I’ve noticed that the Sanuk sandals have gained quite the traction amongst climbers, most likely due to professional athlete promotion. Yet, a great comparable shoe with a social impact is TOMS shoes. TOMS are also slip-ons (perfect for after a boulder problem or route), pricing is similar, but mostly for every pair of TOMS purchased, a child in need receives a pair of shoes. That is right… one for one.
TOMS didn’t carry my size (size 5) until recently. But today I purchased my first pair in support of helping them reach their goal of giving out 30,000 pairs of shoes in 30 days. To date, TOMS has given out 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and 50,000 pairs in South Africa. The 2008 goal is 200,000 pairs distributed across the globe. Why NOT join the cause?
Rock Town, GA is known mostly for its bouldering though there is one wall, The Lost Wall, that has traditional lines and easily rigged top-roping. The boulders are sandstone with lines of iron deposits, with the majority of the problems being steep with sloping top-outs.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Rock Town is in the in the fall, winter and spring when temperatures range in the 40’s through 60’s (Fahrenheit). The winter is the rainy season, so expect a handful of stormy days.
How to Get There
The closest town to Rock Town is La Fayette, which is the best city to use for a weather forecast. True temps in Rock Town will be a bit cooler than La Fayette.
The exact location of Rock Town is in the Crockford Pigeon Mountain Wilderness Management Area.
To get there from Chattanooga, follow Broad Street through the small town of St. Elmo at the foot of Lookout Mountain, toward the Georgia State Line. At this point, Broad Street becomes Georgia Route 193 south. Follow Route 193 south for approximately 24 miles until you reach Uncle Jed’s Convenience Store on the left. Take a right on to Chamberlain Road at this point and then turn right into Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Follow this dirt road via switchbacks up the mountain for about 5 miles to an obvious fork. Turn right at the fork and continue for 1.3 miles and make a left turn onto Rock Town Road. Rock Town road can easily be missed if coming up the mountain. Look for a silver box with signs signifying the station and something else (I can’t remember, sorry). The turn on the left is the Rock Town Road. The road dead ends and this is where you can park your vehicle.
The only available guidebook is a small Dr. Topo guide. I found the guide to be just ok, if that. It definitely only lists a handful of the problems and includes a topo that is not easy to navigate unless you somewhat know the area. I am considering compiling some better information, but not sure if that is taboo according to locals. Perhaps if you are heading there, jet me an email and I will try to augment the Dr. Topo guide for you.
About .1 miles past the Rock Town turnoff, there is a turn on the right for SawMill Campground. After making the right hand turn, the road will fork with a sign for camping and horse camping. If you merge left towards the camping, there will be a big flat plain where many climbers camp.
Food / Drink
Restaurants – The closest city of La Fayette has all the usual chain restaurants. I didn’t eat out much there as there weren’t any spectacular finds.
Beverage – Beverages (including wine and beer) can be bought in all grocery stores. However, alcoholic beverages are not prohibited in the Crockford Pigeon Mountain WMA.
Showers – There is a recreation center in La Fayette with showers. I don’t know if they usually charge, but they let me in for free. They also have an air hockey table where I hear you can whiddle away many hours. =)
Laundromat – There is a laundromat on main street that is open 24 hours.
Sites of Interest
Chattanooga – Chattanooga is about 45 – 60 minutes away from Rock Town and has many cool sites such as the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the best aquariums I’ve visited and many excellent restaurants.
Wandering through Rock Town – Rock Town is a maze of cool rocks and trails, perfect for some wandering on a rest day.
Chickamauga Battlefield – This 5,500 acre Civil War battlefield was the scene for the last major Civil War battle. The battlefield has a 7 mile road that winds through the battlefield, allowing the tourist to dial in for a mobile tour.
One of the biggest things to note about Rock Town is it is often closed for hunting. Make sure to call the ranger station prior to making the trip to ensure that climbing is allowed on the days of your visit. The number is 706-295-6041. (But to be honest, I have yet to get someone to answer this line and there sadly isn’t a voice recording with information.??)
If any of you readers have additional beta, please feel free to comment or email me.
A couple days prior to Thanksgiving, I moved locations from Rumbling Bald, North Carolina to polar opposite Rock Town, Georgia. Good bye granite crimps, hello sandstone roofs. Goodbye sending, hello ass-whoopin’. =)
Issa on The Scoop.
Tommy crushing an extension to Crock Bloc. Awesome.
One of the Ohio boys climbing Turkish Resin.
Eric working The Vagina. He is so close to sending this one.
Joe on a crimpy warm-up near the Hueco Simulator.
Issa on Double Trouble.
Me working Police Brutality.
CB’s first encounter with Balsam. Um… yeah.
Amy and Trip, from Sheffield, UK. Such a cool couple who I hung out with for quite a few nights, including Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving feast included good pasta, sushi, chips and salsa, wine and Lindt chocolate. Quite the eclectic culinary mix but it was all so delicious. =)
And, of course, the obligatory picture of the CragBaby. Here she is soaking up some sun while I worked in La Fayette.
I am not a backcountry snowboarder (yet) as I have yet to take my avalanche safety classes nor have I cut my spare board in half. However, this below alert by Save Our Canyons still intrigues me for a couple reasons.
Why would the Powderbirds or any organization be given such a long permit? Why not have a necessary annual renewal measuring impact?
This is the third time within the last 2 weeks that I have received an email along the lines of possible negative environmental impact, but for some odd reason I only have a couple days to respond. WTF? Is this a lack of organization on the non-profit side? A break down in communication between the parties involved? A marketing tactic to try and get people to respond since the deadline is looming? Seriously… why are these issues not thoroughly addressed to the people who will be affected?!
The Forest Service is seeking comments regarding the renewal of Wasatch Powderbird Guides (WPG) permit. The renewal would allow WPG to operate until 2020 without the requirement of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We feel that there are significant impacts that should be considered in the decision of permit renewal. We are asking for you to submit your comments.
The deadline for comments is this Friday, December 19th. PLEASE let your friends and skiing buddies know that they should send their comments in too! This is a critical decision, and it will affect the future of the central Wasatch for decades. Make sure your friends don’t miss this deadline!
Your comments don’t have to be lengthy or complex – they just need to be written and sent. The suggestions below should help you write an effective comment.
SUGGESTIONS FOR COMMENTING ON WPG’S PROPOSED 10-YEAR PERMIT
The way to make comments more persuasive to a government agency is to clearly address them to the questions the agency must ask itself when considering an action that might affect the environment.These questions mainly revolve around a) whether the agency must analyze the impacts of a proposed action and document these in an environmental impact statement (EIS), and b) what the analysis in an EIS should include, if the agency decides it must prepare one.
The questions the Forest Service (FS) has before it in this case are:
1. Can we use a categorical exclusion?
The FS wants to use a new Bush regulation, called a categorical exclusion (CE), that allows it to avoid doing an environmental impact statement (EIS). But the agency can’t use the CE if a) impacts from WPG’s operation are “significant” or b) impacts have increased significantly since the 1999 EIS, or will increase significantly before the end of the new 10-year permit (2020).So the number one thing anyone could say is to the effect of “based on the growth in BC use I have observed over the last _____ years, the 1999 EIS could not reflect the impacts occurring today, and there is no way that impacts will not increase dramatically before the end of the term of the proposed permit.” Focus on noise and safety impacts, since, arguably competition for ski terrain is not an environmental effect, so not something the FS has to care much about.Remind the FS that it did not do any new analysis of impacts on other backcountry users in the 2004, so the most recent analysis of these impacts is already nine years old and, under the new permit, WPG would be operating TWENTY-ONE YEARS after the last analysis.
2.Should we prepare a new EIS?
Urge them that the backcountry has continued to get more crowded so they need to take another look at noise and safety impacts because, with increased congestion in the BC, these impacts are significantly greater than they were during the 1999, or even 2004, EIS.
3.What should a new EIS analyze?
Suggest what effects of WPG’s operations you think the FS should consider before it decides whether to issue a permit to WPG or what limitations to impose on it.Examples: perform noise measurements/mapping, perform backcountry use measurements/mapping, require WPG to provide number of individuals served, determine presence of and effect on sensitive, threatened, or endangered species.
4.Should we continue to issue these permits to WPG, or tighten restrictions on it?
Argue why heli-skiing is an inappropriate use of public lands, or appropriate only with certain operational restrictions, etc.On this point, regarding claims that WPG’s operations are “elitist,” keep in mind that the FS tends to see non-heli backcountry skiers/riders/snowshoers as just as elitist (“physically endowed” vs. “financially endowed”).Good points to make in favor of eliminating or restricting WPG are that the overall benefit of the permit to the public is disproportionate to the adverse effects, and that the adverse effects to the public are asymmetrical—experienced only by one group, non-motorized forest users.
For information about this issue and commenting, please contact Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons, at email@example.com or at 801-363-7283.
Since I am not a backcountry snowboarder I have very little to opine on this subject. My initial response is I don’t care if everyone wants to play in the backcountry as long as it can still be safe for everyone and that the terrain isn’t being ruined. I do think that such a long permit is a poor idea as the Powderbirds will know they are locked in and can become complacent about how they treat the environment and locals who bust their butts hiking up the hill.
Is this an ignorant way to think? If so, please comment up and let me know.
I strive to be a tech geek (though I am an amateur one at best) plus I am a climber. The two worlds RARELY collide, but when they do it is so fun! One place where they are currently merging is Twitter.
Twitter is a micro-blogging site that I have found to be of utter value within the last year. Most of the value I receive is through tech talk and following start-up chatter (I actually wrote up a post concerning this on the WasatchGirl blog). However, it is real fun to see people tweet (meaning to post something up on Twitter) about going climbing or recent climbing news.
Why not stop by Utah Blood and give some blood or platelets?
As many of you readers know, I am an active platelet donor when at home and particularly love Utah Blood as all donations are used at the local hospitals. According to one of their latest blog posts, the holidays are their slowest time for donations. Why not swing in and give someone the gift of life? You can drop-in, but it is best to make an appointment by calling 801-584-5272.
I’d been meaning to read the book The Last Lecture for the past few months, finally finding the time to do so on my trip.
Book: The Last Lecture
Author: Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
Review: The last lecture was written by a well known virtual reality Carnegie Mellon professor who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the young age of 46. In preparation of his looming death he presented his last lecture about the lessons he learned in life as a memento for his children. The last lecture was given on September 18, 2007 and Randy passed away on July 25, 2008.
I read the book and watched the below video. Having the actual book made for easy reference, but watching the video integrated the emotional, personal element to the discussed topics.
I had a whole handful of favorite points, but decided to only write about the main focus of the lecture here on the CragBaby blog. (I will soon be posting some other thoughts, more business related, on the Wasatch Girl blog).
The lecture’s main topic was Really Achieving One’s Childhood Dreams. Randy’s very first slide listed his childhood dreams with the rest of the slides augmenting how they were completed (or sometimes not completed) and ways to go about turning these dreams to reality (including such topics as being honest and educating oneself for the position desired, etc.) Randy’s goals consisted of the following:
Being in Zero Gravity – Completed this through an academia project, but creatively thought of a way to be included
Playing in the NFL – Didn’t achieve, but professed to learn more by never actually making it
Authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia – Completed. He was asked to write this article and can be found in the Virtual Reality Section.
Being Capital Kirk – Never WAS Captain Kirk, but he met Captian Kirk
Winning Stuff Animals – Completed
Being a Disney Imagineer – Completed
His dreams were an impressive list and made me contemplate my life goals. It actually seemed easy for me to rattle off my life goals as they haven’t changed much in the past years, but putting them in writing is always a good exercise. My goals and updates would be the following:
Feel successful in my career – It is real important for ME to feel successful in my career, NOT to be a partner of someone who is successful. I want to feel like I personally can find a niche in my career. So far I I have been quite fortunate to have my first job being in the venture capital industry and a position that I truly love. However, I have a long ways to go before feeling like my work is of up most importance and directly tied to a company’s / firm’s progress.
Live Overseas – I would really like to achieve this goal this year. I would love to live in Europe, preferably France, Spain, Italy or Switzerland. However, I would also enjoy living in New Zealand or Hong Kong.
Be able to fluently speak three languages – Currently I only speak English. =) Language seems to be real difficult for me to grasp as I have studied French and Italian in the past and feel like my little brain doesn’t retain. However, for the past 3 weeks I have been actively studying French again. In fact, you readers will soon see some elementary French blog posts in the near future.
Continue to travel to a new destination annually – so far, so good.
Complete a Master’s degree at a well respected school – I have not yet started into a master’s program because I feel like the appropriate timing for this will be in a couple years after I have another job under my belt. Getting into a school of choice is a whole different issue. =) I would love to go to a well respected school for the sole reason that I am simply a girl from the rural town of Helper, Utah. Everything I have is a direct result from my work and determination and nothing to do with my family or their financial affairs… and I just want to see if I could work my way into a good school. =)
Be involved with humanitarian efforts – This is actually a real important goal to me, but I haven’t done anything to even work towards it, besides volunteering at home. At home I volunteered with Ten Thousand Villages (a fair trade organization) and donated platelets as often as I could (which were used in the local cancer hospitals). However, I would ideally like to be more directly involved with UN affiliated programs or am actually real interested in Micro Finance Institutions such as Unitus and Kiva. In fact, a move to the micro-financial realm would actually make sense career-wise for me.
It’s interesting to actually write out these goals as doing such resulted in two take-aways for me.
A couple goals that are of up-most importance to me, I have either not even started to work towards or have just recently started. Why I am procrastinating?
My hobby of climbing, where I spend incredible amounts of time, is no where near my list of goals. Huh. It seems to be more of a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy, but not what I find to be important in life. Perhaps I should soon tone down my time devotion in this area?
I would highly recommend reading or watching the Last Lecture. And if you do, please let me know your thoughts. Did you like it? What were your favorite topics? Why? Or, even if you don’t read the book, I would love to hear your life goals and the status of each.
I thought I would write up a series of posts about transitioning into a nomadic life for all of you readers thinking about hitting the road for a climbing trip. I figure this will be the first of the following five posts.
The Best Car for the Road.
What to Pack.
Where to Visit.
Tips and Tidbits.
My little home in Boone, NC.
I think the hardest part of road tripping (or at least for me) was simply leaving; basically driving away from the life you know in hopes of something better. At the time of hitting the road:
I was living in a city I really loved and that perfectly matched my outdoor enthusiasm
I was working a job that I enjoyed (albeit the usual work frustrations )
I had just been offered a promotion, in fact the promotion that I had been “working towards” as an analyst
My work hours truly consisted of 9 – 5, allowing me to climb everyday after work if I wanted
I was dating a great guy
I had numerous friends and felt part of a community
I was comfortable
Life was great… but if I didn’t leave I would always wonder what I had missed out on. So I cut the ties and left, using the following steps to transform into a nomad.
Make things happen NOW. There is never going to be an ideal time of life to do a big trip or any other life change. When people ask how I was able to hit the road I catch myself often saying “I was in between careers”, but really I was in between careers because I MADE it be that way. I could have easily transitioned into the new role at my work, but why not travel for many months rather than sit in a cubicle? =) If I am a good worker, I should always be able to find work (or so I hope).
Set the day on which you will turn in your notice. I was offered the promotion weeks before I was planning on submitting my notice. I temporarily faltered, but decided to continue on with my plan, turn down the promotion and quit my job (though I have been very fortunate that my work requested that I continue to work from the road on my rest days. Best of all worlds.)
Figure out the details for your belongings. If you can’t or you don’t want to leave your stuff at your apartment / house, simply pack it up. Get boxes, some tape, a big black marker and start packing. And if you don’t need the belongings, rid yourself of their hassle by selling or throwing them away. =) I was planning on putting my belongings in storage, but first asked around to my house-owning friends as I would rather pay a friend to store my stuff than a business owner I don’t know. Sure enough I found a friend with a crawl space that wasn’t being used, and I have been paying a fee to her. Easy as that. =)
Set a day of when you want to drive away. I noticed it was real hard for me to leave SLC, and I actually purposefully stayed around the first 6 weeks of my time off. I think it was hard for me to leave for a two reasons. 1) It was August, my birthday month and my good friends birthday month. As many of you readers now, my birthday is a BIG DEAL to me and I wanted to celebrate it with friends. 2) I knew that part of this trip was to find a new home as I would really like to NOT return to SLC, except to visit. I felt like I still had a lot of climbing to do in the area, so spent 6 weeks exhausting the climbing in Utah and Wyoming while also wrapping up a bunch of personal items. But as soon as my date came up, September 15, I left to Rifle.
Adjust to your new life. Sometimes change is hard, but soon you will surprise yourself how comfortable you become in your new way of life. Find simple things that make you happy… coffee at the same place everyday? Listening to a certain song each morning? Etc.
Next thing you know.. you will never want to go home. And if that is the case, drop me an email and let’s catch up. =)
If you have been on the road before, please feel free to post up your thoughts.
Oh my…. I just swung by Jun’s blog and saw the best post EVER! It is a video of SLC locals bouldering and I LOVE IT! I love watching Severhead and Jun crushing, giggled when JamesMonster cut her feet on a v0, smiled when I saw ShutUp at the Wrinkle in Time area in Joes Valley …. and then laughed out loud when I saw I was actually included in this video. HA HA HA! I do have two questions though…
Why does everyone in this video send EXCEPT me? =)
How in the world did I miss this strip show by Severhead?
Thanks for putting this together, Jun. I can’t wait to get out and boulder with the local gang.