• Obscurity


    There are a lot of rocks sitting in the woods around Boone, NC just waiting to be found.  Some are good for climbing, some are not.  Some are tall enough to yield routes.  Some are on private property.  I thought I would pay a tribute to the less heralded ones in the area.  You won’t find these at Blowing Rock, Grandmother or Lost Cove.  They may be right off the main road or maybe just a few minutes from town.  They may be deep in a gorge. 

    Kristin Warren on the Watauga River.  “Red Roof”

    Eric Heigl on a classic highball.  “Pomfrey’s Choice”

    Jay Tilley on a sick sick sick problem down Babel’s Tower trail in the Linville Gorge.  “Strong Arms”

    Josh Shepherd with the godfather himself, Joey Henson.  “Henson Roof”

    Kristin Warren on, in my opinion, one of the sickest boulder problems in Boone.  It is only a few minutes from down town.  “Evil Monkey”

    Jay Tilley in the Linville Gorge down the Spence Ridge Trail.  “Bridge Arete”


    Josh Shepherd on a problem he established last year.  “The Male Nurse”

    Depending on where you live, there could be all kinds of nice rocks in the woods.  Your exploration efforts may just produce something awesome.

    Erich Purpur

    Erich Purpur is 26 years old and currently lives in Denver, CO. He has been climbing since 2005.

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Discussion 5 Responses

  1. March 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

    That boulder Josh is on with “Male Nurse” looks like a boulder Cogie showed me years ago, he was calling Moby. Nice rock over there!

  2. March 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

    thanks for the info pat. I asked Cogie about the boulder myself and he told me the same, that both of you hat put up the “Moby Dick” arete but Josh took the problem farther out the arete to a heady mantle.  No one has taken it all the way out the arete yet.

  3. March 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

    One of my dreams is to get an AAC grant to wander around in NFS lands around Boone for a year and find more boulders. It’s crazy how much potential is out there just waiting to be stumbled upon. I’m sure there’s another Grandmother out there, if not more than one. And with the dense terrain around here, it could be 10 minutes from a road and no one knows.

  4. March 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Some history – Pat Stone and myself climbed that arete, although, I have vague recollections regarding the actual finish, my guess is we went for full value. I definitely recall being quite nervous on that one and the tall line to the left. Both went ground-up with little cleaning. That was in 2004. I looked through my notes and found a few names with first ascent credit from the “Moby” boulder – Cogie’s Traverse (on an adjacent bloc, longish lip traverse, ss), Moby’s pain train (ss with some painful jams, finish up arete, joint fa w/ stone), A walk in the park (tall line with some fragile rock, ss, committing) – no recorded grades. I have no pictures or uncut footage of anything around Cogie’s house – he advised against it.
    Glad you guys went wandering, that boulder is proud!! Thanks for posting that pic, I had all but forgotten about that one.

  5. March 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Sweet post Erich, you evil monkey. Great photos. Pomfrey’s is such a classic.

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