Southern Update.

The end of January has arrived, and that leaves me, weather permitting, with 1 or 2 more bouldering trips to the Southeast. Maybe 3 if Kentucky is still iced over come March.

In my last post I gave you a little tidbit of how the trip went, but I thought I should give you a proper update. Besides stepping onto the incredible "Golden Harvest" for the first time, I used the last trip as a time to feel out more of the hard boulders on my list. Day one was a short day... we drove 6.5 hours and got out of the car headed straight for "The Vagina". It was nearly over in 15 minutes, as I stuck the crux move easily. Oddly, my heal popped out of the perfect heelhook. Hmmm... dumb mistake. I start over, stick the move again, heel pops out. What the hell? I look under the roof, and there is a HUGE tickmark pointing about 4 inches in front of the heelhook. I was never even in the damn thing. I reticked it, came back the next morning, and made quick work of it, for a long awaited send of a Southern super-classic.

Andrew Gearing on Helicopter Sit.  Photo by Allen Chaney.

"Golden Harvest" was next, and I suprised myself by touching the crux hold in a few tries. That's 2.5 moves on a 5 move boulder. Halfway there. The neverending number/ticklist spray coming from the guys who were there before me soon took it's toll, and energy drained, I moved on after 4 or 5 attempts. After lunch and a quick send of a fun V6 called "Drunken Barn Dance", I made my way over to "Helicopter Sit", which weighs in at hard V8 or easy V9. Light fading along with my energy, I came agonizingly close to the send in just a few tries. I'll definitely be back for that one.

Senya Iaryguine on Riverdance. 

Day 3 was all about "Riverdance", one of the best looking V9's I've seen. It's in an area known by several names: Dayton Pocket, Dayton Roof, Laurel Falls, or Laurel Snow. No matter what you choose to call it, it's one of the nicest places I've ever climbed.  The boulders are spaced out along a beautiful trail that follows a small whitewater river.  "Riverdance" sits right on the river, in a perfect little alcove.  Originally climbed by the Mayor of the South, Ronnie Jenkins, I was anxious to give it a try.  It didn't disappoint.  The stone is superb, the movement amazing, and the setting couldn't be any better.  The only thing lacking was the send.  After two hard days, I was powered down, and came inches from the send after about an hour or two of work.  "Riverdance" is currently the boulder I want the most, and will be my first stop on my next trip to the Southeast.   

As "The Vagina" was one of the boulders on my all time wishlist, I put together a short video to document it.  Enjoy.