite. …Read the rest of this entry →

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Memorial Day Madness at Grayson Highlands

Memorial Day Madness at Grayson Highlands

After spending the first part of the weekend hanging out with family, we met up with some friends late Sunday morning up at Grayson Highlands State Park for some bouldering fun.  It was the first time we’d been back to GHSP since last fall, and I’d almost forgotten what a spectacular setting it is!  The weather was pretty warm both days, but I’m fairly certain cooler than the majority of climbing areas in the Southeast. Our first day consisted of a high volume of moderates.  We started out at the Picnic/Rock House Area before ending up at the Cap-Gun Boulder…Read the rest of this entry →

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Parlier’s Project: A Documentary of Grayson Highlands State Park

Parlier’s Project: A Documentary of Grayson Highlands State Park

Last summer we spent a good deal of time bouldering up at Grayson Highlands, VA.  Its an area that has seen smatterings of activity for many, many years, but only in small pockets of the park.  In recent years, this park has seen a resurgence in development, due mostly to my friend Aaron Parlier, who we met out at Grayson last summer.  Aaron is in the process of writing a guidebook for the area, hoping to have it in the hands of the publisher by the fall. On the day that we met Aaron, we also met Daniel Caudill, who…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Perfect Fall Weekend in the Highlands

A Perfect Fall Weekend in the Highlands

Great friends, stellar rock, and perfect weather all add up to a wonderful weekend in Grayson Highlands, VA!  We arrived late Friday night to the campground, and were pleased to find out that it didn’t get nearly as cold overnight as the forecast had predicted.  After enjoying a nice breakfast with Manbert, we met up with a hodgepodge of folks at the Contact Station before heading to the Olympus/RockHouse area. We warmed up on Cherokee Dihedral (V1), which felt kinda heady for a warm-up, but was a really pretty line up a dihedral with an interesting transition onto the right…Read the rest of this entry →

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Four Days of Dirtbaggin’ in Tennessee

Four Days of Dirtbaggin’ in Tennessee

With Canaan’s arrival this spring, Steve and I were way too busy to plan a big summer climbing trip like we usually do – so when our friend Christie said she had a few days off from grad school coming up in October and wondered if we’d be up for heading somewhere to climb, we jumped on the opportunity!  Steve had a business trip to Charlotte planned for the beginning part of the week, so on Wednesday afternoon, Canaan and I hopped in the car with Christie and Doris and made our way to Hickory, where we met up with…Read the rest of this entry →

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Mama’s got a brand new bag (and Cragbaby’s packin’!!!)

Mama’s got a brand new bag (and Cragbaby’s packin’!!!)

The past few weekends have been really busy for us, but long weekends with spectacular weather are just too tempting to pass up, so we were off to VA again for some more bouldering fun.  After spending a fun evening with Canaan’s grandparents (both sets!) we were off bright and early the next morning to meet Manbert at Grayson Highlands State Park.  The low humidity and highs in the upper 60’s felt amazing – and I sure was glad that I had bought Canaan some fall clothes right before we left! This was a landmark trip for us, since it was the test run with our…Read the rest of this entry →

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Grayson Highlands Bouldering…..

Grayson Highlands Bouldering…..

……is spectacular!  I can’t believe we never knew about it til recently!  Our journey started out on Friday afternoon with a small hiccup – as we were packing up the car, our friend that was supposed to be showing us around on Saturday texted us that he had to bail due to having kidney stones….hmmm, I GUESS that’s a reasonable excuse and we’ll let it slide… 🙂  Anyway, we hurriedly printed out the problem descriptions from Mountain Project and jumped in the car, hoping for the best… And the best it was!  Steve even said it was the most fun…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sweet Home (away from home) Alabama…and Atlanta…and Winston-Salem…

Sweet Home (away from home) Alabama…and Atlanta…and Winston-Salem…

So I haven’t been good about updating my blog recently with all the holiday hubbub, but I thought I would throw out a quick holiday sum-up as my last blog post of 2009… We started out our holiday with a doctor’s appointment for the J-bean on Monday, December 21st.  All was well, so we hopped in our loaded down car and drove down to Sandrock, Alabama for a couple days of climbing before celebrating the holidays with family.  Sandrock turned out to be really fun – by no means a must-do destination, but definitely fabulous for a side trip excursion!  Since the…Read the rest of this entry →

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Seneca Rocks Trip Report

Seneca Rocks Trip Report

  Seneca Rocks – N. Peak on the left, S. Peak on the right, Gunsight Notch is the dip in the middle.   Standing on the South Peak Summit Last summer Steve and I won a day of private guiding at Seneca in a raffle during the “Playing for the Payoff” comp at the Triangle Rock Club, a fundraising effort to help buy the property of Laurel Knob in Western North Carolina.  This past weekend we decided to cash in on our prize.  What a great introduction to a new area!  Our guide was Arthur Kearns, affectionately known as “ACK”,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Squamish, BC Trip Report

Cragmama

Trip Report – Aug 2-10, 2008 Getting there – So we ran into some problems getting there…we found out the day before we left that a huge rockslide was completely blocking HWY 99 about 10 miles away from Squamish. Other than by air or water, the only way to get from Vancouver to Squamish was to drive the looooong way around, turning what should have been a 45 minute meandering from the airport up the highway into a 6 hour re-route on curvy mountain roads. We stopped at a greasy little motel at the halfway point Saturday night around midnight…Read the rest of this entry →

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El Potrero Chico Trip Report

Cragmama

Trip Report – Oct 18-23, 2007 Accommodations – La Posada, Casita #5 We really liked Posada! Everything was very clean, and all the folks that worked there are awesome! Our room was only 2 feet wider than our bed on 3 sides, but aside from the mosquitoes it was great. We even had an extra loft up above to store all of our gear, and even had a private bathroom! The community kitchen was a fun environment – pots/pans and everything were provided, and they had a fridge and several stoves. We had brought all of our breakfasts and crag…Read the rest of this entry →

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