Sunday, October 9, 2011

Newness in PA

I have been back on the east coast for almost 6 days and I have managed to get out climbing 3 of those days and train one day in the gym.  Thursday a crew went out to Elk to check out some new boulders that Trevor found the end of last season and we never made it to.  I met up with Travis and Quentin in central PA early on Thursday morning and we headed north to meet Mike, Josh and Trevor.  We weren't sure exactly how much climbing was going to be done but the prospects of new rock, high quality grit stone and seeing good friends was enough to get us all to be psyched.  We were all surprised at how quickly we made it to the new boulders as Elk is notorious for having very long steep approaches that turn most climbers away to more accessible areas.  
The new boulders turned out to be amazing and 3 unclimbed projects remain with one line definitely in the (v14+) range while the others went completely untried but seem to have the potential to be equally as difficult.  Travis and I each put up a new line at the new area, both are really cool.  Helke Arete v7 and Travis's line which is probably close to v6 or v7 too.   
As the sun started to head west and our desire to climb on familiar turf grew we headed to the boulder garden across the road.  I managed  to get the second ascent of a great line "weasels ate my flesh" with slightly different beta than which it was established with. I added a new line at boulder garden its probably in the v8 or 9 range and called it "tragedy".  Mike managed to snag the FA of a new slab which I am not sure of grade or name but it was really fun.
Elk still manages to completely shatter my ideas of hard rock climbing as I cannot think of another area on the east coast with more unclimbed v13+ projects on clean rock that require extreme technical prowess and power.
I was able to make another western PA craig visit in the past 6 days and managed the third ascent of Minotaur v11 and I put up a new line Gorilla Warfare v10.  The weather has been pretty warm but we have been managing and its only going to get better for sending.  Its been bitter sweet leaving Colorado and the wild west but I am having fun and trying to climb as much as I can before the weather turns cold.

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