Finally! A weekend at the New that wasn’t soaking wet! After we indoctrinated Christie into Southern culture by taking her to Chick-Fila for the first time, we arrived at the Mountain Lake Campground in Summersville just after sunset. Everyone set up their tents while Canaan waited in his carseat on our picnic table. After about 10 minutes I realized he had fallen asleep gazing at the moon 🙂
After a slightly overcast start to our day on Saturday, we ended up with a bright, sunshiny (and humid…) day at last!
We had a great group – big enough to be really helpful with Canaan, but not so big that we couldn’t get any climbing done. We decided on the Long Wall, thinking that would be less crowded than Orange Oswald, especially since Steve and I had only done one other route there before. Here’s our first day climbs…
Day 1 Routes ~
Personal Pronoun (5.9) – pumpy, good warm-up for the wall, only route on the wall we had done before
Chewy (5.10b) – sequency start along a thin rail, then pretty straightforward climbing between good holds, really enjoyable
Jesus is my License Plate (5.10d) – funky start, then big pumpy moves. Definitely my favorite route of the day
Satisfaction Guaranteed (5.11a) – So many people had recommended this route to me, but evidently it just wasn’t in the cards for me that day…I felt great on the low roof start (and even found the secret kneebar beta!), felt methodical and relaxed on the face, kept it together to make the big roof clip….and then got shut down at the roof. Supposedly the roof is way easier than 11a, but for some reason it seemed impossible to me. I felt pretty discouraged lowering off, but right when I hit the ground, Steve had brought my little bean over to give me a kiss – and all of a sudden it was all better, and I could care less whether I could pull that stupid roof or not! 🙂
In keeping with tradition, we ended our day with a dip in the lake, and boy did it hit the spot! It was the perfect way to unwind and limber up tired muscles. Steve felt more like taking a nap on the rocks along the shore, so after Canaan took a quick swim, he snuggled up with his daddy along the shore for a little catnap. The rest of us swam out to the big boulders and practiced our cannonballs until we all realized we were ravenously hungry. Dinner was chicken and corn on the cob from the campground restaurant, along with a giant yummy salad. And as we munched on the local homemade fudge for dessert, we were shocked to learn from Norbert and Manuela that there is no German word for fudge!
After a torrential downpour around 1 in the morning, the morning dawned clear and bright! After we broke down camp and ate breakfast, we headed out to Sandstonia, figuring that at least the routes at the end of the wall would be dry. Thankfully we were right (although those were the ONLY routes that were dry), and we got in plenty of climbing.
Day 2 Routes ~
Shady Lady (5.7) – The typical warm-up for the area. I put this one up while Steve put up Butterfly Flake (also 5.7).
Lieback and Enjoy It (5.10d) – As off as I felt yesterday on Satisfaction, I felt like a completely different climber today! I felt really strong on the start, and very confident in the crack. I fell once exiting the crack, but figured out my beta, and after everyone else had taken a lap, I pulled the rope and got the redpoint. I felt like my lead head was finally back for the first time since before I was pregnant. Definitely my highlight of the weekend. 🙂