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NRG Sport Climbing Superlatives – 5.10 and Under

Big C taking a breather after the hard opening moves on Flight of the Gumby 5,9

Welcome to Part 2 of my new Travel Beta series focusing on the NRG!  If you missed last week’s Crag Profile of the New, catch up here. Some crags might be able to get through a superlative list in one post…but not this place!  There’s just way too much goodness here, so I’ll have to split it up.  For our family’s fave 5.11’s and 5.12’s, you’ll have to wait.  For 5.10’s and below, read on!  Routes were chosen based on a few factors, most of which were entirely subjective, so I won’t be offended if you disagree with my choices!  Where there are special circumstances that might pertain to family craggin’, I’ve noted those as well.  I hope you enjoy this list – it was REALLY hard to narrow it down this much! and please feel free to add your own in the comments!

GREAT FOR NEW LEADERS:

While the New is not known for its beginner sport climbing, there are a few good options for a climber that is ready to tackle the sharp end.

MICROBREW 5.5 (Beer Wall)
BOBBY D’s BUNNY 5.6 (Sandstonia)
BONGO 5.7 (Whipoorwhill) – Only climbable in the fall/winter when the lake is low.  For families, the base is a little rocky but the approach is short.  Note: The neighboring climbs, AIMEE’S JUGS and WENDY’S JUGS, are also great candidates for a first lead.
WUNDERKIND 5.6 (Bubba Buttress)
HIPPIE DREAMS 5.7 (Summersville) – Beautiful arete with a great view at the top!  (Even if you’re not a beginner, this should be on your must-do list!)

BREAKING INTO 5.10s:

SHE GOT THE BOSCH, I GOT DRILLED 10a (Summersville) – I think this one is easier than the other 10’s at Orange Oswald, and I’d also give it a tie with BABY’s GOT A BOLT GUN 10c for most fun on the wall.
ZEITGEIST 10a (Sandstonia) – This one is an extension of a 5.9.  (And actually I think the crux of the 5.9 is harder than any of the moves on the extension!)

Taking in the view atop Free Range Show Poodle 5.8

MUST DO ROUTES:

FREE RANGE SHOW POODLE 5.8 (Area 51) – Tall and with a great view, a good mix of both pump and slab.
TOTALLY-CLIPSE 5.8 (Endless) – Will feel a little more committing if you are not tall.  Will definitely feel very committing if you are allergic to slab.
GEISHA GIRL 5.8 (Sandstonia) – This and its side by side neighbor, MRS FIELD’S FOLLIES, also 5.8, get a lot of traffic, but for good reason.  Super tall, and super fun!
THE UPHEAVAL 5.9 (Endless) – After Totally Clipse, definitely come and do this one.  Or do this one first…I actually think this one is a little easier!
FOOL EFFECT 5.9 (Endless) – This neighbor to the previous route offers better variety of movement, but in my opinion loses a star because of cleaning shenanigans.  It doesn’t have an anchor, so bring some long runners to sling the tree at the top.  Rappelling from the tree with a 70m will get you to the same ledge where the Upheaval begins from.
FLIGHT OF THE GUMBY 5.9 (Butcher’s Branch) – You’d better get down there early for this one, or else you’ll be in line for hours.  Don’t let the often manky start deter you – the goodness above is worth it!

Bongo 5.7 and Gimme a Clown 5.9 at Whipoorwhil

RICO SUAVE 5.10a (Kaymoor) – Another one where you might get stuck in a queue.  But worth the wait!  Watch out for poison ivy on the approach!
ST PAULI GIRL 10b (Beer Wall)
STRIKE A SCOWL 5.10b (Endless) – This technical face starts on a ledge that is a) difficult to get small children up to, and b) not safe for them once they are up there, unless you have an extra “kid-watcher.”  But the views and movement make this a fabulous climb!
BADASS TATTOO 10b (Sandstonia) – If you crush it, it’s pronounced “Badass Tattoo.”  If you get crushed, it’s a “Bad Ass Tattoo.”  At least that’s how FA Eric Horst explained it to me once a long time ago!  If you can find it dry, it’s awesome!  It’s awesome when a little wet too, just a little harder…
BRAIN TWEEZERS 5.10c (Beauty) – Not steep, but the movement is a little cryptic, so if you hang out too long in certain places you will still get pumped.   A good one for those wanting to improve their footwork!  This route also has several easier routes nearby, both trad and sport, so it can be a good place to spend a day.
BABY’S GOT A BOLT GUN 10c (Summersville) – Shorties might hate the start, but the rest is an awesome pump fest with a gorgeous lake backdrop!
LIEBACK AND ENJOY IT 10d (Sandstonia) – A good candidate for a headpoint (rehearsing the moves on TR first before leading), since you can easily rig a TR from the easier neighbor, Shady Lady 5.7.
COTTONHEAD 5.10d (Cottontop) – Definitely not entry level for the grade – this one is great, but a little sandbagged.  Bring some power and some lock off strength for this one, and get your buddy to hang draws for you!
RADIAL RIMMED 10d (Ames Wall, Bubba City) – Great fun, you’ll have to get jumpy if you’re short.
GOING BALLISTIC 10d (Summersville) – Known as “Jesus is My License Plate” in the older guides.  Full value line that will make you work for it til the very end.

This pic of Lieback and Enjoy IT 10d, taken circa 2011 was when I first discovered I make an underbite when I try hard!

CragDaddy topping out Brain Tweezers 10c

ALSO WORTH NOTING:

While the New is home to some of the best routes on the planet, they can’t all be 5 star classics.  At the risk of getting a little flack, I would be remiss if I didn’t share my opinion of the following black holes – ie, routes that are so bad they suck stars away from neighboring routes.

BIOSLAB 5.7 (Cottontop) – This route is usually wet, but if you stumble upon it dry, don’t assume that it would be a good warm-up based on grade.  The movement is awkward, and there is potential for swinging falls low to the ground.
TOTALLY TAMMY 10a (Kaymoor) – If there’s a line on RICO, you will probably be tempted to give this one a try.  Go for it only if you like insecure climbing over poorly-placed bolts.
EXODUSTER 10b (Endless) – It’s gotta be the grade and proximity to the Fern Point ladders that draws everyone here.  But in my opinion, it’s probably one of the worst routes at the New.  Polished, caked in chalk, and weird, reachy movement.  Maybe I’d like it if it had a good pressure washing.

Now it’s your turn – if you climb at the New, what do you think are the best (and perhaps worst) of the moderate grades?

 

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CRAG PROFILES: New River Gorge

The river crossing at Beauty Mountain

This post marks the start of a new Travel Beta series that will hopefully eventually include all of the Southeastern crags our family climbs at on a regular basis – starting with the family favorite of course, the New River Gorge! The first post for each area will include general beta for the area, as well as a breakdown of the family-friendliness of all the major crags within the area.  Subsequent posts for that area will include our family’s top route picks for each grade.  None of this info is intended to be used in lieu of a guidebook – you will definitely still need one for the New!  And in fact, Mikey Williams’ newly updated guide just became available a few months ago, and it’s awesome!  But what this series will hopefully do is provide your family with a good overview of the area from a family craggin’ perspective, and point you in the right direction of where to start in an area that can seem overwhelming at first.

LODGING –

There are a lot of camping options available in and around Fayetteville.  Our favorite place hands down is Chestnut Creek.  We’ve been camping there for 10+ years.  The family that owns it is very nice, and my son loves hanging out at camp with their son.  This campground has individual, shaded sites, and most, if not all have a picnic table and fire ring.   It’s quiet at night and the bathrooms/showers are always clean.  The AAC is also nice – we’ve never had a bad experience there, but if you’ve got young kiddos, the atmosphere can get a little loud/rowdy at times.

Typically by late November camping gets pretty cold at night, so if we find ourselves up there after Thanksgiving (or before March), we opt for a cheap hotel.  The Comfort Inn in Oak Hill is very nice by climber standards, and they have a really good breakfast.  The Quality Inn is a motel, and while it’s not quite as nice, the rooms have always been clean and their breakfast is also decent.  We realized recently that the latter has been somewhat of a good luck charm for me – my two hardest sends at the New were after a night there, so there’s that!  The prices vary somewhat, but we use Hotels.com to book, sometimes even the day of, and we typically pay anywhere from $70-100 at either place.  If prices are the same at both, definitely go with Comfort Inn…unless you’re superstitious about good luck charms 😉

At the base of Guide’s Wall

RESTAURANTS –

Pies and Pints and Secret Sandwich Society are what all the guidebooks always recommend…and with good reason, because both offer great food and drink.  But they are expensive and the wait is often over an hour.  My hungry kids can’t wait that long!  Instead, our go to’s are Gino’s and Rio Grande.  Gino’s is next to the Wal-mart and is decidedly NOT as good as Pies and Pints, but there will never be a wait, you get homemade chips right when you sit own, and our family of 4 can get our fill for about $20 including a good tip!  Rio Grande is a little more pricey, but not unreasonable, and of course you also get chips as soon as you sit down.  It’s in Oak Hill, just a few minutes south of town on Highway 19.

CRAG BREAKDOWNS:

BRIDGE BUTTRESS, JUNKYARD – Access is an easy, peasy walkup with flat areas at the base to play.  You will pay for this convenience with crowds!

Bottom two ladders at Fern Point

ENDLESS WALL:  Our family’s fave area at the New!  The most important thing to know about this for families is that the only way down is via bolted ladders.  There are 3 options at various points along the cliff line.  The first ones you reach are the Fern Point ladders, which signify the beginning of Endless Wall.  If this is your first time there, or if you have young kids, especially young hikers, this is the safest option – it’s just 3 short ladders, very doable with a backpack carrier, and pretty easy to provide a spot for older kids.  The latter two options, Honeymooners and Cirque ladders, are significantly taller and much more exposed.  If you are nervous about kids that are too big for a backpack carrier tackling any of these ladders safely,but you still want to climb at Endless, jsut bring their harness as well, and belay them down.  You can use a quickdraw as a directional at the top of the bottom Honeymooner ladder.  Common practice for us was to come in at Fern Point in the morning, and hike out at Honeymooners – going up always felt easier than going down, and we already had our gear out from climbing all day anyway!

BEAUTY, FERN, LOWER MEADOW, SOUTH SIDE CRAGS, BUBBA CITY – Reasonable hikes, depending on where exactly you’re wanting to climb.  Beauty has a river crossing that is pretty reasonable to rock hop, and Fern has a short exposed section that is not difficult, but might warrant holding a young hiker’s hand.  Bubba City has some fixed lines that my kids really enjoy!

Z, on belay and working up the final Honeymooner Ladder

KAYMOOR – The Hole and First Buttress are reasonably short hikes, the trek down to Butcher’s Branch is long and uphill on the way out, but the base is great for kids.  There is even a creek to splash around in when it’s hot.

COTTONTOP – The hike is short, but it’s a death march – so steep!  Base is good once you get up there though.

SUMMERSVILLE LAKE – Good option for kids that don’t mind a hike, although be prepared with something motivating for the up hill on the way out (hiking bears always work for us.)  There is a short ladder at the base of the cliff, but it is very mellow compared to Endless Wall.  Don’t forget bathingsuits (and PFD’s for non-swimmers) in the warmer months!

UPPER MEADOW – Long hike for short legs, though most of it is along a flat 4-wheeler trail.

Big C getting a belay down the Honeymooner Ladders several years ago

KID-FRIENDLY CLIMBS

If you’ve got kiddos old enough to want to do their own crushing, there are a few areas to check out.  GUIDE’s WALL is listed in the guidebook at the very end of the Endless Wall section, and is best accessed by following the approach to Beauty.  Look for this section of cliff on the right as you descend the gravel road.  There are 3 different trad lines (that can easily be set up as topropes from above if you didn’t bring gear) ranging from 5.2-5.7.  SMALL WALL is not in the guidebook, but can be found pretty easily by parking at the Bridge Buttress pullout, then hiking back up the road until you see a narrow but fairly obvious trail heading down and to the right.  Take that trail for a few minutes until the trail splits off – head up to set up TR’s, head down to the cliff base.  There’s nothing impressive about this wall, but it does offer several good kiddo lines.  There are also a number of easy lines off to the right on the way down to the Lower Meadow.  They are not in the current guidebook, but my guess is that when the updated version comes out they will be included.

Keep in mind that the long reaches found at the New can be particularly unfriendly to vertically challenged beginners (or the vertically challenged of any level for that matter!)  A climb may have a seemingly “kid-friendly” grade, but have moves that are giant for a child’s ape index.  Just like anywhere else, it might take a kidcrusher a little trial and error to find their mojo.

Craggin’ at the Small Wall

Overall though, the New River Gorge is a great place for families!  We climbed here for years pre-kids, and weren’t about to stop going once they came along – and now it’s one of their fave places to adventure too!  In addition to climbing, there’s also great white-water rafting, mountain biking, and hiking in the area.  Check in with the fabulous folks at Water Stone Outdoors for the best family-friendly beta on that stuff!  And stay tuned for the next installment in this blog series, “NRG Sport Climbing: Best 5.9’s and under.”

 

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A History Lesson, and Where to Go From Here

Cragbaby #1 in 2010

For those of you that have been around a while, today’s history lesson might be unnecessary.  But if you’re new around here, it might provide some helpful background.

When I started this website way back in 2009, I had no idea that 10 years later I’d still be at it.  Initially, this site was born out of a desire to inspire healthy living for mamas-to-be.  As an expectant mama myself, I was disappointed with the lack of information out there for those of us that wanted to continue rock climbing during their pregnancy.  I began chronicling my journey into motherhood on the blog, both before and after my son was born.  Those first early years of blogging and motherhood were filled with tips and tricks for all the “crag logistics” we constantly found ourselves running into on climbing trips – naps, diaper changes, camping, crag food, finding extra partners.  Then eventually that turned into potty training, encouraging your child to hike on his/her own, etc.  As my son grew, so did the topics I wrote about.  You can find a lot of those “oldie but goodie” posts in the Creating a Cragbaby and Toddlers at the Crag sections of this site.

CragKiddo #1 in 2019

Then in 2013 our world was forever changed for the better when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, this time a little girl.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that much had changed in those 4 years since my first pregnancy.  I now had access to climbing harnesses made specifically for expectant mamas, as well as MANY more options for maternity active wear.  A few well-known female climbers started documenting their pregnancy journeys, such as Beth Rodden and Carrie Cooper.  It became more and more routine to run into another pregnant climber, both at the gym as well as at the crag. 

Cragbaby #2 in 2014

After my daughter was born, I found myself with a host of new material to write about, many of which were the “times two” version of older posts.  (Some of those can be found here.)  But once we began homeschooling in 2015, I realized I just didn’t’ have the time (or energy) needed to keep this blog rolling at the pace I’d been going.  I had to prioritize, and family came first, so I backed off of my writing, sticking mostly with trip reports, and an occasional gear review sprinkled in here and there. 

Fast forward to nearly 4 years later, and my adorable cragbabies have grown into amazing cragkiddo adventure buddies!  And while I don’t have the HOURS of time to devote to my writing that I once did, I AM finding myself with a few more free chunks of time.  And recently I’ve realized how much I’ve missed writing, collaborating with brands for gear reviews and giveaways, and all that great social interaction from like-minded adventurers. 

Cragkiddo #2 in 2019

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’ve been with me for a while, expect more action on this blog than what you may have seen in recent years.  And if you are a relatively new follower, hopefully you like what you see, because you’re about to get more of it!  Look for some reviews not only of gear, but of experiences and activities, as well as a new feature called “Crag Profiles.

So for now stay tuned.  And in the wise words of LL Cool J – “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.”

Your welcome for the ear worm 😉

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An Addendum to the Spring Sum-Up

Entering the crux

When I wrote a re-cap of my spring climbing season 2 weeks ago, it was 95 degrees, and jungle status humidity.  Today feels similar.  But this past Saturday brought a rare respite from both heat and humidity.  And I don’t mean an “it was a few degrees cooler” kinda thing.  I’m talking, lows in the 50’s, high’s in the 70’s, and 30-40% humidity.  Such a shocking departure from the norm that it seemed almost providential that CragDaddy and I rearrange our schedules to be back at the New on Saturday – because by Sunday it was going to be summer again!  

That said, all the hectic-ness of Friday afternoon was well worth it on Saturday night when we drove back with a pair of sends in our pocket.  After a quick warm-up on Workman’s Comp 10d that morning, we went straight to the project, Bosnian Vacation 12d.  The one that I came up juuuust short on at the exit move of the crux a few weeks ago…and then thankfully stopped juuuust short of hitting the tree.  Although we initially got on it a few weeks ago because it was literally the only dry route we could find, we stuck with it because it’s actually pretty awesome. 

Mark Paulson sums it up pretty well on Mountain Project“Bosnian Vacation is a smorgasbord of NRG features and styles, cramming just about every New River trope into a seemingly compact 90′.  A V4 power problem right off the deck?  Check.  An immediate transition to a laughably thin technical crux on the tiniest of crimps? Check.  A huge horizontal where you can get it all back?  A requisite section of choss? Reachy 5.11 jug hauling? Crazy, exposed dihedral moves? A looong easy romp to the chains that protects well with anything from a blue to orange TCU?  Multiple checks.  Not a classic, but undeniably fun.”  

This cutie got to be an only child for the weekend!

Worth noting is that a VERY key part of my crux beta involved a hollow pinch that doesn’t seem long for this world.  CragDaddy felt pretty sure he would rip it off if he used it, and he was able to avoid it entirely, but with my (lack of) reach, not using it was not an option for me.  In fact, I used it multiple times – first as a right hand undercling as I’m stepping my feet through, then as a left hand undercling intermediate to help me stretch to a right hand sidepull.  So if you get on this route and find you need to use this hold, tread lightly!

Also worth noting is that the exit move out of the crux is a little scary, as implied earlier.  My beta involves cranking off a so-extended-my-shoulder-isn’t-engaged left hand sloping dish and a terrible right foot smear to a hero jug flake for my right hand.  Twice a few weeks ago that right foot slipped, swinging me closer than I wanted to be to a good-sized tree.  With an aware climber and heads up belayer, it’s probably fine – just don’t jump “out!”  The good news is that better conditions meant better friction, which meant significantly better contact strength on that sloping dish, and on Saturday I was able to stay a lot tighter to the wall for that committing move.  (FYI CragDaddy’s taller beta enabled him to get to the good flake before having to smear on the bad foot, so by the time he got into “pendulum territory,” the moves weren’t as committing.  Your mileage may vary, so just be aware!)

CragDaddy exiting the crux on a TR burn a few weeks ago.

After the crux is a big ledge traverse – endure the slightly awkward feet and the reward is a rest where you can get it all back before tackling the 5.11 face.  The face is slightly overhanging – the moves are big, but so are the holds!  Once you reach the 60 ft mark or so, the route rolls over into a wildly exposed dihedral (but first a no hands rest with a great view of the river!)  The dihedral to the top is probably no harder than 10-.  You’ll probably want some gear though – a blue Trango flex cam/.3 BD is easy to place from a pedestal under the final roof.  Make sure you sling it long.  Even with the gear you’ll probably want to avoid falling while pulling the roof.  

After hanging the draws and rehearsing some of the harder moves multiple times, I was feeling great about every move but the last deadpoint on the 5.11 face – it’s a big windmill move for me, and though I don’t think I’ve ever fallen on it, it always feels desperate and lower percentage than I want it to be.  After his run, CragDaddy was feeling great about all but the very first move off the ground – which he had yet to be able to do even once.  

But after a quick lunch break and some snuggle time with the little one (the big one was away at church camp this weekend!), we both pulled the rope and sent!  Not without some excitement though – I was blinded by the sun starting up the face, and my foot almost popped while heading to the final no hands rest.  CragDaddy probably tried the starting move an additional 30+ times…then finally made it and just kept right on going up for the send (also amidst an almost fall mid-crux and a bout of sun blindness towards the top.)  The moral of his story is to never stop fighting – he only ever made that move once, but when he did he made it count! 

Burly start

Afterwards we still had some time left in our day, so I figured I’d give Just Send It 13b a try – we were there, the route was there, and multiple people had recommended it to me as a potential longer term project.  Maybe it was the previously exhausted forearms talking, but that thing is hard as nails!  I wasn’t expecting to be able to do all the moves after just one lap of course…but I thought I would at least be able to visualize the harder sequences!  I did fine until the double dihedral, when confusion and disorientation set in for a few bolts.  I’m not going to write it off for good, but I’m not itching to get back any time soon.  (Also all praise to the mighty Trango Beta Stick for getting me to the top!) 

And now I think I can FINALLY say “That’s a wrap!” on spring climbing.  Wanna know a secret?  I’m getting an SUP for my birthday (which is in August but we’re getting it early so we can use it all summer!)  So be on the lookout for some upcoming paddling posts!  

 

 

 

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Spring Sum-up: Because Summer is Already Here

A little over a month ago, I wrote a “here’s where things stand midway through spring” post.  After enduring 90 degree temps in Kentucky over Memorial Day weekend, I’d say it’s time to officially close out the chapter on Spring 2019.  Despite being riddled with rain seemingly weekend after weekend, I actually had a pretty successful season.  Although the heat came way before I was ready to be done climbing hard,  I’m currently finishing up this post on the back porch of my in-law’s beach house overlooking the ocean, so life isn’t too terrible right now!  Here’s some highlights from the past month or so…

Here Comes the Rain 12b, Photo by Bryan Miller

HERE COMES THE RAIN 12b – Last time I mentioned this I was only 4 same day tries in.  Since this one is a 2hr drive and roadside approach from my house, the kids and I were able to sneak away for a couple of mid-week day trips.  On the first of those, I got in 2 beta burns before the rain ended our day early.  I figured out some alternate beta for the finish, but couldn’t decide which option was easiest/better, and I still hadn’t managed to actually clip the last bolt without grabbing a draw.  Then the next week we had a beautifully cool spring morning…but I hiked in only to discover that there was a waterfall running perilously close to my line.  The good news is that the rock that was dry felt amazingly crisp.  The bad news was that avoiding the handful of wet holds made a couple of sections a bit harder.  More good news was that the waterfall answered my “which finishing beta” question for me , and that a double draw on the last bolt enabled me to find a fairly okay clipping stance using a soaking wet but surprisingly secure toe hook.  

Ironically though, all of my clipping rehearsal was for naught, because when I got up there on the sending go, I couldn’t get into that position again.  I tried to clip, dropped the rope, and decided to keep climbing.  A couple of moves later I tried again, again no dice, and I barely saved my body from a big barn door.   I only had 3 more hard moves left and I was about 80% sure I could do them, but the more I hung out trying to clip this bolt, the faster that percentage was being depleted.  If this route was anything but a slab, I probably would have skipped the bolt in question and been at the top by now.  I decided to smear my feet up a little higher, and if I still couldn’t get it clipped I was gonna keep going. I held my breath as I tiptoed up.  The unclipped bolt was now at my knees, but the undercling I was on felt better with the higher feet, and I managed to get the rope in.  A few moves later I was at the top – a little more epic than anticipated, but hey it’s done! 

GREEN ENVY 12c – This milestone deserved it’s own post, so rather than rehash all of it, you can just go here if you missed the play by play! 

Funky footwork on Bosnian Vacation 12d

KID FREE WEEKEND – Believe it or not, prior to earlier this month, CragDaddy and I hadn’t had a kid-free weekend at the New River Gorge since 2009 – before we had any kids to bring!!!!!  True to form, our master plans of efficient and flawless crag-hopping didn’t exactly pan out.  Temps were in the high 80’s with jungle level humidity, and the 2 inches of rain in the previous 18 hours made for some of the wettest conditions I’d ever seen.  But all that aside, we managed to have a fabulous time – AND we found a new project for the fall!  

BOSNIAN VACATION 12d – I’d be remiss if I failed to admit that I’m SLIGHTLY disappointed that this one is still a project.  On the one hand, I certainly wan’t EXPECTING to send 12d in a weekend, especially a weekend with the forecast we had.  Our intentions were to just have fun project shopping  for fall, not really trying to send anything.  But after doing all the moves on it Day 1, and allowing myself to get sucked back into a second round the next day, it did sting a little to come up half an inch short on the final move of the crux at weekend’s end.  It also stung to graze my back against the wall during the crux fall, but probably not as much as it would have stung to slam into the tree, which was the other option.  That said, I’m hoping that my efforts will painlessly pay off this fall!

Big C crushing Rorschach Ink Blots 5.8+

MEMORIAL DAY AT THE RED:  Our spring season “grand finale” was a little anti-climactic.  Conditions were more reminiscent of what we’d expect in late July rather than end of May.  It didn’t stop us from trying hard, but it DID stop my sending streak…unless you count warm-ups, and even those weren’t necessarily a sure thing!  The silver lining of the weekend was that CragDaddy not only put down Hippocrite 12a, but managed to do so before lunch on the last day, which enabled us to get back early enough for me to get a head start packing for our next day’s adventure – 4 days at the aforementioned beach house.  

It’s times like these that I’m really thankful to live where we do, having both the mountains and the coast close enough to visit on a whim.  And while I’m certain we’ll get our fair share of climbing adventures in over the summer, my guess is that we’ll probably spend just as much time in the water as we do on the rock.  Tis the season for pools, kayaks, and trompin’ in the creek!  

My favorite partners in climb

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