Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

New River Rendezvous – Lucky #7

Probably the funniest expression Steve has ever caught on camera...

Working hard on Lieback and Enjoy It. One of the funnier expressions Steve has caught on camera...

The New River Rendezvous was this weekend. This was our third year attending, and it seems like it gets better and better each year! We left Raleigh around 3:30 or so and arrived just in time to see a crazy slide show by Dave Chancellor from SoIll Holds. Friday dawned a beautiful day. Steve and I convinced Norbert and Manuela (whom I will affectionately refer to as “Manbert” 🙂 ) to get up at the crack of dawn so that we could beat the crowds down at Sandstonia. A lot of stuff was wet from all the rain from the previous week, but we still have enough to keep us occupied and having fun.
Geisha Girl – 5.8
Mrs. Field’s Follies – 5.8
Shady Lady – 5.7
Lieback and Enjoy It – 5.10d
(still waiting for the redpoint on this one…)
The Good Book – 5.10a

It was Norbert’s birthday the day before, so Manbert wanted to take us all out to eat at Smokey’s on the Gorge for dinner. Yeah, so Steve and I usually cook pasta or something on the camp stove when we go to the New, b/c we’re cheap. Every now and then we’ll splurge and go to the local pizza joint, Pies n’ Pints. This was AMAZING!!! A giant all-you-can-eat-buffet filled with all sorts of fresh veggies, fruits, breads, pastas, and some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted! After we had refueled on all that goodness, we headed back to the Burnwood campsite where we checked out the sponsor booths for a while, and then were first in line for…….DESSERTAPALOOZA!!! A wonderful gluttonous feast, its one of the few times a year that I let myself loose and GORGE (no pun intended 🙂 ) on all of those succulent sweets. My strategy is known as the “Sampler Platter”, while Steve tends to get big slices of just 2 or 3 things. Afterwards we felt sick…

Before...

Before...

After...

After...

The two of us with Lisa Rands

The two of us with Lisa Rands

Saturday we opted not to participate in the comp to take it easy on my shoulder. Even though its doing much better, and climbing outdoors doesn’t make it too angry, we figured that really pushing myself on day 2 of a 3 day trip probably wasn’t the best idea. I’m a big girl now I guess. 🙂 Anyway, instead of the comp, we took a clinic from Lisa Rands out at Beauty Mountain! She was super nice and down to earth, and it was amazing to watch her climb. She put up an 11d for Steve and I to try so she could watch our technique (or lack thereof…) and gives us some tips.?
Brain Tweezers – 5.10b (one of my faves at the Gorge!)
M.E.N.S.A. – 5.11d (thanks Lisa!)
Out of Mind – 5.10a
You Want It, You Got It – 5.9
Guide’s Route, Right – 5.5

Saturday night the party was on! We enjoyed watching the pro climbers take on the lowly average joes in a tug -of-war mudfest, and I got flashbacks of my rotator cuff searing in two as I watched the dyno competition.

Manbert packed up and left, but the day was unexpectedly gorgeous, so we wanted to get in at least a morning’s worth of climbing. We headed out to Endless Wall and had a fantastic end to our weekend. We got on Muckraker, 5.11a, which was a great little slabby, techy route right beside the ladders. I had to hang once at the crux b/c I botched my feet, so after Steve went up, I pulled the rope and got the redpoint on the second go. Then we went over to Discombobulated, 5.11b, since John Wilson has been recommending this to me for what seems like forever. Wow, what a route! I feel really good about it, but was also really humbled. It took me a long time, and I did have to hang at 3 of the bolts, and it was a little scary with all the exposure at the top, but I finally completed it! But not before 3 climbers used the route right beside it (Legacy, same grade) to warm-up before heading over to Quinsana Plus, 5.13a…but I could have cared less! They may have been able to run up it, but I’m pretty sure that I got the more full-value experience 🙂

My orange friend :)

My orange friend 🙂

Muck Raker

Near the start on Muck Raker

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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN