Hello! The fall season is quickly coming to an end but there are still (hopefully) a few solid weeks left ahead of us with quality autumn conditions before snow, ice, and arctic conditions take hold. A few weeks back I had the chance to hang out with some great folks from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine in GHSP for a short video shoot and to talk a little about SWVA and Boone area bouldering. The fall foliage was stunning, temperatures were crisp, and we got to tour some classics and more recently found, still obscure blocks in the park. Here is the link to this awesome article and also, below is the short video. Thanks BROM and Live Outside And Play for showcasing some of the most beautiful blocks in the Southeast!
Hello folks! This summer has been a banner season for GHSP bouldering. More hard projects have been finished, new trails were put in during the GHSP Bouldering & Stewardship Weekend, new crashpads are available for rent in the Park Office, and bouldering visitation has been off the charts.
I would like to thank everyone for the awesome communication on trail issues, broken holds, beta updates, issues and concerns, and the overall general psyche.
I’ve revised the GHSP Guidebook Updates Page here on the website. Please check it out! I only list new problems and finished projects on boulders and in areas covered in the current -Vol.1- GHSP Guidebook. I only list grade adjustments if a hold breaks on a problem to the point that it alters the line drastically. This list is always a work in progress, so be sure to check in on the Guidebook Updates from time to time! Thanks for all the help!
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:
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.
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.
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! All 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 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! Need-To-Know Info: ABOUT THE BACK oF BEYOND (BoB) BOULDERFIELD: The BoB is one of GHSP’s finest boulderfields. 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.
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!
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.
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!