As I left my home at 6am friday morning, I shuffled out through about six inches of snow.  Snow in Charleston is rare.  We DO get some snow though its about 50/50 if we get any major snow accumulation to stay on the ground more than a day or two…and by major accumulation, I mean more than half an inch!

We were seriously worried about climbing, but decided to put our faith in the weather report for Lake Lure, NC – 50 and sunny for Rumbling Bald.  Man.  What a good idea.  The climbing (bouldering) at Rumbling Bald was AWESOME.  Conditions were perfect.  50s and sunny, which is shorts/pants weather with a light sweater.  Conditions were great and the gritty gneiss was spectacular.

The densely packed boulder field with soft, flat landings is one of the better boulder fields I’ve been to.  The climbing itself reminded me a lot a cross between LRC (Stone Fort in Chattanooga) and my childhood bouldering area – Coopers Rock in WV.  Though there are some roofs, most of the problems tend to be face climbs up perfect 15-20 foot tall boulders.

One thing that really stuck out to me was how RICH Lake Lure, NC is.  Surrounding this incredible lake are tons and TONS of really really nice houses.  Each of these HUGE houses has a super nice boat house, no doubt accompanied by a sweat boat.  If I were ever to decide to be rich, I’d want to have a vacation house here.

The climbing here was techy, especially with the feet.  Foot holds were really … well… technical.  Difficult and delicate smears, lots of core.  Tiny crystals and bumps on otherwise featureless rock often made the difference between send and splat.

Some problems that really stood out to me were:

Basketball Mantle V3.

A low sit-start and some easy face moves culminate to an…..ohhhhhhhhhhh boy mantle!  Really excellent and reminiscent of a classic HP-40 problem.

Basketball Mantle V3

Lost Cause V5.  An unlikely but perfect problem.  This route climbs a 10′ 20-30 degree face, starting on a low jug.  A hand-heel match leads to a cross over right hand to a good edge, then some foot setting, then a BIG move to a decent hold.  Hard to explain, but this was probably one of the best problems I climbed on at Rumbling Bald.

Lost Cause V5

Slave Driver V4.  The classic problem is short, but packs a punch!! A low start on a sloper leads to some tick-tacking up a gently overhanging face, finishing with a GIANT move to some slopers and a rather dicey mantle!!

Slave Driver V4

Brackish One V4.  A campus start to the jug leads to a spectacular sequence up the overhanging arete.  This is the crux, though the topout is kinda SKETCHY!!  This is such a classic problem.

Brackish One V4.