Granite City Bouldering
As I've been saying, this has kinda been the summer from hell so far: taking pre-reqs, working full-time 'til last week, fixing up and packing up my house, all in preparation for school (movin' next week!). There hasn't been much time to climb, which in some ways might be a hidden blessing. My shoulder is feeling better than it has in months.
What with all of the stress, Melissa and I decided we needed a day off away from the books and out of the house this past Saturday. Since Brad at Upstate Bouldering posted a guidebook to Granite City near Cashiers, we decided to check the place out. (I'm not gonna include directions or beta in this post since it can all be had from Brad's site.) Not many bouldering areas around WNC have much in the way of very easy climbing...but Granite City has tons. In fact, V0 and V1 are probably the most prevalent grades. It looked perfect for both of us.
The drive there is a part of the fun, since you drive below Whiteside Mt (the boulders are at the base of a mountain next to Whiteside). I've never climbed on Whiteside, but damn--looking at all that rock got me psyched. I went home that night and scoped out the NC climbing guide for a good half hour. If and when I get back to full speed, the Original Route is now on my tick list. It looks like an awesome route and a great intro to the wall.
Anyway, the hike in to GC is like 3 minutes. We were happy to find dry rock since it poured off and on for the whole drive there. We got to climb for a little over an hour before a storm rolled in. We spent most of our time in the Main Street area, which is a corridor that comprises most of the climbing here (see pics in the slideshow).
All in all, the place is a fun diversion, and a good destination if you are a new climber or building up to harder problems. Things are very lowball for the most part and there are a lot of traversing variations that can keep the Main Street area interesting. If you're a V4 and up climber, there's not a ton here for you, but if you're in the area it's worth stopping by. I should mention, however, 2 sick looking lines. A V7 highball called The Moonshiner and an amazing V8/9 problem called Hard Times Arete. If this line were anywhere else, you would have heard of it before now. It looks sick and pretty durn classic (again, pic in the slideshow).
Another great thing about GC is it's proximity to the Chatooga river for swimming, which we hit up on our drive out. You can also go to the Horsepasture river and slide down Turtleback falls. To sum it up, GC isn't an area you'd write home about from abroad--it's lowball and for the most part easy climbing ('cept for a few really nice looking hard lines), but it can be a fun local's day trip if you throw in some of the other regional attractions.
Posted by Matt P.