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Laurel Knob
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By cfuttner
Mar 21, 2013

Anybody been out to Laurel Knob lately? We're planning on heading out next weekend but I was wondering if there will be any issues with water running this early in the spring. I've only been out there once this past fall and it was dry as a bone. Not sure what to expect in the spring. Hoping to get on F-bomb.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 22, 2013

Spring is pretty wet at the Knob. There are many other routes that do not go up the long mostly wet main water grooves. Dillard Canyon and other lines stay dry, so do not get locked in on doing a certain route!


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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 22, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.

Many of the face routes dry quickly. Central Pillar is a good one that comes to mind. It essentially climbs a big saddle of rock avoiding the water grooves. It is also good to watch overnight temperatures. If they drop below freezing and then the day warms up, there is often large ice falls from the water grooves. So don't get baited into thinking the grooves are dry and get on one just to have large ice boulders come down on you. I agree about Dillard's being really good. It is steeper than the rest of the mountain. It is a PITA to get over there legally and the upper part of the gully can be frozen. Well worth the effort if you do make it over there.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 23, 2013

Mr. Caldwell is correct. Local climbers have been caught recently going in from the top! Now, that illegal access, has been gated and posted. Maybe if the CCC reached out to the real locals, those that climb there on a regular basis, we could have an access that did not involve route finding on the approach, a long and arduous hike, and then reverse it at the end of a 1200 foot climb. It was obvious from the beggining that the main goal of the CCC was to limit access and route development. Wayne Roy and myself were the only ones who stood up for the future bad asses like Andrew Mcdowell who went on to continue the legacy of adventure climbing in Western Carolina. If you do not beleive me try to get a transcript of the CCC's early meetings on how to manage your hard earned donated dollars! Why do you think there is no longer a New Route Comittee? What happened to the first President figure head of the CCC? Oh yea, I did give 250 dollars to buy the place, donated hours of trail maintainance and hundereds of dollars worth of bolts, eighteen of which were chopped that I had to replace. Hey anybody see Harrison Schull lately? I hear he is a local.


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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 24, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.

With all your contempt for the ccc, I never understood why you did that ice climbing slide show a few years back at one of their trail days.

These "transcripts" do have me interested. Is there a link for it somewhere?


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 24, 2013
El Chorro

shannon stegg wrote:
Mr. Caldwell is correct. Local climbers have been caught recently going in from the top! Now, that illegal access, has been gated and posted. Maybe if the CCC reached out to the real locals, those that climb there on a regular basis, we could have an access that did not involve route finding on the approach, a long and arduous hike, and then reverse it at the end of a 1200 foot climb. It was obvious from the beggining that the main goal of the CCC was to limit access and route development. Wayne Roy and myself were the only ones who stood up for the future bad asses like Andrew Mcdowell who went on to continue the legacy of adventure climbing in Western Carolina. If you do not beleive me try to get a transcript of the CCC's early meetings on how to manage your hard earned donated dollars! Why do you think there is no longer a New Route Comittee? What happened to the first President figure head of the CCC? Oh yea, I did give 250 dollars to buy the place, donated hours of trail maintainance and hundereds of dollars worth of bolts, eighteen of which were chopped that I had to replace. Hey anybody see Harrison Schull lately? I hear he is a local.


I am far removed from the CCC and North Carolina climbing in general, but I tend to perk up when I read negative comments and accusations. I hate having to rap off LK and walk back up the trail just as much as the next person, but I do it because that is the agreement. Before the CCC took action, I wasn't allowed to climb there at all.

I have no doubt that there was some shady goings on, some back stabbing, some "disagreements." Quarrels over land and how to use it are sort of an American past time if you will - I don't imagine land for climbing being any different. But if you're just going to come on MP and post tid-bits of information and make accusations without telling us the whole story, you're not going to gain any support from me.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 24, 2013

They probably burned them and smashed the hard drive! You would think if you were donating money for a non-profit org. you would be able to get minutes of all the meetings, unless your embarassed or trying to protect certain parties. If we learn how we got here, maybe it will stop it from happening again. My so called contempt might be answered in those early transcripts! I help raised money with two slide shows one in N.C. and one in Atlanta. My love of Western Carolina climbing trumps any contempt for the those who know no better!


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By cfuttner
Mar 26, 2013

To get into Dillard canyon do we just continue along the main trail at the base? Does it eventually just turn up and right? I didn't get that far down on my first trip. Didn't go any farther than Fathom.


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By Bob M
From Alpharetta, GA
Mar 26, 2013
T Wall

Yep, you got it. If you look at google maps, you can see Dillard Canyon, which is the line of vegetation that cuts back right, near the top of this view.

goo.gl/maps/n46tm

You can see why people would like to come in this way if they're climbing at this end, but like others have said, it's posted, so probably not a good idea.


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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 26, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.

cfuttner wrote:
To get into Dillard canyon do we just continue along the main trail at the base? Does it eventually just turn up and right? I didn't get that far down on my first trip. Didn't go any farther than Fathom.


After you pass Fathom, you drop down through some scree (scene of a major ice fall a few years ago). You will be back at the base of the cliff again. Keep following the cliff and it will start to go up in a dry creek bed. You will pass Groover on your right. Keep going for a while a longer. You'll know your in Dillard's Canyon when you can see the obvious large right facing dihedral on the left side of the cliff. A little ways further and it turns into a gully with some scrambling. It takes about 30 minutes to hike from Manatee Fluid to Dillard's.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 28, 2013

You all sound like Dillard Canyon is somewhere else than Laurel Knob, too funny! Oh, by the way the first president of the CCC gave Wayne and I permission to climb in Dillard Canyon, he thought the CCC did not own that. Imagine a president not knowing his own land!


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By Rhett Burroughs
From Valdosta, GA
Mar 29, 2013
Yup

The hike in and all the way across is no big deal. The key is to get in early, stash rations at the CCC sign before the trail drops, hustle across the base and do your thing....to the sign, one hour. To the base of Manatee should only take an additional 20. You can hump across the base in 30 minutes if you know where you are going. On the way back, organize your kit, load up on calories, and hike steadily the whole way out. Have a good headlamp. 2 hours if you keep moving. The reward is a big climbing and cardio day. Have the black and bleu burger at Mica's!


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By cfuttner
Mar 29, 2013

I was out at Laurel knob for the first time right before Thanksgiving. We got a little lost looking for the start of Fathom and ended up farther down the trail which seemed to be trending away from the cliff. I wasn't sure whether there was another trail back up into Dillard Canyon. I've seen the aerial photos so I guess we weren't to far off. Ended iup bush wacking back up a gully to the cliff and we came out right at the base of Fathom.
Shannon, we actually ran into you that weekend. You and your crew fed us that Saturday night. I can still taste those short ribs.


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By nbrown
From western NC
Mar 29, 2013
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai

cfuttner wrote:
I was out at Laurel knob for the first time right before Thanksgiving. We got a little lost looking for the start of Fathom and ended up farther down the trail which seemed to be trending away from the cliff. I wasn't sure whether there was another trail back up into Dillard Canyon. I've seen the aerial photos so I guess we weren't to far off. Ended iup bush wacking back up a gully to the cliff and we came out right at the base of Fathom. Shannon, we actually ran into you that weekend. You and your crew fed us that Saturday night. I can still taste those short ribs.


Sounds like you missed where the climbers trail turns up (and away) from the wide path at the junction just below Seconds.

F bomb will very likely be dry this weekend. Enjoy!

Also, if you make it over to Dillard, Funky Chicken is a must-do!

Lastly, I'd like to say that Dillard Canyon (left wall) feels like a completely different cliff even though it is part of the same monolith. The routes are steeper and with bigger holds.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 31, 2013

Hey Tom while defending the CCC, did they send you the transcripts you were curious to see? I have been getting several E-mails from past board members asking for me to stop beating this dead horse, but I like you do not believe a L.O.C. would not want to be transparent, after all this circus debate, not one past board member has stepped up to the plate to defend themself's, or answer the the very serious question of how a group of grown men sat down at a meeting and decided as a group to change how climbing is done down here! One past board member told me it was just a curious experiment. I thought if it was, then what have we learned from it? I guess we have only learned that this tragic episode will happen again, hopefully at a crag near and dear to your heart and then just maybe you will be able to understand.


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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 31, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.

I never cared to ask for the transcripts. What happened is over. I don't want any ill feelings towards that group or you. Things in the past are better left there. Laurel Knob had plenty of time to be developed post bolt moratorium, none of which was I involved. I did however have a good conversation hiking up to the Bald with the current CCC president before we parted ways this weekend. He was very receptive to my questions about Ghost Town, a crag that I did lose and is dear to my heart. After talking to him, I understand there is extenuated circumstance for it not being open and I respected that. Anytime you have to deal with a large state run bureaucracy, there will always be a lot of red tape. I will continue to donate money to the CCC and the SCC despite not getting everything I want. I choose not to take a heavy handed approach dishing out name calling and finger pointing. I'd rather encourage and remind those involved that there are still people out there interested in these somewhat fringe topics.

As far as entering through Dillard's Canyon goes, I know it doesn't help access when climbers like you or I trespass to gain easy access. So to place sole blame on the CCC for not getting this cherry access is incorrect as we are potentially responsible for a landowner not wanting to work with us. It also poses logistical problems.

If you really want to bring to light what happened, I challenge you to use the CCC message board. Although some CCC reps. do use mountainproject, I am sure your concerns will be well received there.


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By Edward Medina
Administrator
From Brighton, CO
Mar 31, 2013
The FA of Full Scholarship

Lest someone get the impression that Mr. Stegg's latest campaign of vitriol and slander are even remotely related to the events as they happened allow me to interject. The reason that no board member, past or present has chimed is not, as Mr. Stegg suggests, because they have something to hide, but rather because this issue has been bandied about ad nauseum way back in 2007 when it was relevant. I'm not sure if Mr. Stegg recently discovered the internet, but this is a dead horse and we have stopped beating it effective 7 years ago.
As a CCC board officer at the time of the LK purchase I can provide some insight as to our thinking vis a vis the bolting permitting process. First off however, let me say that LK is not the first, nor will it be the last climbing venue that has (had) a permitting process in place for placement of permanent anchors. Our concern at the outset was that we would need to draw monetary investments from a VERY broad pool of climbers. That these donors would rightly feel that they had an ownership stake in the resource and that opportunities to explore/develop/FA should be afforded to these donors in the interest of securing their monetary pledges. Every significant first ascencionist in the state agreed to these limitations and that includes such prolifics as Nathan Brown, Tim Fisher, Harrisson Shull, Tim Snyder, Bruce Burgess, Pascal Robert, Sean Cobourn. Only 2 climbers did not. Granted, this policy was a complete reversal of the status quo, but then again no one had ever owned a whole cliff before, and in the words of past CCC officer Sean Cobourn 'this was a whole new ballgame'. Ultimately the moratorium could only be effective if all agreed to it, and it was vetoed in subsequent meetings when we realized that all we were doing was hurting all the first ascentionists who were willing to play by the rules.
On the issue of board meeting transcripts, we did not really keep any, what with this being a volunteer organization and all. Not a stenographer in the lot. But I think what Mr. Stegg refers to is the boardroom forum that was illicitly accessed at some point in this process. These forum posts represented the typical back and forth that accompanies any meeting of the minds and in reviewing them I cannot find anything that is particularly damning or revealing. The consensus of these conversations has been translated into the official 'Laurel Knob Management Plan' which is readily available on the CCC website. Transparency is important, but so is individual privacy.


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By shannon stegg
Mar 31, 2013

Sorry Mr. Medina just defending myself against being called disengenuous. I hold no campaign against the CCC, there is a reason why they have all new board members, and a reason we no longer have a new route comittee. I am however still wondering why climbers more prolific and more local were left off your list of the magnificent seven! Did I get left out because I live in Ga! Do not mind being the scapegoat in this whole debacle. There are a lot of people peeking under this circus tent watching this clown show. I hope I get a chance to see a few of them at Panthertown or Whitesides and continue to share my knowledge and love of climbing for the area!


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By shannon stegg
Mar 31, 2013

Oh yea, while you were making the rules for a new ball game, Wayne and I were presently playing the old game at Laurel excited about the news that we soon would see a larger group of climbers enjoying the same pleasures as us, putting up lines and shooting the shit around the fire, but it was not to be, very sad!


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Mar 31, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

FWIW,

I was at the Glass most of last week and things were still wet. Sun Wall had dampness in the water runnels, Cornflake's first 20 feet were an ice climb, and the South Wall was 90% wet. I'm not sure if this is pertinent as a comparable for the Knob...

Hope conditions were great if you got out this weekend.

David L.


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By Sean Cobourn
From Gramling, SC
Apr 1, 2013
Caught Up In The Air- photo by Thomas Kelley

OK, I reached out to Shannon politely and privately and was basically called stupid, an egotist and a liar, and he demanded a public rehashing of his misdeeds so without much further ado, here are the answers to his oh so important, and dead for five years "Million Dollar Question": But first let me correct his twisting a small bit of history: the CCC was founded by concerned climbers in 1995. Bill Webster was the first president. I was the president when the CCC acquired LK in 2006. My term ended in 2008. I do not speak for the CCC.

Yes. In 2006 when the CCC pulled off the mindbending feat of purchasing Laurel Knob and opening it to the public for the first time in history, after much internal and public debate, the Board of Directors instituted a temporary new route moratorium. It applied to everyone, not just asshats from Georgia. The purpose was to allow the CCC to figure out just what routes had been done (LK was a pretty well kept secret), what condition the fixed gear was in (a liability concern) and to keep the place from being destroyed in a grid bolting stampede (as it may now be becoming). The CCC spearheaded a massive rebolting effort to make the older routes safer and developed, with professional input, a pretty well received Climbing Management Plan.

Two people in particular ignored the moratorium because they apparently held themselves in higher regard than the rest of the world who saw the purchase for what it was, a groundbreaking leap in climber ownership of climbing resources. A couple of old routes may have been retro bolted and called FA's. A couple new lines were put up as a misguided “F-you protest”. Tempers flared, a handful of bolts were chopped. No one is proud of the "war" that raged for a brief period of time. Both sides had valid points to make. The moratorium was eventually ended, as was the plan all along (and the reason it was called a temporary moratorium).

For a brief period of time new route development was limited under a permitting process. No favorites were played. I am not sure anyone was turned down who bothered to play by the rules. I wasn’t on that committee. Even this temporary process was discontinued years ago. There are no permits required to do new routes. Lots of places around the country do require them. I don't see Shannon bitching about Eldo or NRG for instance.

Why Shannon is bringing up this dead issue is beyond my comprehension. The CCC is not actively fundraising for Laurel Knob. We paid off the $250,000 mortgage years ago thanks to the incredible support of climbers the world over. Shannon and I celebrated together at the party. I truly believed this hatchet was buried long ago.
He points out that none of the 2006 Board is still around as if we were all thrown out of office. Get a clue Shannon. Terms end. People have lives outside of climbing. Times change. New people step forward. Forward thinking people. People who look to the bright future rather than rehashing a dim past over and over. Either be a positive contributor, or STFU. Please. Oh, and you’re welcome. It was the CCC’s pleasure buying Laurel Knob so you could have a world class resource legally open to climb to bitch about.


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By shannon stegg
Apr 1, 2013

Thank you, without your efforts to change an old game Wayne and I probably would of finished "Mirage" and gone on to other crags in the area!I only went on a rant when I was accused of being disengenuous and not contributing to Laurel Knob. You all forgot the litter Chris Watford donated and I dragged down to Dillard Canyon, and the fact that when Scott Perkins and he asked to help re-bolt they were told no thank you! I guess us dumb ass Georgia boys just can not manage to become as prolific as you since we live beyond some imaginary line.


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By shannon stegg
Apr 1, 2013

Sorry about the liar thing, my dad called all lawyers "Profesional liars", to put my comments in perspective per our conversation Sean refers to. See what I mean!


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By rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Apr 1, 2013
Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protect between Bolt 2/3 just post crux . <br /> <br />Picture credit goes to eric Singleton, and many thanks to Josh Bagget for the great belay.


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By Sean Cobourn
From Gramling, SC
Apr 1, 2013
Caught Up In The Air- photo by Thomas Kelley

My last words on this subject- Shannon- yes you did trail work, yes you did fund raising slide shows. Yes you are a masterful first ascentionist and I respect you greatly in that arena and have for 30 years. As to the whole litter in Dillard and rebolting snub, no recollection of it at all. That crap was like seven years ago. The point is, this internet sniping is BS. Please stop it. I consider the hatchet buried. I wish you would as well. The CCC does good work and doesn't need this crap continually brought back from the dead. If you're bored and apparently you have a computer now, write up your hundreds of routes for Mountain Project. Much more constructive.


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By Br'er Rabbit
From The Deeper South
Apr 2, 2013
'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!'

One time, at Laurel Knob, I saw a sock monkey climb watergrooves.....

sock monkey.
sock monkey.


Another time, I saw an amazing feat of athletic skill....

Balance.
Balance.


Laurel Knob is a great place to take beginners on their first big climb!

Green.
Green.


Did I mention the black and bleu burger at Mica's??

The primo car camping?

Parking.
Parking.


The cool Summer nights?

The flora and fauna?

The casual hiking?

10 essentials.
10 essentials.


Big fat stainless bolts right where you need them?

Flaring cracks?

Quartz protrusions?

Elvis leg?

The sunsets?

Sunset. <br />
Sunset.


Let's focus on what's good. Let's focus on what matters.


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