For the 3rd year running, the GHSP Bouldering & Stewardship Weekend has been a grassroots rally for climber-based stewardship and volunteerism efforts at Grayson Highlands State Park. Both days are half work/half climbing. The free night of camping is a fun time for hanging out with music, a fire, or a lantern-lit bouldering session. The first GHSP Weekend brought about the construction of the first new trail at Grayson Highlands in 20 years: The Split Rock Trail. Split Rock was also the first official State Park Bouldering Trail in the Southeast. Last year we protected several key landing areas that were in danger of being severely impacted by soil erosion, maintained existing trails, and cleaned boulders. There is a lot planned for this year, including a tour and session at the newly developed Back of Beyond boulderfield! The raffle is in support of the Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition (SVCC). GHSP Bouldering Guidebooks and boulderfield maps will be included in the raffle, and several awesome sponsors have donated some great swag. As always, the Stewardship Weekend is quite informal and is in no way a competition. This will purely be focused on stewardship, hanging out, getting to know other climbers, and climbing some awesome GHSP boulders together. If you are planning to attend, please click and indicate that you are on the Facebook Event Page!
This year’s Event:
Prior to Attending: Please click on the Facebook Event Page if you plan to attend. Please bring work gloves, closed-toed shoes (we will be moving big rocks), Food, Water, Super Soaker or water gun, Bouldering gear, Tent/hammock & Sleeping Bag. Consider bringing a guitar, ice cold sodas, and $10 or more for the raffle!
Saturday the 23rd will start at 9:00am at the Visitor Center/LRT parking lot. We will gather tools and head down to the awesome & exciting Back of Beyond Area. Please bring food & water, and work clothes. If you plan to stay and climb in the Back of Beyond, bring your crashpads and gear as well! We will cut a small footpath throughout the main boulderfield and improve landings there. We will stop working at around 2:00pm, and if you would like to climb elsewhere feel free to do so! Otherwise, hang out and get a tour of the BoB and session on GHSPs newest and proudest blocks.
The night of the 23rd we volunteers get to camp for free in the field above the Park Office. At 7:00 we will hold the raffle at the Park Office field, and afterward we can all meet at the Campground Amphitheater for some live music by the Jay Birds, go night bouldering, or hang out at the campsite fire ring.
The 24th starts at 9:00am again for picking up trash along trails, scrubbing off chalky holds with water-guns and brushes, and rock armoring landings. After 2:00pm, the event will informally end, and we all can go climb!
I would like to thank every volunteer who came out to the event last year, and ahead of time, any of you who want to come out and volunteer your time this year!
ABOUT THE BACK oF BEYOND (BoB) BOULDERFIELD: The BoB is possibly GHSP’s finest boulderfield. Discovered over three years ago, the BoB has quietly been developed only over the last few years. Currently, the BoB approach involves a challenging bushwhack off of the Listening Rock Trail. With an improved trail climbers will be afforded easier access to the current 115+ boulder problems. The BoB hosts 36+ documented boulders, with more remaining unclimbed and unnamed. Upon those 36 blocks, Aaron Parlier’s list and map show over 20 unclaimed projects, and beside those projects, multiple un-attempted prospects for new problems. The BoB itself could easily house over 200 problems. Highballs to lowballs, steep to slab, the BoB has it all.
CAMPING: Feel free to reserve a campsite online (be sure to call if the online site shows no vacancy), or use the special, free, event-only campsite that GHSP allows the Stewardship Weekend guests to use –free of charge- for the night of the 24th only.
PARK FEES: It is free for the Stewardship Weekend volunteers to enter the park and climb.
FOOD: Bring your own. The closest restaurants are the Log House Store where you can purchase some Mom & Pop style country food, as well as the Fox Creek General Store (north of the park on Hwy 16) which sales delicious sandwiches and food.
RAFFLE: The raffle tickets will go at $10 for one ticket, and $5 for any additional ticket.
DOGS: Dogs are allowed in the park, but please be mindful of the 6ft leash regulation. Clean up your dog’s poop.
WATER GUN: Bring with you a cheap (or expensive if you’re really into water guns) water gun/spray gun/ super soaker/ whatever, to blast water at the chalk-covered boulders here in GHSP. If it is hot and you feel like instigating a water war, go for it! Some of us will have brushes and others super soakers. Once the boulder get’s blasted, the chalk brushes off very easily.
WHAT TO BRING: $10 dollars (or more) for the raffle, Gloves, Closed-toed shoes (we will be moving big rocks), Food, Water, Super Soaker/water gun, Bouldering gear, Tent/hammock & Sleeping Bag, Guitar (if you have one and would like to play), Delicious Cold Soda-Pop.
OTHER QUESTIONS: Have other questions? If your question is about GHSP bouldering or the event, please message Aaron Parlier on Mountain Project or here on GraysonHighlandsBouldering. If the question is GH State Park specific, feel free to call the park to speak to the office.