Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Weekend, July 2-3

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

The 4th of July weekend has become a nice relaxing climbing trip for us.  We arrived Friday evening and casually setup camp.  Saturday morning was nice and sunny as we set out for the Skyline Traverse(5.3) route, we arrived at my best guess (with guidebook) for the start of the route (it was correct).  I gained a large ledge after 10-15 feet and belayed Kyle and Katie up to cutdown on severe rope drag.  We then started up the large corner crack system to the first bolts.  This was definitely my first climbing outing of the year, I was not smooth and took more time than necessary placing gear, even over-camming a #.75 which I was able to retrieve later.  Once at the bolts, I scouted out where to put everyone before setting up my belay in guide-mode off the anchors.  Kyle came up first and I placed her on the small ledge to my left with her stack of rope while I brought Katie up.  Katie remained on the larger ledge 10-15 ft. below me.  We then decided to rappel back down from the bolts.  Tied the ropes together with an EDK in order to fully reach the ground safely.  On rappel, with auto-block engaged I was able to retrieve my stuck .75 cam after 5 minutes of encouragement with my nut-tool.  We then hiked around and up the remained of the stair-master before having lunch.

After lunch we went over to Humphrey's Head, another location I've yet to climb.  A Seneca guide was doing some belay anchor teaching on some of the trees but we had plenty of room for all.  I racked up and started up the face along a prominent crack.  I had 2 piece in the first 20ft. which was good and then encountered some hollow sounding blocks, which I avoided placing gear behind.  Soon, I was at the overhang with my last piece 20ft. below me and mentally not happy.  My feet were secure but I was badly wanting a solid piece or two.  I was able to slot a nut and then found a crack for a cam 3-4 feet after that.  I was feeling better, but knew a slip would be a traversing fall.  The last 15 ft. of climbing are the easiest but most exposed.  Took a couple deep breathes and then was soon at the slings/rap-rings.  I set up our top-rope on double locking carabiners before being lowered.  Kyle cleaned the route and after all had climbed, I went back up to clean the top-rope setup.

Sundays weather was looking iffy but we went up to tackle Le Gourmet.  We got to the start, racked up and then the rain started.  I literally had 1 piece in the wall and needed to down climb 8 feet.  We opted for lunch while we waited for the weather to either clear or continue its drizzle.  Rain continued to spit on us so we went swimming in the river.

Not a lot of climbing, but time spent in the outdoors is never a waste.  It was the relaxation I needed for this weekends upcoming half-ironman triathlon.

1 comment:

climber511 said...

Time spent climbing (or trying to climb) will not be deducted from your life.