Drexel here, I just finished up this video of my good friend and fellow crusher Melise, climbing in Boone and Tennessee. Enjoy!
After finishing school, Evolv athlete Melise Edwards hit the road with the intention of climbing in all the best areas the South East has to offer. After a very successful stint in Boone, NC, Melise visited some Tennessee sandstone at LRC, Dayton Pocket, and Rocktown. She had a blast and looks forward to the next opportunity to explore more fantastic bouldering spots. In this video she climbs Klamper V8, Changing Lanes V9, and Portobello V9, in Boone, NC. She also quickly puts together River Dance V9, one of the most beautiful and classic boulder problems the South has to offer.
Keep up with Melise on her blog: itsajurg.blogspot.com/
I suppose I’ll keep the blog ball rolling, since certain people (cough Drexel cough) have avoided carrying their share.
This past weekend I took the 3.5 hour drive to Chattanooga to hang out and climb with Drexel and Melise. A drive of 3-4 hours is just long enough to make you antsy, but short enough that you could probably survive without stopping if you were determined enough.
Saturday was kind of grey and gross, but we got out for a nice hike with the pup to look at the surprisingly impressive and proximal Apartment Boulders. I won’t tell you where they are (just in case this is supposed to be a local’s only secret) but I bet you could find out if you were persistent. It’s crazy to see boulders so close to civilization, until you stop and remember that the boulders were here first, so it’s less “Whoa, how did those boulders get here!?” and more “Whoa! Why did someone build apartments so close to large rocks?!”
Sunday we went to Rocktown. It felt very nostalgic after our month of calling this place home. It was also an incredible feeling to touch real rock, when my weekly training consists solely of plastic. It’s hard to describe the pleasurable experience of your body going through familiar movements on warm-ups as beautiful and textured as the Hueco area, but maybe a picture can do it justice?
The only thing more fun than exploring Rocktown on your own is sharing Rocktown with a climber who is there for their first time. There is a strange satisfying joy that comes from showing someone all your favorite climbs. And even moreso, seeing someone flash the pants off of all your favorite climbs. Because honestly, that’s what happened when Melise met Mr. Rocktown. By the end of the day, Melise was victorious, and Mr. Rocktown had no pants on.
One by one, they fell before her – Hueco Simulator V-scary, Nose Candy, Sherman Photo, Helicopter, Standard Deviation, Golden Showers (second-go, the only non-flash send of the day)… It was INSANE!
Not to be outdone, Drexel sent Triple Threat V9, one of the few remaining Rocktown climbs on his ticklist.
I had no impressive sends for the day. Confidence tip: Set the bar super low and then exceed expectations no matter what you do!
My main goal for the day was to teach Rumi how to be a good crag dog. He did a pretty good job, except for that one time something snapped in his tiny furry brain and he went into crazy mode of run-in-circles-as-fast-as-possible-omg-run-run-run. I believe the term I’ve heard other dog owners use is that he got the “zoom-zooms.” Regardless, he had fun and made some new friends:
Overall, a great day. We had been planning to hit up the Hot Chocolatier in the evening after inventing a point system in which Melise had earned herself at least three liquid truffles for 50+ V points, but alas the shop was closed on Sundays. But put away those sympathy notes — we were sneaky and managed to create our own truffley-fudgey-deliciousness back home using melted chocolate bars and cream. Crisis averted.
Carson, Ian, and I woke up bright and early on the 26th and after an amazing breakfast with the family we hit the road and began the 2 hour drive to the bright sandstone boulders of Rocktown Georgia. We drove straight to the boulder field and hiked/ran up the trail to the back side of the field. Even though we visit the southeast every winter we were all blown away once again by just how amazing the rock is. Beautiful rounded orange sandstone with iron stripes crisscrossing throughout. After ecstatically warming up we set our sights on the proud and scary Hueco Simulator, a 25 foot overhanging prow that finishes in a harder than you want it to be top out. It was fun to start the day by getting a little adrenaline going and getting focused. Continue reading Back in the Southeast (D)→
Following the adventures of two rock climbers and their minivan