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What areas have the biggest new route opportunities?
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By Brian Hudson
From Greenville, SC
Apr 19, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Don't misunderstand this post--I'm not eager to start putting up mediocre lines just for the sake of the FA. I'm still inexperienced enough to have plenty to work on without looking for new stuff, but I'm reaching a point where I'm beginning to get curious about it. When you dream about new sport or trad routes, single or multipitch, what SE areas come to your mind in terms of potential?


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By BHMBen
From The Deeper South
Apr 19, 2013
Post climb snack... <br /> <br />Photo is of Strappo Hughes, taken in the Yosemite Lodge parking lot in 1982 by Russ Walling.

There is no new route potential here in the SE.


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By Jeremy Hand
Apr 19, 2013
slopey

Check out Florida


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Apr 19, 2013
El Chorro

If people know about an area with a lot of potential, it is likely that they are keeping it to themselves. The last thing they would do is post it up on the internet. This is especially true in the SE, where everything has always been a bit secretive. There are plenty of areas that are totally developed that are still hard to find because no one wants you there.

That said, there must be loads of untapped rock out in TN. Probably some left in western NC as well. Many new routes are still being done around Cashiers and Lake Lure, and Linville Gorge is far from being "climbed out."


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By Jeremy Hand
Apr 19, 2013
slopey

Ryan Williams wrote:
If people know about an area with a lot of potential, it is likely that they are keeping it to themselves. The last thing they would do is post it up on the internet. This is especially true in the SE, where everything has always been a bit secretive. There are plenty of areas that are totally developed that are still hard to find because no one wants you there. That said, there must be loads of untapped rock out in TN. Probably some left in western NC as well. Many new routes are still being done around Cashiers and Lake Lure, and Linville Gorge is far from being "climbed out."


Horsepuckey!


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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Apr 19, 2013

I've only FAed a handful of roped routes, but well over 1000 boulder routes in SC, NC and GA...that being said, my experience has been that the best FAs happen when you least expect them. I always thought it was like looking for a "girlfriend" back in high school and college...the more you're focussed on finding what you want, the less of a chance you're actually going to find it. If you havent had much experience climbing, then start climbing more at your local spots and pay attention to potential near already established routes. Trying to find a new crag or get in on a crag another tight knit group is already developing, is not the easiest thing to do. There is still plenty of stone in the SE that hasnt seen an FA, but unless you have a partner or an "in" to the groups that do most of the developing, searching existing crags is the best option. Remember that development is not something to do because you want to do it...its because it needs to be done. Squeeze jobs, rap bolted or accidental retro bolted lines, and TR routes are generally unneccesary. If you intend to drill bolts, then realize that you are in the Carolina's and there is a preferred "style" that can create much controversy if you dont tend to follow it...especially if you are not known in the local scene. I'm sure you've been informed of the strong ground up/trad mentality here in Greenville and the Western Carolinas in general. The Bald isnt climbed out, but most of the potential is in the satellite crags, not necessarily at the Bald proper. Cashiers, Pisgah and the Linville area have so much rock that these are probably your better potential areas. Especially with the new publication of the Cedar Rock Guidebook, several lesser developed Pisgah crags have just been revealed to those that didnt know them already. Dont forget that most land in SC is off limits for roped climbing, except National Forests (like Sumter, which contains the Chattooga River), so dont waste your time searching for cliffs in your immediate area.

If you want to try to establish a new crag, then I advise using the GPS feature in Google Earth on a smartphone to see where you are at and where the rock is on the satellite image...I've spent the last couple of years bushwhacking around the Jocassee Gorges and have found 4 new bouldering areas this way.

By no means am I an expert, but just a couple of thoughts that might help you out.


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By Dylan Weldin
From Austin, Texas
Apr 19, 2013
Summit of my first tower, the Rectory via Fine Jade

Brad Caldwell wrote:
Especially with the new publication of the Cedar Rock Guidebook, several lesser developed Pisgah crags have just been revealed to those that didnt know them already.


Brad, could you PM me with more info related to this comment ^^? Some of my friends and climbing partners have made contributions to this publication and I'd love to check it out!

Cheers,
-Dylan Weldin


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By Dylan Weldin
From Austin, Texas
Apr 19, 2013
Summit of my first tower, the Rectory via Fine Jade

cedarrockguide.com/?page_id=11

Okay, nevermind... thanks Google!


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By wes calkins
Apr 19, 2013

+1 to Brad's post


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By DanP
From Georgia
Apr 19, 2013
-

Either you can go get hurt trying to FA choss, do bold leads in WNC that some of the really strong and bold climbing hard men haven't worked up to doing, do squeeze jobs at established cliffs, or trespass private property. There are more established routes out there that aren't published than those that are. A good rule of thumb is that chances are it's been climbed.


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By Greg Berry
Apr 19, 2013

Jeremy Hand wrote:
Check out Florida


The Flo Rida boys are tight lipped on the climbing. There is no guide and probably never will be. I have some first ascents in FLA and I mean some sick sh@T but I won't kiss and tell. Don't want any ethical battles down there. You find it you can call it your FA/Hero for the day.


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By Brian Hudson
From Greenville, SC
Apr 19, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Ben, I guess I expected that from part of the responses.

Brad, awesome post, thanks.

Dan, that's the way it seems to me so far. Always get the response "eh, it's probably already been climbed."


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By Ed Wright
Apr 20, 2013
Magic Ed

You want miles of unclimbed big walls with moderate approaches come to northern Mexico. Potrero Chico and environs has unlimited potential, only 3 hours south of the border.


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By Scott Phil
From NC
Apr 20, 2013

Are you interested in FAs for any of the following reasons?
1) to hone your route finding skills,
2) enjoy the thrill of discovery,
3) learn to read the rock to anticipate gear needs and overall difficulty,
4) deal with that sinking feeling when you realize that nothing on your rack will fit when you've already run it out more than you wished
5) gain unintended experience with tricky traverses and down climbing,
6) learn more about yourself and how you react when dealing with situations 1-5

Take this simple first step--leave the guidebook at home. You will eventually get lost, get on the wrong route, or get off-route. In the beginning you may want to check out a route's overall rating. Beyond that just reduce your intake of beta (like all diets, this is easier said than done). I've left guides at home on purpose and by accident. It always adds a bit more spice.

And as others have noted there are a lot of routes and climbing areas out there that see little traffic because they are not in the guidebooks. Check them out. With enough lichen almost anything can feel like an FA.



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By john strand
From southern colo
Apr 20, 2013

BirminghamBen wrote:
There is no new route potential here in the SE.


Right, No rock at cashiers.... mt friends keep telling me. i swear i some years ago...

The Ghost River in canada.. miles


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By Brian Hudson
From Greenville, SC
Apr 22, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG

Ed Wright wrote:
You want miles of unclimbed big walls with moderate approaches come to northern Mexico. Potrero Chico and environs has unlimited potential, only 3 hours south of the border.

Right on, Ed. I hear there's some sweet belay ledges down there!

Scott...that is some good perspective, man. Thanks for the advice.


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By Rhett Burroughs
From Valdosta, GA
Apr 23, 2013
Yup

Brian Hudson wrote:
Ben, I guess I expected that from part of the responses. Brad, awesome post, thanks. Dan, that's the way it seems to me so far. Always get the response "eh, it's probably already been climbed."


Don;t mind Ben, he's selfish.

DanP is right on. Add backcountry crags to the list. Still lots to do though.


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