Another New Weekend
Last weekend we went down to the New River Gorge, for potentially our last climbing weekend of the season. We have some things to do for the next two weeks, so it could be our last if it gets cold. Friday night camping was quite chilly and dipped down into the low 30’s. But, we awoke to a perfect, fall morning on Saturday. We had met some friends down there and were psyched for a perfect day on the New River sandstone.
We hiked out to the Honeymooner area of Endless Wall. Gaelyn and I warmed up on Strike a Scowl (10b) and Glass Onion (10b). Strike a Scowl might be one of my favorite climbs. It starts on top of a large block and the view of the gorge from the start is breathtaking. As you ascend the crimpy start and then into the easy flake of the second half, the view gets better and better. I even felt the exposure up there as the vista is amazing. What a great climb!
After those two, I decided to work on Muckraker (11a) and see if I could dispatch another 5.11. The climb goes up and around an arete to a slab face at the top. It is a technical climb and not really pumpy at all. My first burn led to a fall at the cruxy fourth bolt, which is coming around the arete. I also fell slightly higher at an easy section when my foot slipped. After making it to the top and coming down, I rested for a little and let Gaelyn give the climb a go. Then I got back on, ready to send. I made it up to the crux and rounded the arete. My beta was slightly off and my feet were clawing at the holds. I somehow managed to hang on and get it back together. Once I made it through the crux and onto a rest ledge, I knew it was over. I made it to the top of another 5.11 climb and was psyched!
After Muckraker, and a rest, I gave Legacy (11a) a shot. Legacy is a four star ultra classic that ascends two small roofs. It has a bit of everything in the climb and is quite long (about 90 feet). I made it a little more than half way up pretty well. Then I messed up a couple moves, got pumped, and peeled off. Getting back on and up to that spot, I made it slightly higher and a little over the larger, upper roof. The moves get big from there and I couldn’t hang on, and went for some air time. I was worked and decided to call it a day.
Sunday we went to Butcher’s Branch and Seven-Eleven wall at Kaymoor. We warmed up on Flight of the Gumbie (9) and then walked over to Seven-Eleven wall to get on Bimbo Shrine (11b). I gave it a good go on Bimbo Shrine but had to hang in about three spots. It felt really hard and pumpy, especially at the crimpy crux that goes over a small roof and onto a slab section. I made it to the top, but had no intention of giving this long climb another go. I did get two pieces of booty though!
After that, the pain from day one was hitting us hard. We walked back to Butcher’s Branch to do Low Voltage (10b). I had previously fell on this route, so it was good to get it clean. We were ready to go but my friend had other plans for me. He wanted me to top rope Lost Souls (12a) since they had already put it up. I was reluctant but decided to give it a go and completely work myself over since we were leaving anyhow. I did surprisingly well on Lost Souls and hung in about three spots. I was able to do all of the big, long moves. The meat of the climb is three long moves to big jugs. I made it to the top and decided that this was definitely on my project list! Perhaps it will even be my first 5.12? I was very excited to say the least.
On the car ride home we were slightly down, thinking that this may have been our last trip of the season. We will see in three weeks but we are hoping for warm weather so we can go back to the New!