Saturday, July 18, 2009

the new ticks

Returned from the woods on Thursday night. Five days of climbing, three crags, bouldering, sport climbing, deep water soloing, two showers. I'll make the stories short. There's too many to share.

Candler and I stayed at Rocky Top Retreat, better known as Roger's. If you go to the New, it's the community place to go. Six bucks a night. Plenty of characters call it home for a weekend, a week, or months on end. It's where we got the local beta on what to climb, for the New River Gorge is a dizzying array of climbs. The sheer volume alone makes the New the biggest crag I've ever been to. Kind of hard to narrow it down. We hit three separate parts on three consecutive days.

Day one, Kaymoor and rain in the morning. Searching for dry routes was the order of the day. 823 steps down the wrong way, we found our way to Rico Suave. Route one was called Totally Tammy (5.10a). Sketchy slab lead, but overall, not a bad climb. Made easier by our height, for sure. Route two was Rico Suave Arete (also 5.10a). Super fun lead, great movement. Left me feeling confident for more sends later in the week. After our misdirection, we were pretty much spent after those two climbs. Too bad. Back to Roger's. We got directions to Hawk's Nest for some bouldering in the afternoon.

Day two, Endless Wall. Six miles of cliff line and routes. Down the Honeymooner's Ladders, we tracked down Diamond Point and another slab lead to warm up. Glass Onion went at 5.10b, not as hairy as Tammy, but still a hairy clip or two. Hunting for straight up face climbing, we found Strike a Scowl (5.10b). Best exposure of the week, nearly a 360 degree view from the top. Too hot to hang up there and enjoy it though. Feeling confident, we hopped on Homer Erectus (5.11b) and were promptly beat down between the 3rd & 4th bolts. Demoralized and thirsty, we called it an early day yet again.

Day three, Bubba City with some of the other Roger's campers. Beer Wall is apparently overrun during the weekends, but we found an empty wall with our crew. Feeling pumped on my warmup Gilded Otter (5.7), I wasn't confident for the 100 point day we shot for. St. Pauli Girl (5.10c) tested my endurance. I made it up, but not without a few takes. No redpoint, but I got to the top. Stella put us on her project called Cirrhosis of the Leader, a two bolt 5.12a. All the business was at the bottom, basically a V5 into an easy slab. After a few goes, Candler sent first. Hans put it down next. Beta sponging from Stella, I used an awesome undercling to fight through the crux and finally sent. Near Beer (5.6) and Cerveza Verde (5.8) rounded out my euphoric day.

Pies and Pints all you can eat was on the menu for the celebratory evening. A lucky 13 slices went down my gullet, and a pizza hangover hit me the next morning. Candler and I rolled on up Rte. 19 the next morning, headed for Summersville's Whipporwill climbing and swimming. Good times.

I shall return.

No comments: