Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Hocking Hills Climbing and Rappelling Area

So it might be outside of Athens county, but we will be considering part of the Athens scene. The Hocking Hills Climbing and Rappelling area is located in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, in Hocking County, in the Hocking Hills State Forest on a 99 acre tract of land, next to the Hocking Hills State Park.
This area has a plethora of rock, of which a small fraction is hard enough to support climbs and of that, a smaller fraction of actuals climbs. But of that small fraction of climbs there are a few good lines. The area is great for taking beginners and learning how to set up top ropes, it is a great outdoor class room.
The problems range from easy to moderate with a couple hard lines, but the potential for hard sends are there. Below is some more raw video of Dan and I playing around on the area test piece "Six Crack". Enjoy!

Six Crack Video

Stay tuned for a clip of Mr. Evil(aka the Levitator) on a high line in Hocking Hills.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some sends that went down last spring.

Last spring we spent several weeks cleaning and developing a new area in Athens County. This new area holds a large quantity of rock with the possibility of some amazing lines. Here is some raw video of the first ascent of "Domesticated Man" maybe v6/v7. As you can see from the video it is bulge that is common to the area. The area also contains a wide varieties of rock climbing styles, low to high, easy to hard, and from tame to scary as hell. Access is currently an issue, so once it is resolved we will spread the word.

above: "Domesticated Man"

above: "Domesticated Man"

Stay tuned for some footage of the Hocking Hills test piece "Six Crack"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Trailer Park... Choss or Paradise

The Trailer Park boulders, the infamous Athens hot spot! It holds some of the best problems in all of Southeastern Ohio, actually I would call them the best in all of the state. A few of these problems are so good, that they would be classics where ever you put them.

But just like all good climbing areas, it has taken time and energy to develop. There have been those individuals over the years that have walked the hills before there were trails, they, the hunters, on the constant search for a new rock, a new line, a first ascent, however the first ascents in Athens County don't come easy. Unlike areas in other destinations where one can walk up, jump on a unclimbed face and grab a send. We the few "scrubbers", battle the very forces of mother nature, to tame the line. We remove ages of dirt and loose rock to find the beauty beneath, with every speck of dust removed, to allow for an attempt at what the rock holds sacred, it first ascent.

After a scrub, with a rock that is clean, it still takes a climber that is willing to try and crack the beta. The beta on a challenging problem is not given easily, add height and a hard crux and it could be years before that problems sees a send. That is the draw that keeps many of us on the prow for the next boulder in Athens.

With that being said, you will have to take the time to thank those before you, as you pull on the sandstone of the Trailer Park. Cause they were the ones that cleared away most of the choss in Athens, making your future climbs a little more enjoyable. Still be aware of the occasional hold that may break.

Now for a few pieces of eye candy that will make you want to pull down on this same Ohio sandstone.

above: Tom on the "Font Arete"

above: Tim on "Tarzan"

Above: Dan on Mall Boulder classic "Deforestation"

Above: Dan on the tall and slimper test piece "Charlie Horse"

Above: Dan on the infamous Athens Classic "Bird's Nest"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Witches Hill is the Place to Be...

...When the weather is bad and you need to get a fix. Witches is usually the first area to dry out due to its location in Athens. Sitting atop of "Witches Hill", next to state route 33, it is exposed to the sun and with a slight breeze you can usually climb there the next day following a storm. Just be prepared for the muddy and steep approach to the bouldering.

Another nice feature to the climbing at Witches, is that most of the problems are in the easy to moderate range with great landings, allowing for a great circuit. Don't let this turn you away if you think your a crusher, there are still stout lines and projects to be had.

Now for five reasons to climb at Witches.....
One of the many faces of Stroup.

Long view of the front upper section.

Trey on Drew's Arete

Victor on the "Leaper"

Stroup going for the dyno version of "Double Down".

Stay tuned for some more action from Athens.