Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Nature of a Boulder

Today is the second day in the fifth week of my last semester of school. Most days my mind functions like a huge clock moving continuously and forcefully toward the time of my release. From this torturous tic-toc I have few escapes. An hour here, a few hours there, time for a little rest, a meal, time for a quick session at TBA. This is what I live for.

My body has neglected to cooperate fully with my demanding schedule and the heart of its resistance is located in the tissue of my fingers where several tweaks and strains have manifested themselves. Some days the pain seems to pin me to the ground, my motivation fails, and I retreat feeling broken. Most days are still good though. On the weekends I find my rest bumbling around the hills of Tennessee in search of new boulders. Sometimes I even find one.

It was just a couple weeks ago that Nate Draughn and I climbed a new boulder at Deep Creek. I decided to call it Lost in the Mourning in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (the day we climbed it). The boulder itself is a triangle shaped protrusion not unlike the shape of a nose. All in all the climb consists of about 7 compression moves on slopers and pinches along the bottom of the feature. I can honestly say that this is a GREAT boulder and that climbing it felt quite like a gift.

To me this is the nature of boulders: they are small gifts of the earth which a climber may claim only for only a brief moment. I have heard several times that climbing new boulders/routes is like a form of art. I disagree. Climbing a new piece of rock is not an act of creation, merely an expression of something already created. Whether climbed or not boulders remain unchanged and will remain thus long after our own departures. Here is a photo albeit a poor one.

 Nate on Lost in the Mourning

It's worth mentioning that Deep Creek (yes, the sport climbing area) has some potential for boulder development as well. If you are feeling adventurous take a little hike - you don't need to go far.

That being said, I would like to draw your attention to a couple other things.

1. Joe Kinder, Andrew Bisharat, and Whitney Boland have all written reviews of A Fine Line. I'm stoked on the feedback and I can't wait for everyone to see the movie! The premier will be in Atlanta at Patagonia on October 6th. It will be screened again at Montlake Golf Club on October 7th after the Triple Crown competition. See Andrew Kornylak's blog for more info. A screen shot from the vid:

2. Several Chattanooga hard men have been busy bolting new routes at the local crag, Deep Creek. And, while I'm not going to name names, these guys deserve some serious props for all their work. Thank you!

3. Stone Summit is hosting a competition this Saturday (September 24th). It should be a fun time! Click here for the comp details.

If this post is any indication, I'm going to try out a new format on the blog. It will be more centered on reporting regional climbing activity (first ascents, repeats, access, etc.) in order to present climbers in the Southeast a clear picture of what is going on. I'm looking forward to a little change-up - I have to admit I'm extremely bored of the traditional blog format which involves relating incredibly boring days for the sake of spraying about some insignificant send.

I hope everyone enjoys and if you have any suggestions please feel free to contact me.