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T-Wall South...ouch!
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tn_traddie


Nov 14, 2010, 1:22 PM
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Registered: Oct 13, 2004
Posts: 28

T-Wall South...ouch!  (North_America: United_States: Tennessee: Eastern: Tennessee_Wall)
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I made only my second climbing trip to T-Wall this weekend and upon our arrival early Saturday morning we found the main parking/camping area totally filled with boyscouts. So our discussion focused to where to climb without being around a huge group of kids. My partner brought up the idea of going to the far southern end and climbing some of the moderate routes down there. I'd never been there and I'm always up for new places so off we went. The trail up through T-Wall boulders 2 was fairly easy to find and follow until we were about 2/3 of the way up and then it was bushwacking time from there. Once we reached the cliff face proper it was more of the same only worse as many trees had died up above and fallen down along the cliff face and briars had grown up in them. It was obvious that not many people have been back in there lately as there was no discernable path. We headed right along the cliff face until we reached "Little Steps". Several of the routes had downed dead trees hanging over the top-out points. Undeterred, I racked-up and headed up. The climb itself is a lot of fun and protects well. Once I neared the top progress slowed dramatically as I had to break off enough of the branches of the dead tree to wriggle my way through. I swear my webbing, cams & nut tool did their combined best to keep me from reaching the top by snagging that tree as often as they could. Once through I saw that the nearest anchor option was 30+ yards from the cliff line and all of that was thorny briars. Just great considering I was wearing shorts, a T-shirt & climbing shoes. About halfway there my partner informs me that my bi-patterned rope just changed pattern. About 10 minutes later I finally get to the large oak all scratched up, bleeding & itching and setup my anchor using a couple of 'biners & my two longest pieces of webbing (about 70 feet total). From that point I had come back down far enough that just over half of my 60 meter rope was on the ground. Slowly I worked my way back to the ledge (more scratches & blood) and then let my partner lower me slowly back down. I decided I had absolutely no more interest in climbing another route since the top of the whole southern end of the cliff was like that. Heck I didn't have enough webbing to setup another anchor that would be long enough to get me safely back down to the ground! Once we got packed up (approx 3:30) my partner said let's just follow the wall to the right and we should pick up the climbers trail before long. Neither one of us relished the idea of trying to go back down the way we had come up. Two hours later we were still working our way eastward through dead trees that had fallen from the top and huge briar patches. We reached the main descent trail right at dusk and reached the road in the dark. What an interesting day it was! While there were a number of good looking routes down there the lack of a pathway, no live trees close to the top of the cliff line, lots of dead trees laying over the top of the cliff and down below along the bottom of the cliff face & no bolted anchors is plenty enough to keep me from heading that way again any time soon! Too bad really as it looks like it could be pretty good climbing if it was worked on a bit. If someone were to organize a crag day down there I might be willing to make the drive down to help out. Until then, it ain't worth it...


spikeddem


Nov 14, 2010, 1:33 PM
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Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Posts: 6319

Re: [tn_traddie] T-Wall South...ouch! [In reply to]
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I wanted to read this, despite the lack of carriage returns. Added them as I read it. Here you go, everyone else:

In reply to:
I made only my second climbing trip to T-Wall this weekend and upon our arrival early Saturday morning we found the main parking/camping area totally filled with boyscouts. So our discussion focused to where to climb without being around a huge group of kids. My partner brought up the idea of going to the far southern end and climbing some of the moderate routes down there. I'd never been there and I'm always up for new places so off we went.

The trail up through T-Wall boulders 2 was fairly easy to find and follow until we were about 2/3 of the way up and then it was bushwacking time from there. Once we reached the cliff face proper it was more of the same only worse as many trees had died up above and fallen down along the cliff face and briars had grown up in them. It was obvious that not many people have been back in there lately as there was no discernable path.

We headed right along the cliff face until we reached "Little Steps". Several of the routes had downed dead trees hanging over the top-out points. Undeterred, I racked-up and headed up. The climb itself is a lot of fun and protects well. Once I neared the top progress slowed dramatically as I had to break off enough of the branches of the dead tree to wriggle my way through. I swear my webbing, cams & nut tool did their combined best to keep me from reaching the top by snagging that tree as often as they could. Once through I saw that the nearest anchor option was 30+ yards from the cliff line and all of that was thorny briars. Just great considering I was wearing shorts, a T-shirt & climbing shoes. About halfway there my partner informs me that my bi-patterned rope just changed pattern. About 10 minutes later I finally get to the large oak all scratched up, bleeding & itching and setup my anchor using a couple of 'biners & my two longest pieces of webbing (about 70 feet total). From that point I had come back down far enough that just over half of my 60 meter rope was on the ground. Slowly I worked my way back to the ledge (more scratches & blood) and then let my partner lower me slowly back down.

I decided I had absolutely no more interest in climbing another route since the top of the whole southern end of the cliff was like that. Heck I didn't have enough webbing to setup another anchor that would be long enough to get me safely back down to the ground!

Once we got packed up (approx 3:30) my partner said let's just follow the wall to the right and we should pick up the climbers trail before long. Neither one of us relished the idea of trying to go back down the way we had come up. Two hours later we were still working our way eastward through dead trees that had fallen from the top and huge briar patches. We reached the main descent trail right at dusk and reached the road in the dark. What an interesting day it was! While there were a number of good looking routes down there the lack of a pathway, no live trees close to the top of the cliff line, lots of dead trees laying over the top of the cliff and down below along the bottom of the cliff face & no bolted anchors is plenty enough to keep me from heading that way again any time soon! Too bad really as it looks like it could be pretty good climbing if it was worked on a bit.

If someone were to organize a crag day down there I might be willing to make the drive down to help out. Until then, it ain't worth it...


tradpuppy


Nov 15, 2010, 4:40 AM
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Registered: Jan 15, 2002
Posts: 722

Re: [tn_traddie] T-Wall South...ouch! [In reply to]
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The far end of T-Wall is a forest in "crisis". First, there was the pine beetle infestation, next came the T-Wall fires. Not only is the base of the crag a bringer of much pain, but the top has been completely devastated. All the dead pines have fallen off the top simultaneously, thus making the base a nightmare to navigate.


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