Free 7 Day Trial of the GHSP Bouldering Guidebook App

18 May

Check it out! Rakkup is offering an awesome 7 day free trial of the GHSP Bouldering Guidebook App (Monday the 18th to Memorial Day, Monday the 25th) in celebration of the Grayson Highlands Bouldering & Stewardship Weekend. Here is the down-low on how to download:

iPhone/iPad:

1. Download rakkup from the Apple App Store here.

2. Register an account from the Settings Tab. (You must create an account to download a free trial)

3. Tap on the Grayson Highlands in the Available Guides section of the Bookshelf.

4. Tap the 7-day trial button.

Android:

1. Download rakkup from Google Play.

2. Register an account from the Settings Tab. (You must create an account to download a free trial)

3. Tap on the Grayson Highlands row in the Store.

4. Tap the Try it button.

FreeTrialScreenShot

3rd Annual GHSP Bouldering & Stewardship Weekend

20 Apr

GHSP Mem. Day WkndFor 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!

Principia(V8)  Kai Böttcher PhotoAll photos aside from the event page banner are of the Back of Beyond Boulderfield. The beautiful GHSP banner photo is by the talented CJ Yunger.

 

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 Renand 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 Caniswater-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!

Need-To-Know Info:

ABOUT THE BACK oF BEYOND (BoB) BOULDERFIELD: The BoB is possibly GHSP’s finest awenasaboulderfield. 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.DSC_0010

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 Bomborasome 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.DSC_0028

Kickstarter: Lets Bring A Climbing Gym To Boone, NC

25 Feb

For over a year now Keith Shockley, Chris Grasinger and I -with help from SO many others from the Boone community and beyond- have worked toward our dream of opening a performance bouldering and fitness facility that will act as a hub for all things climbing in the High Country of beautiful Western North Carolina. We hope to help strengthen our climbing community with talented area route setters, an inspiring wall designs and climbing surfaces, and to also offer yoga, strength training, and massage through the facility.

While at first glance this might not seem very GHSP related. But, with Grayson being so close to Boone, and the best warm season option for bouldering in Western NC, it does have an impact. This gym will be the closest indoor climbing facility to Grayson Highlands State Park, and a huge benefit for staging stewardship initiatives and for rainy day climbing session options if visiting the park for an extended time. Also, this is a huge personal dream for me, and one that will hopefully keep me close to GHSP bouldering for many years to come.

Please take a moment to check out our Kickstarter campaign page, watch the awesome video put together from our friends at Wonderland Woods, and if you’re able, please support the effort and help turn this dream into a reality by pledging and sharing this link with friends! Here is the link to the campaign page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1456805322/creating-an-indoor-climbing-wall-in-boone?ref=nav_search

And you can tell friends to simply type “climbing” into the Kickstarter search bar, and Sender House will be there!

 

 

 

Grayson Highlands Bouldering Shirts!

8 Jan

Last night the temps in GHSP were indeed in the negatives and “felt like” close to -20 degrees. The whole park is basically a shiny, beautiful Graysicle right now. While this is brutal in bouldering terms, this is not at all out of the ordinary for the GHSP winter season. These terribly cold winter temps are what make GHSP the ideal and best summer boulderfields in the Southeast. Looking forward to the spring thaw, and to kick off the upcoming spring bouldering season, I learned this morning that GHSP will be carrying some awesome Grayson Highlands Bouldering shirts! While planning your spring trip, if you are able to pick one of these shirts up please do so! Purchasing one of these shirts will go a long way in supporting the most climber-friendly, welcoming, beautiful and boulder-strewn State Park in Virginia.

Pick up your Grayson Highlands Bouldering shirt at the Park Office or Visitors Center!

Pick up your Grayson Highlands Bouldering shirt at the Park Office or Visitors Center!

 

GHSP Bouldering Write-Up & Photos

15 Sep

Check out the Grayson Highlands Bouldering write-up on Rakkup’s website accompanying our recent release of the GHSP Bouldering Guidebook app. Big thanks to Dan Brayack for the beautiful photos!

http://www.rakkup.com/grayson-highlands-bouldering-tonic-for-the-mind/

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Matt Bieljeski on Foot Kaput (V4), Lonely Boulder. Photo: Brayackmedia

 

New! Rakkup Mobile GHSP Guidebook App

3 Sep

GraysonMapiOSI’m excited to announce the new Rakkup mobile guidebook app for Grayson Highlands Bouldering. The Rakkup app includes full guidebook content to every area, boulder, and problem in GHSP along with powerful search and filter options to customize your climbing experience such as “all V5s in shade” or “V4-V6 in sun.” One of the most powerful utilities the app features is turn-by-turn trail navigation. Rakkup uses detailed trail mapping and GPS information to get you to any climbing destination in the park, so no getting lost trying to find boulder problems or boulderfields like Moonlight Sonata or the Crooked Road Boulder!

 

 

GraysonNaviOSAfter all of the GPS and trail data was collected I drove out to the park to field test the app. I had high hopes for the app or course, but this has far exceeded my expectations. Once I got to the park entrance I tapped on the Thews Boulder in the Middle Boneyard Area and hit “go.” The large compass arrow and GHSP map popped up with the road and trail highlighted. Driving toward the parking area, a black dot illustrated where I was as I approached the trail head. Hiking up, the distance count became smaller and with every approaching turn the directional arrow guided the way. Once I reached the boulder, the topo illustration filled the screen showing where every problem on the boulder is located. Tap the small arrow on the screen and there is a high quality photo and problem overlay. SO NICE!

GraysonFilterAndroidVisit Rakkup’s website, download the app, and purchase the GHSP Bouldering Guide with either a two month rental fee of $7.99, or buy it for three years for $15.99 (just a heads up on the three year situation, Rakkup is changing the format from three years to “forever” sometime this fall, and buying now will end up being a really great deal, so don’t wait!). There is also an option to purchase the print guidebook and app combo for a great price!

For one more incentive to get this awesome handheld piece of climbing guidebook technology, I will be occasionally updating the Rakkup app with brand new boulders and problems. Don’t miss out on the Rage Boulders, High Jump (V7/8), Hyper Monster (V11), the Outlaw Boulder, Outlaw (V10/11),Season Premiere (V6), and many more updates along the way…

Rakkup: Climbing guides, reinvented. http://www.rakkup.com/

Rakkup: Climbing guides, reinvented. http://www.rakkup.com/

 

Visit Rakkup’s webpage here to download the app today!  http://www.rakkup.com/climbing-guidebooks/bouldering/grayson-highlands-bouldering/

Problem Of the Week #22: Johnny Get Your Gun (V5), Crooked Road Boulder

27 Aug

Map of the actual Crooked Road from Virginia.org

The Crooked Road Boulder is huge. With the rest of GHSP’s clustered Boulderfields in perspective, the Crooked Road Boulder is a loaner; a recluse in the forest. Yet, concerning its size it easily constitutes several boulders at once. As large as the Crooked Road boulder (CRB) is, it can be difficult to locate. This unexpected megalithic boulder is a jewel of a rock though and worth a trip, even if exploratory, to find it. Tall, steep, and amply featured this boulder is awesome for any climber looking for easy to moderate boulder problems in a peaceful and uncrowded section of GHSP.

Katie at the start to "Johnny Get Your Gun"

Katie at the start to “Johnny Get Your Gun”

It was hard to pick just one boulder problem to cover for the CRB. “Life is a House” and “Narcolepsy Crack” both are a joy to climb, “Rosewood Casket” has that flow, and “Man of Constant Sorrow” still gives me anxiety when reminiscing about the top section. I chose “Johnny Get Your Gun”(V5) simply because it is a techy, steep, awesome line without a deadly fall and because it is challenging halfway through, into a juggy finish (what’s not to love?).

crooked-road-581

This little sign located somewhere in VA is not to be confused with the “giant sign” at the parking area.

The name of the boulder is based off of the giant sign at the parking area describing the history of and route that the actual Crooked Road follows. The Crooked Road winds through and links together almost 300 miles of scenic terrain and back roads in Southwest Virginia including ten counties, three cities, and ten towns. This region of Southwest Virginia’s Appalachia is steeped in bluegrass music and Appalachian heritage which is why many boulder problem names here are also names of famous bluegrass and country music songs. “Johnny Get Your Gun” can be traced back to WW1, but is also a –not so- historical, but good, Old Crow Medicine Show track.

Matt Bielejeski on "Big Timin' In The Jungle," another fun line on the CRB

Matt Bielejeski on “Big Timin’ In The Jungle,” another fun line on the CRB

“Johnny Get Your Gun”(V5) sit starts as per “Narcolepsy Crack” but breaks right after the start climbing through a powerful and technical crimp sequence. After crimps and a jug this line links into the fun and jug-a-licious finish as per “James River Blues.”

Aaron Parlier starting the FA of "Johnny Get Your Gun"

Aaron Parlier starting the FA of “Johnny Get Your Gun”

As mentioned before, CRB is tough to locate. Basically, pull into the convenient pull-off immediately to your left once you turn into the park entrance. Get out of your vehicle and walk up the hill behind the sign (over the rock wall, up the mowed grass, into the woods). Walk straight back to the logging road/firebreak that leads up hill (follow the stacked rocks). Trek up along the firebreak until you see the large block on the right (see diagram in GHSP Guide). Turn off of the firebreak to the right at the block and traverse the hillside until the massive, dark, ominous boulder appears (that would be the CRB).

Rakkup: Climbing guides, reinvented. http://www.rakkup.com/

Rakkup: Climbing guides, reinvented. http://www.rakkup.com/

All the approach confusion can be avoided however, if you wait for another short timeframe for the Rakkup smartphone GHSP Guidebook app to be released. This awesome app is equipped with turn-by-turn navigation (yes that includes turn-by-turn climber access trail directions) to every boulder listed in the 1st edition GHSP Bouldering Guidebook. With full color photos and interactive mapping you will be able to walk effortlessly to any boulder in the park… I couldn’t be more excited!

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