Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back in the Hood

"If its worth doing, its worth doing right." - any mom that has ever given advise.

 Perfect conditions prefaced my rainy arrival in the New River Gorge.  Plink...  Plink.....  Plink... rain danced down the tin roof and onto an empty porch that otherwise would have been occupied by the fold that had taken refuge inside.  Many a day has been spent watching the weather slowly melt down the slopes of the gorge and saturate every exposed surface.  "Yup" I yawned and stretched.  "No hurry to get out today", steam fogged my glasses as I took another sip of coffee.  And thats about how it went  for the first 3 days I was in WV.  Luckily for me I had company and we managed to kill time with stories of adventure, food and catching up on lost time.  After day two of said rain, I could feel my sanity slowly regressing into the tell tale and familiar signs of cabin fever..  What would I do if I was trapped in a tent for weeks in the alpine??  As I think about that now, typing this post I am a little disconcerted.  I have never thought of that mental challenge before...  Anyway, I couldn't take it anymore so Nick and I snuck out to climb on a roof that stayed somewhat dry in the dreary fog that drifted in with the rain.  I managed a relatively quick ascent of Fayetteville's Finest a crimpy v10 out a nearly horizontal roof.  This holiday from the walls of the house was short lived but kept my brain occupied and satisfied the addiction for at least the rest of the rainy spell..

The purpose for said trip was to participate in the American Alpine Club's second annual Craggin' Classic at the New River Gorge to be held September 20th - 22nd.  The event kicked off Friday evening with a pig roast and an amazing slide show.  By this time I was ready to climb again, my mind wandered to the next day as I sat in front of amazing imagery captured in the mountains of Patagonia.  The presenters voice slowly drifted to a subtle hum in the background of the growing questions that had taken hold of my thoughts.  I have A.D.D.  I said to myself.  What if it rained?  Where would we go climbing? What about the clinic? questions, questions, questions..  I formulated a plan just as the events of the evening came to a close.  Sure as the sun will shine Saturday the rain did fall..  and I mean fall.  I am talking a real frog strangler.  We got so much rain between 10 and 3pm I thought I started to see animals gathering in pairs.  As quickly as the rain came it seemed like it let up and by evening we were all stoked for Freddie Wilkinson's slide show. The imagery in his slide show was profound, it was one of the ill'est things I have seen in a long time.

The Tooth Traverse from renan ozturk on Vimeo.

The evening ended with the traditional dance party and I fell asleep at the crack of 3am.

The rubber is so sticky we drove across that crick 
To polish off an already amazing trip I stayed a few extra days with the intentions of climbing as many classic 4 star routes in the gorge and surrounding areas.   I have spent many many years climbing at the NRG, Meadow River and the Lake but with so much rock climbed and unclimbed I have barely seen anything.  So  I managed to do somewhere around 20 - 25 new (to me) routes between 12.b and 13.c..  Pretty psyched..  Here are some notable climbs that stood out to me either aesthetically or had some amazing movement...  Welcome to Conditioning, Just Send It, Depth Charge, Skinny Legs, Fall Line, Pud's Pretty Dress, B52, Strike a Scowl, Gift of Grace, My Stinking Brain, Ride the Lightning..  and the list goes on and on and on.  I was really lucky to have great conditions following the Classic and lucky to have awesome friends that were either psyched to get out and climb or psyched to give me a ride on these rigs.  Looking forward to my next trip.

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