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Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook?
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trenchdigger


Mar 2, 2007, 8:29 AM
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Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook?  (North_America: United_States: North_Carolina: Central: Stone_Mountain_State_Park)
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I'm visiting Stone Mtn and need a little beta...

What would you recommend as a rack? Any big gear required for any routes? What about real thin stuff? Sounds like routes are mostly low angle and without copius gear placements. I'm thinking of tossing in a few Aliens, .75-3 Camalots, and 8 or 10 nuts. It looks like most (all?) belays are bolted.

What's the recommended guidebook for the area? I may get to the NRG some time, so if there's a book that has some NRG info too, that might be preferable.

Thanks in advance for any info.

~Adam~


boo


Mar 2, 2007, 8:35 AM
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Re: [trenchdigger] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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The Kelly 3rd Edition has a nice description of a Stone Mtn 'light' rack. That guide lists all the routes, but the descriptions for in the select guide are better. Aliens would be good and tricams too.

Users clarki and goober have done a lot of the routes there. You might try pm'ing either of them.

There are a couple guides for NRG. I'll leave those rec's. to one of the WV crew.


trenchdigger


Mar 2, 2007, 8:40 AM
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Re: [boo] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Thanks. Can you summarize the Stone rack a little more? Does what I posted sound about right? I'll be buying the guide once I get to the area, and I need to pack my rack before I leave SoCal.

Thanks again...


Partner j_ung


Mar 2, 2007, 8:41 AM
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Re: [boo] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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You rang? Use Cater's new book, New River Gorge, Meadow River and Summersville Lake, but take the Meadow section with a grain of salt.


Partner j_ung


Mar 2, 2007, 8:44 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Also, what you have for Stone Mountain is fine. Camms up to 3 inches and a set of nuts will be plenty for the well-protected routes. For the others, you'll need only a handful of draws.


johnathon78


Mar 2, 2007, 8:45 AM
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Re: [trenchdigger] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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AH, Stone Mountain. I lost my multi-pitch virginity there. Anywho, a standard rack all depends upon which route you choose to do. Theres only 2 routes that REALLY take gear. The great Arch and No Alternative. The Great Arch takes gear all the way to the end with bolted belays.If you really wanted to be choosy and place small stuff you can, but, I never placed anything smaller than a BD 1. Then again, I never had more than 2 pieces per pitch(its only 5.5). No Alternative has good gear on the fist pitch, after that good luck....gear placement are sparse and RUNOUT! There is 1 bolt I think on the 2nd pitch. Now, there are multiple ways onto the main ledge. I've done a few with good gear and a couple that were basically free solos. An option as far as DECENT gear goes is Entrance Crack ( 5.8 I think ). You sling a few trees on it and find a deep nut placement or two up high and then more trees to a belay station out left. As for the other routes....no beta here. A guidebook that covers NC and WV....I've never seen. The NRG is to large and vast to be shared with other destinations! If it were, that book would be huge! I suggest picking up " New River Rock" for the New if you can find it. If not, pick up the latest guidebook for the NRG. Good luck climbing!


trenchdigger


Mar 2, 2007, 8:48 AM
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Re: [johnathon78] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Excellent... sounds like I could easily get away with less, but I think I'll bring what I listed since we may bail to the NRG for a day and I'm guessing I'll want a little more gear to place there.


scrapedape


Mar 2, 2007, 8:49 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
Also, what you have for Stone Mountain is fine. Camms up to 3 inches and a set of nuts will be plenty for the well-protected routes. For the others, you'll need only a handful of draws.

And balls like steel grapefruits.


boo


Mar 2, 2007, 8:53 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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j-ung beat me to that on stone, but yes. I would agree what you have is fine. A #4 is nice to protect sortof high in entrance crack, but you just don't have to do that pitch to get to the tree ledge. (And a lot of us have never owned a #4 and done the pitch as is.) A #3 will do nicely in the widest part of the Arch, Pitch 1. And as long as you have some small aliens you should be good.

The aliens really do work nicely. It's white granite and has those odd little folds and non-crack fissures. The guide does talk about not using wide gate carabiners. Reportedly all the bolts have been replaced, but keep it in mind if you use DMM wirelocks or any other high profile carabiner.

Not sure what you want to do there, but I hear rave reviews about Fantastic. The Arch is easy, but really cool. I try to do it annually.


trenchdigger


Mar 2, 2007, 9:20 AM
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Re: [boo] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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boo wrote:
Not sure what you want to do there, but I hear rave reviews about Fantastic. The Arch is easy, but really cool. I try to do it annually.

Slab is my thing, so I'm hoping to get on some of the "harder" routes that are not death routes(runout is fine, so long as I'm not going to crater if I blow the crux). "Rainy Day Woman", "Bombay Groove", and the "Great Brown Way".


naitch


Mar 2, 2007, 9:36 AM
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Re: [boo] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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U-slot and Dirty crack also take gear and give you access to the tree ledge. The pulpit also takes gear - the more creative you are the more gear it will take.


saxfiend


Mar 9, 2007, 1:42 PM
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Re: [trenchdigger] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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For anybody who's interested, trenchdigger is a great guy and an inspiring friction climber -- he made Captain Crunch (5.11a) look easy. He and his buddy Ian were gracious enough to let me climb with them today (my partner doesn't get here til tomorrow). Thanks a lot, Adam and Ian!

JL


jamatt


Mar 9, 2007, 2:40 PM
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Re: [saxfiend] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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bring running shoes for your belayer. really.


trenchdigger


Mar 11, 2007, 9:37 PM
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Re: [saxfiend] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Thanks, John, and thanks to the others for the beta. The recommended rack was great... Singles of .75 thru #3 camalot, Green, Yellow, and Red Aliens, and a half set of nuts. Here's a quick follow-up...

I met up with a friend from DC on Thursday afternoon and made it to Stone late Thursday night. We bivied in the car and got an early start Friday morning. We figured we'd knock out some of the easier classics on Friday to avoid the crowds, then check out the harder/less popular stuff on Saturday.

-- Friday --
To warm up and start things off, I led up the "U-Slot". I thought the route led up through the obvious little "U" shaped slot in the overlap about 80' up, so I led up the standard groove start, then up and left on the slab to the notch in the overlap. A #3 camalot fit well under the overlap, and the move onto the overlap surprisingly felt easier than the slab below. A short scramble led to a tree belay. I guess this isn't the standard route, but it was fun and I recommend it as a variation.

Next up - "The Great Arch". Ian led P1 and P3, and I led P2. Fun, easy climbing up an incredible feature. I can see why this is crowded on a weekend. From there we rapped to the ground and met John (Saxfiend).

The three of us TR'd "Rice Krispies" and "Captain Crunch", then Ian led the bold "Crystal Lizard" and John and I followed. We bade farewell to John at that point and continued on.

"No Alternative" was next on the agenda. Ian led all pitches and I followed. Fun route...

With 10 pitches down for the day, we decided to call it a day and head back to camp.

-- Saturday --
Our goal is to knock out some of the harder routes from Tree Ledge, so I lead up "Dirty Crack" and Ian follows.

"Rainy Day Women" is next. The runout to the first bolt gets me thinking, but the friction is solid and the moves not very hard. P2 is a cake walk.

A few steps to the left and I find myself in a simiar run to the first bolt on "Storm In A Teacup" although this time I don't even give it a second thought. The long pitch gets my calves screaming for mercy by the time I hit the belay.

We rap back to the ledge and the move on over to "Bombay Groove". I lead up to the mantel below the first bolt and after a little thought, I pull the move. Not as hard as it seems. I clip the bolt with a 24" sling and move into the foot traverse. I make one false start and realize my sequence is off, so I make a move or two back and switch up my feet, then cruise through the moves. The arete feels so good when you reach it, but it's still another 30 or 40' up to the next bolt! Fortunately, the climbing is easy. Ian follows up and then I quickly lead up P2 with its easier, well protected crux. Without a guide book, we thought there might be a third pitch up the arete. Ian led up and right on easy ground with no pro to a tree anchor at the top. The climbing was uninspiring and had lots of crunch rock - not worth the effort.

With 7 pitches down by 2pm, Ian and I bailed for town in need of hot pizza and firewood.

-- Sunday --
We had to make the long drive back to DC (and me, from there back to Southern MD) so we wanted to be finished by around 1pm.

Back to the base of Stone Mtn, we went straight to "Electric Boobs" and I led up both pitches with Ian following. P1 had a distinct crux after the first bolt, and P2 seemd a good bit easier with a friction traverse crux. We rapped off and headed over toward "Fantastic" to go check that out.

"Fantastic" looked good, but the 9-bolt "Scimitar" to its right looked like even more fun. I racked up with 3 times the usual draws needed for a Stone route and started up. I blew off a foothold once at the start, restarted, then climbed quckly, but insecurely to the 5th bolt. Unfortunately, the 19 pitches of slab we'd climbed over the last 2 days were taking their toll and I blew off a foothold moving past the 5th bolt. I hung a bit there and rested before continuing up. From there, my calves were screaming so much, I had to hang and rest at the 6th, 7th, and 9th bolts. The climbing was hard and sustained for 80 or 90'. Awesome. I'll have to come back to this one fresh and try to get it clean.

9 hours later, I'm back in Pax River...

Thanks again for the beta. It was good climbing with you, John. Thanks for the topo.

~Adam~


(This post was edited by trenchdigger on Mar 11, 2007, 9:39 PM)


saxfiend


Mar 12, 2007, 8:16 AM
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Re: [trenchdigger] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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trenchdigger wrote:
"Fantastic" looked good, but the 9-bolt "Scimitar" to its right looked like even more fun. I racked up with 3 times the usual draws needed for a Stone route and started up. I blew off a foothold once at the start, restarted, then climbed quckly, but insecurely to the 5th bolt. Unfortunately, the 19 pitches of slab we'd climbed over the last 2 days were taking their toll and I blew off a foothold moving past the 5th bolt. I hung a bit there and rested before continuing up. From there, my calves were screaming so much, I had to hang and rest at the 6th, 7th, and 9th bolts. The climbing was hard and sustained for 80 or 90'. Awesome. I'll have to come back to this one fresh and try to get it clean.
Heh heh, great idea saving one of the hardest routes at Stone Mountain for your last climb of the weekend! No doubt you'll cruise it next time.

It was cool to get on some of those approach climbs with you guys that I hadn't done before. I liked Crystal Lizard enough that I came back and led it the next day; the start is definitely the spicey part. We also TR'd a (so-called) 5.8 next to the Entrance Crack called Father Knows Best; I thought it was just about as hard as Rice Krispies.

Hope we get to climb together again someday. Let me know if you and Ian want to check out Laurel Knob or Linville Gorge.

JL


saxfiend


Mar 12, 2007, 8:31 AM
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Re: [jamatt] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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jamatt wrote:
bring running shoes for your belayer. really.
Presumably you're referring to the "running belay" that people talk about at Stone Mountain. I'd be interested in knowing whether anyone has ever actually used this technique, since in my experience there's really no place to run.

JL


forkliftdaddy


Mar 12, 2007, 9:08 AM
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Re: [saxfiend] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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I've seen the running belay in action. It worked surprisingly well. The climber was in a hard section near the ground where decking's a real possibility. When the leader fell, the belayer ran and the climber would stop very close to the bolt. This happened multiple times.


saxfiend


Mar 12, 2007, 9:40 AM
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Re: [forkliftdaddy] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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forkliftdaddy wrote:
I've seen the running belay in action. It worked surprisingly well. The climber was in a hard section near the ground where decking's a real possibility. When the leader fell, the belayer ran and the climber would stop very close to the bolt. This happened multiple times.
Are you talking about the approach routes to the Tree Ledge? I can see how you might get a little running belay there at ground level. But running among all the roots and boulders on the Tree Ledge? Seems to me the belayer would be more likely to end up with a broken leg than the leader would!

JL


forkliftdaddy


Mar 12, 2007, 9:53 AM
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Re: [saxfiend] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Yes, this was on that 11- single pitch that reaches the tree ledge, Captain Crunch, I believe.

And, yeah, I agree that running on the tree ledge would be a no-no. I think a lot of the routes are well enough protected after the first bolt. Then again, Closer to the Heart, Yard Arm, and Bombay Groove have some decking potential to them.


thorne
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Mar 12, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Re: [forkliftdaddy] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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Nice trip report, trenchdigger. You definitely got your money's worth.

Next time, get on Fantastic. It's my Stone Mountain favorite. The first pitch is a blast.


dutyje


Mar 26, 2007, 1:20 PM
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Re: [saxfiend] Stone Mountain, NC - Rack? Guidebook? [In reply to]
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saxfiend wrote:
jamatt wrote:
bring running shoes for your belayer. really.
Presumably you're referring to the "running belay" that people talk about at Stone Mountain. I'd be interested in knowing whether anyone has ever actually used this technique, since in my experience there's really no place to run.

JL

Kept me off the deck when I decided in stupid confidence to run it out rather than protect the crux move on Dirty Crack. After a much-smaller 15-foot slide, I climbed back up and plugged in the TCU I should have put in the first time. I fell again, but my belayer didn't run because I wasn't run out. So he let me slide 20 feet on my second fall.. still, a good distance from the deck.

Later that day, I scoped out my running route while he was on Mercury's Lead. It would have been a tricky dash, and who knows if I'd have been able to keep him from decking if he'd blown that last lunge for the generous (by Stone standards) ledge, or the tricky traverse to the belay bolts. Fortunately, I didn't get the opportunity to try out the mad dash on the tree ledge.

Now, if you'll excuse me, all this talk about Stone Mtn has once again (as it always does with me) summoned the turtle to peep out and demand deplyment. One of these days the mere thought of that place will no longer cause me to need to sit in the bathroom and contemplate life.


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