Back from the New — Updated

We got back from our five day trip to the New River Gorge last night. It was good to be back there — the place where we’ve spent a good portion of lives from 1993-2002. We saw a lot of old friends, and made a few new ones, and made a pact to go there more often, especially since our friends Jason and Rachel offered to let us stay at their house (and let Seb play with their daughter).

The climbing was typical for the New — when we got there Wednesday, the boulders at Hawk’s Nest were soaking wet from a combination of rain and condensation. The weather cleared for the next few days, but we got more rain on Saturday night and Sunday morning. In the end, we had three climbing days out of 4.5 days, so it wasn’t so bad. Sport climbing wasn’t as horrible as we both thought it would (since we haven’t been on a rope since before Seb was born), though we were hardly in route shape. That didn’t stop me from trying hard routes though, and hanging and falling a lot. I did notice that I still haven’t kicked the fear brought on by a nasty fall a few years ago. I’m fine on familiar and overhanging ground, but as soon as I’m out of that comfort zone, the fear really holds me back. I’m not paralyzed, but it certainly prevents me from trying hard.

Photos should be up soon.


I figured since I’m waiting for my workstation to get hooked to a new domain, I’d fill in some details on our trip…

Drove down. Very mellow drive, and Seb did well. We hiked out to Hawk’s Nest to try and get some bouldering in, but unfortunately everything was wet. I guess there had been some rain there, then higher temps, and nothing was drying. Oh well. We hiked back to the car and hooked up some friends at their house in Fayetteville and unpack and get settled.

Hawk’s Nest take two. We first tried to visit some recently discovered boulders up the hill from Hawk’s Nest, but they were still wet, but….the boulders were amazing. Endless Wall quality stone, and big, big faces. Killer. I can’t wait to go back. We went back to Hawk’s Nest with some friends, and had a nice day. Nobody sent anything groundbreaking, but it was still good fun, and Seb had fun playing in all the puddles.

Very slow day. Seb decided to take a morning nap, and that held us back, despite the good weather. We finally got motivated and decided to try and find some of the new routes at Bubba City. My advice? Don’t go. We hiked for well over an hour, most of which was bushwhacking over loose scree. We finally found the wall, and most of the routes looked incredibly lame. Since it was getting late, and we figured it might be an adventure getting back to car, we just left. Woo!

Went to Summersville Lake. The conditions were good, though it wasn’t sunny, and just about everything was dry. After some warm-ups, I headed over to the Coliseum to try Apollo Reed. Who cares if I’m not in shape? I can fall with the best of them. I hung once, which I figured isn’t bad since I did as many moves on that route as I do during one day at Coopers. I tried Mercy Seat as well, and got spanked. Good fun.

Rain overnight and in the morning forced us to the Cirque. I got on Finders Keepers to warmup (5.12b to warmup? Sure!). I was still pretty psyched out by the fall I took a couple of years ago, and I lowered off at the crux. I was a bit disappointed, but it was still a fun day, and I toproped a line to left, just for kicks.