6/22/10

New River Gorge, Bolting and Bushwacking


After a family trip to the beach fell through, Phil and I found ourselves with a long weekend on our hands and nothing planned. Despite a forecast full of 90 degree days, we packed up the trusty Subaru, 2 dogs, plenty of gear and a cooler full of goodies and headed to the New River Gorge, with our fingers crossed that the rain-free forecast would be accurate, and hoping the temps would magically be lower than expected.

After arriving late into the Wild & Wonderful state of WV (formerly OPEN FOR BUSINESS,) we woke up and headed upstream on the south side of the Meadow River. Our friend Jay was determined to "re"discover some forgotten trad routes. Alas, the Meadow did not disappoint. We "found" some stellar routes that simply needed some anchors to make them more accessible. I say simply lightly, because it is actually fairly involved to add anchors to a route like this, since it involves bushwacking with a drill in tow both on the ground and on the rock. As we headed back to Jay's, we realized that our little spot was at least 10 degrees cooler than less shaded areas of the gorge and slapped ourselves on the backs, even though we logged a pretty low number of routes for the day.

Thanks to long summer days, we rallied our motivation and realized we had time to head to the Bridge, where Jay was on a mission to replace the anchors on Two Edge Sword, then finish off the day on Butter Beans. This day was a good lesson in being very thankful for folks like NRAC who take the time, money and energy to make climbing accessible and safe by replacing bolts and anchors when needed. Next time you hike in on a nicely cleared trail, climb a moss and lichen-free route, and clean a nice shiny anchor at the top of a route, remind yourself to volunteer or donate some dough to one of these worth efforts. I am certain it can be a pretty thank-less job.

Day 2 was spent just like a million other climbers headed to NRG- hoofing up the classic Butcher's Branch sport climbs of Kaymoor. After a spring full of trad climbing in North Carolina, it feels indulgent to simply clip bolts while climbing on actual holds! Who doesn't love a day that includes Mo Better Holds, Hard Core Female Thrash and Lost Souls? The day was certainly hot and humid, but perhaps not 90, and an unexpected thunderstorm cooled things off before we could scarf down pizzas at Pies & Pints.

Day 3 was a mixture of somewhat damp starts, trad & sport, humidity, random locals on four wheelers and long, pumpy routes at the lower Meadow. Morale was good even though friction was a little less than ideal. Still, this area is a blast and Toxic Hueco always beckons.

Add a second trip to Pies & Pints, and the weekend was a rap.




Climb Globally, Shop Locally

Looking Glass Outfitters
69 Hendersonville Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
828.884.5854
www.lookingglassoutfitters.com

1 comment:

Frank said...

Great pic on the top of the girl grabbing a rest and chalking up. I think that might have inspired me to go climbing today, despite the insane heat.