|spring flower - we made it through winter!!!|
|crazy sandstone formation - i call it "the ice cream cone"|
Located in the northwestern corner of Georgia is another amazing sandstone area. The rock feels very similar to HorsePens 40, but has iron veins swirling throughout the rock, since the iron is harder than the sandstone it erodes more slowly and leaves crimper rails that make for great climbing. Our first day we arrived and went for a hike into the boulders just to get oriented and see what the area was like.
The first area we made it to was called The Orb area and we ran into a small group of very friendly climbers from around Cleveland, Ohio. They were so friendly, in fact, that they loaned us the preliminary copy of the new Rocktown guidebook that isn't even published yet! It had color photos and was much much better than our little black and white guide that we got for free online. The nice guy we borrowed it from (Nate) just asked we return it back at camp and if we liked it, buy the guide once it comes out. Armed with our new guide we took off running through the boulders and became like kids in a candy store. We found tons and tons of boulders all with stellar looking climbs on them that we were very excited to try. The climbing was steeper than HP40 and with better holds. Considering the temperatures we knew that this style would be better for harder grades than HP40 since that is mostly slopers, it's also a style more to our liking. We explored into the middle Maze area and were stunned at all of the climbs we had found. The place is just outstanding. Normally we don't find v0-v2 climbs that are all that exciting looking, some of them might climb well, but with just casual observation it can be easy to dismiss them. Not here. There were tons of climbs that looked easy, but outstandingly beautiful and each one very very unique. That night we walked over to Nate and Liz's camp to return the book. They asked if we were climbing the next day and said they were taking a rest day so we should keep the book, and even let us borrow their Stone Fort area book as well! We were very happy to meet such cool people that were so friendly. We spent the evening hanging out at their campfire and shared stories.
The next day we walked into the bouldering area and got started at the Hueco simulator wall. It had a bunch of easy climbs, that were all quite good climbs and perfect warmups. Our favorite was a v2 called Ripple that was just perfect. We walked down to another area and got on a sweet v1 called Mr. Softy and then did El Bano v3 (the bathroom). It was very good climbing. After that we did triple slaps v3, and then tried Nose Candy v6. I sent and Cassie came close but had trouble with her reach.
|Cassie warming up on the Hueco Simulator Wall|
|Nose Candy v6|
The next day we climbed with Nate,Liz,Mike,Dunk, and Matt. We warmed up at the Orb area and did a bunch of incredibly fun easy climbs including one of the best v1s we've done which starts on a roof and then goes up iron rail jugs. It was beautiful. Cassie tried Nose Candy again, but didn't quite pull it off. The Scoop v1 was one of the best v1s I've ever done. Hopped on Anti-scoop which was an okay v4. We tried Golden Shower v5 which is one of the best 5s I've ever tried but just didn't have the juice to send. It began to drizzle, then downpour and by the time we made it back to the car we were soaked. We decided to make lemonade from lemons and used the rain to wash up with some soap :)
|Matt trying Golden Shower v5|
|The Scoop V1|
Having spent two days climbing a lot we opted for a rest day and a free shower at the local community center. After getting cleaned up we went to a place called Pigeon Mountain Country Store. Nate had mentioned that they had good bbq (called 'cue down here in the South) and free wifi. So, we arrived and ordered a plate of the ribs and sides of baked beans and potato salad. We sat down on the porch and fired up the laptop only to hear someone say "that's the biggest black widow I've ever seen" we ran toward the voice (maybe not the smartest thing to run toward) and saw a huge black widow. It was truly a beautiful creature, though a bit scary looking. The 'cue turned out to be excellent and we sat on the front porch eating ribs, uploading photos and enjoying a nice cool afternoon. We made friends with the guys running the store named Jared and Joe who make the ribs and the lemon bars we devoured and vowed to be back someday. We spent the evening back at camp drinking burbon, scotch and watching the fire.
|'cue from the Pidgeon Mountain Country Store|
Our final day at Rocktown we went to the Orb area and got on Double Trouble v3. It came out another roof on a perfect iron rail. It was excellent. We then did Soap on a Rope v4 which has to be one of the harder 4s we've done. It was a very good climb and was well worth the effort. Matt tried The Orb v8 and got to the crux easily but was shutdown on the hard move. We tried Little Bad v5 which Matt flashed, and another v5 that Cassie flashed. We checked out a few more boulders but started running out of skin and energy. The rock is basically coarse sandpaper and wears out the tips of your fingers. At one point I counted 3 layers of skin missing off the tip of my middle finger.
|Soap on a Rope v4|