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Category Archives: New River Gorge

NRG Sport Climbing Superlatives – 5.10 and Under

NRG Sport Climbing Superlatives – 5.10 and Under

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! …Read the rest of this entry →

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CRAG PROFILES: New River Gorge

CRAG PROFILES: New River Gorge

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 –…Read the rest of this entry →

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An Addendum to the Spring Sum-Up

An Addendum to the Spring Sum-Up

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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Spring Sum-up: Because Summer is Already Here

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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Gettin’ Sendy on Green Envy

Gettin’ Sendy on Green Envy

I am quick to profess my love for the New River Gorge.  It is the gold standard by which I measure all other crags against.  I’ve been climbing there since 2007 and it just never gets old.  But for all that love, there’s just as much frustration, as the nature of NRG climbing seems to know just how to expose both my strengths and weaknesses, sometimes even on the same route.   Generally speaking, the New is known for being “reachy,” and is stereotypically harder for shorter climbers.  This is the major reason why the really strong climbing team kids mostly…Read the rest of this entry →

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Spring: Here’s Where Things Stand.

Spring: Here’s Where Things Stand.

Spring climbing season is always a little more finicky than fall. The weather is more of a gamble, and conditions are decidedly better at the beginning of the season (when you’re at your weakest) versus the end (when you’re at your strongest.) This is the opposite of fall, when conditions are steadily improving at (hopefully) the same pace you are. That said, completing your spring projects before the summer heat sets in usually becomes a race against rapidly deteriorating conditions. This is typically the point in the spring where I realize there are so many good routes, and so little…Read the rest of this entry →

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NRG Rounds 1 and 2…aka “Hey Fall, No One Likes A Tease.”

NRG Rounds 1 and 2…aka “Hey Fall, No One Likes A Tease.”

Our first fall forays at the New a couple of weeks ago actually ALMOST felt like fall.  Then this past weekend was back to summer.  Autumn is such a tease here in the Southeast.  I’m over it.  It’s hard on the psych.  And it’s hard on the skin. Considering conditions the past couple of months can be summed up by the phrases “hot,” “wet”, or “hot and wet,” CragDaddy and I both came into the NRG with low expectations.  Aside from a sweltering Labor Day weekend at the Red in Amazonian rainforest conditions, we’ve pretty much been gym rats since…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Ruchert Motion 5.13a – Grand Finale at the NRG

The Ruchert Motion 5.13a – Grand Finale at the NRG

This fall has featured some pretty goofy weather conditions.  October was hot, November was wet, and December is…perfect?!?  Our NRG season typically wraps up before Thanksgiving.  After that, the days are so short, with frigid mornings and evenings, and nighttime temps that drop below our enjoyable-camping-with-kids threshold.  It’s also not uncommon to contend with snow, so even a stray warm day can end up wet.  Not to mention the holidays are coming, and we want to focus on that!  But Thanksgiving  weekend brought fantastic weather we couldn’t pass up…and we both put good work in on The Ruchert Motion 13a.  And…Read the rest of this entry →

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NRG at Thanksgiving

NRG at Thanksgiving

Did your post-Thanksgiving plans include shop til you drop or #optoutside?  As you might have guessed, ours involved the latter.  The forecast was beautiful for the early part of last weekend, so we squeezed in a quick visit to our favorite east coast climbing destination for a half day Friday and full day Saturday.   All we had time for on Friday afternoon was a couple of pitches each at Bridge Buttress, and despite our best efforts, we just couldn’t pull anything together.  I tackled an old nemesis of mine – Stretch Armstrong 12a, while CragDaddy tried his hand at Team…Read the rest of this entry →

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This Time it’s Endless, Not Sendless…

This Time it’s Endless, Not Sendless…

Ah, Endless Wall season.  There’s nothing like it.  Endless Wall is definitely my favorite climbing area at the New River Gorge, though on paper I’m not sure why.  From a climber perspective, the grades are stiff, the bolt spacing is spicy, and cruxes require committment from body, mind and soul all at once.  You’d better bring your try hard if you wanna climb here.  From a mama perspective, the hike is long, and giant ladders make for a difficult approach with kids.  You’d better bring your hiking bears if you wanna climb here. As a family, it’s logistically always been…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Weekend of Firsts at the New River Gorge

A Weekend of Firsts at the New River Gorge

This weekend was our second on e in a row spent at the New River Gorge, and it represented a game-changing milestone for our family – WE WENT BY OURSELVES.  Just us – mom, dad, and two kids.  To those not familiar with the logistical nightmare that comes with climbing with kids and might not see this as a big deal, let me break it down for you.  It has been 7 and a half YEARS since we have been able to climb without having to nail down any logistics with other people… Of those 7+ years, the first 3/3.5 were spent needing…Read the rest of this entry →

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(FINALLY!) Back at the NRG

(FINALLY!) Back at the NRG

It only took us until the middle of June this year, but we FINALLY made it back up to one of our favorite places in the entire world this past weekend.  All spring it seemed we had one logistical issue after another – weather, partners, schedules, you name it.  The only other time we’ve gone this long without climbing at the New River Gorge was the year Little Zu was born, when we skipped spring/summer up there entirely and waited til fall.  But now all is right in the world.  It may be too little too late when it comes to…Read the rest of this entry →

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NRG: Flashin’ or Thrashin’

NRG: Flashin’ or Thrashin’

Sometimes on a climbing trip, you have a “day of reckoning,” where you try hard and it pays off with a send.  Other times, you flail your way through a weekend and come out without any new notches on your sending belt.  This past weekend for me was one of those weird in between weekends.  I was either flashing…or thrashing.  There was no middle ground. Being that it was November and we FINALLY got those crisp, cool, fall conditions we’ve been waiting for all year, the only destination for us this weekend was Endless Wall.  Since I’d sent my project…Read the rest of this entry →

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Jesus and Tequila = SENT!!!

Jesus and Tequila = SENT!!!

“…I’m not sure when, but one of these days I will pull the crux on Jesus and Tequila and not take the swinging whipper.  I’ll stay clean through the dihedral and nail the deadpoint move.  I’ll teeter out across the roof and plant my foot exactly where it needs to be, and execute the final sequence.  I’ll stand at the top and savor the magnificent view of the river below…” I wrote that exactly 6 months ago in a blog post…And guess what you guys – Saturday was the day!!!  I am absolutely giddy with excitement!!!  Back in January I’d told the…Read the rest of this entry →

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The 2016 Craggin’ Classic

The 2016 Craggin’ Classic

It’s the middle of September, and that means it’s time for two things – migrating north for the Craggin’ Classic at the New River Gorge…and my kids getting sick.  Last year, it was a mysterious fever for Little Zu.  This year, it was a tummy bug that left its mark on several family members before heading elsewhere…but that’s probably all you need to know about that. Anyway, by the time the event was underway, everyone was (mostly) okay, and our logistical plans (always the crux when climbing with kids) went off without a hitch.  The kids and I had headed…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge: It’s Fall Ya’ll!

New River Gorge: It’s Fall Ya’ll!

I’m baaaaaaaack!  (In case you haven’t been missing me, this is the longest stretch of blog silence I’ve ever had since the dawning of “Cragmama” back in 2011!)  With weather too hot for climbing, and revving up our homeschooling again for the year, there has been too little to write about in not enough time anyway, so everything just went on the backburner.  But now that Zu (no longer Baby Girl Zu!) is at preschool a couple mornings a week, and fall adventures are upon us (!), I’ve got plenty to write about, and hopefully juuuust enough time to do…Read the rest of this entry →

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Gluttons for Punishment at the New River Gorge

Gluttons for Punishment at the New River Gorge

Contrary to what most of my non-climbing friends assume, summertime is NOT ideal climbing weather.  In fact, when it comes to actual climbing conditions, heat + humidity is a pretty miserable combination.  And if we’re being honest, this formula applies to more than just climbing.  This time of year in the South is pretty much only good for activities involving cold beverages and water.  That being said, every now and then we forget what it feels like to smother ourselves in a wet oven, and we go out climbing anyway. Without fail it always ends in a sweaty, stinky mess,…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge: The (Almost) Day of Reckoning

New River Gorge: The (Almost) Day of Reckoning

If you follow our family on instagram (@cragmama1), you may have noticed a family photo taken along the Endless Wall Trail on Saturday morning, with a caption entitled -“Today is a day of reckoning out the NRG…let’s do this!”  It was my first (and potentially only) chance this spring to send Jesus and Tequila 12b, the mega classic sandbag that I’d came heartbreakingly close to ticking off last November as the fall season closed out.  After some annihilating circuit work in the gym, along with recent success at both the New and the Red in recent weeks, I was feeling…Read the rest of this entry →

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Spring Climbing Season Has Sprung!

Spring Climbing Season Has Sprung!

This past weekend represented the official “start” of spring climbing season for us.  The CragDaddy and I both came into the weekend with somewhat mixed emotions.  On the one hand, we were SO PSYCHED about the chance to get back on a rope, back up to the New River Gorge, and start spending our weekend on the rock again.  Ordinarily there are plenty of opportunities to get some climbing in during the winter on clear, calm days at south-facing crags (sun’s out, gun’s out!)  But this winter it seemed like it rained on just about every free weekend we had, and as…Read the rest of this entry →

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The Blessings of Jesus and Tequila

The Blessings of Jesus and Tequila

A lot of people tout that Jesus and Tequila 12b (aka “J ‘n T”) is the best 5.12 in the New River Gorge (and I wouldn’t disagree.)  Some people even argue that it’s the best route in the Gorge, period. I’ve even heard more than one person say it is the best route they have EVER touched. Well, with that introduction, you know it’s not gonna be a gimme for the grade, right? While grades are of course highly subjective, J ‘n T has a pretty solid consensus that 12b is a big fat sandbag (unless you are my one friend that downgrades…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sendless at Endless

Sendless at Endless

Catchy title, but will probably make for a rather lackluster trip report!  Conditions were prime for sending…I guess my only excuse is myself!  Fortunately, however, our weekend in West Virginia was still “wild and wonderful.” Saturday was spent at Snake Buttress.  After warming up on Muckraker 11a, I had hoped to tick New World Order 12a, which I had started working on a few weeks ago.  To be honest, heading into the weekend I’d been feeling less than confident, and with questionable motivation. The crux for me on New World Order is a big deadpoint move that requires (for me, anyway) a LOT of precision…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorgeous Fall Climbing!

New River Gorgeous Fall Climbing!

It’s been 7 years since the CragDaddy and I first visited the New River Gorge (way back in the pre-kid era of our marriage.)  Since then we’ve spent hundreds of weekends up there, in all seasons of the year and all kinds of weather…but NONE were as beautiful as this past weekend!  The intensity of the fall color this year was absolutely breathtaking – vivid yellows, vibrant reds, and spectacular oranges.  It was as if Someone, in the 5 days we’d been back in Charlotte, had taken a paintbrush to the entire landscape. Even just hiking in to Endless Wall had a…Read the rest of this entry →

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NRG Round 1: Endless (Not Sendless) Wall

NRG Round 1: Endless (Not Sendless) Wall

After a month of unseasonably wet and humid conditions, we were starting to think fall climbing season would never get here.  But this past weekend was about as good as it gets, condition-wise.  The air was cold and crisp, but the rock was still warm – one of those magical times where you can climb pretty much wherever you want, without having to chase sun or shade.  In other words, any excuses for not sending are your own fault! Now when it comes to climbing grades at the New River Gorge, there can be some inconsistency, but the general consensus is that…Read the rest of this entry →

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NRG Craggin’ Classic

NRG Craggin’ Classic

Last weekend was the first official weekend of fall, and for climbers in the Southeast, that means it’s time for the Craggin’ Classic at the New River Gorge!  This NRG event is actually just one of a series of climbing festivals held across the country each fall.  The Craggin’ Classic Series (organized by the American Alpine Club), is a chance for climbers from all over to get together and play around on world class rock, all in the name of community, education, stewardship, and fundraising. This was my 2nd time working this event for Trango/Tenaya (first time was back in 2012),…Read the rest of this entry →

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Humidity + Humility = Reality at the New River Gorge

Humidity + Humility = Reality at the New River Gorge

This weekend marked our first climbing trip back on the east coast since our big Wyoming adventure (summed up here, here, here, and here.)  And while it felt good to be back on familiar stone, the CragDaddy and I both took a giant dose of humble pie (served dripping in humidity!) “You know we’re going to get pummeled at the New this weekend, right?” I’d joked to Steve last week.  After a week of rest and a couple of bouldering sessions at the gym, we were still talking about the glory days of our vacation, where both of us had climbed harder…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Belated New River Gorge Recap

A Belated New River Gorge Recap

With a shoe demo in Atlanta last week (more on how cool demos are next week!), I was too busy to do the write-up for our New River Gorge trip the previous weekend, but I figured better a week late than never! The New was forecasted to be hot…and humid…but not QUITE as hot and not QUITE as humid as the southern crags in our neck of the woods, so we made the trip.  Summer conditions at the New (or pretty much anywhere in the Southeast) are never all that great, but our main goal was to get plenty of mileage…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Family Sunday “SEND-day” at Kaymoor

A Family Sunday “SEND-day” at Kaymoor

Our good luck with good climbing conditions has fortunately continued into late spring (which probably means we’ll be smothered by a hot blanket of humidity any day now.)  And while 80’s may not be ideal sending temps, the weather felt darn near perfect for June in the Southeast…so off to the New we went! We decided to climb in the shade at Kaymoor on Day 1.  Steve was psyched to work Lost Souls (5.12a), and I figured it was probably about time for me to give that one another try.  I’d been on it several times before Baby Zu (most notably of…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge, Round 2!

New River Gorge, Round 2!

Another beautiful spring weekend means another trip to the New River Gorge.  And another trip to the New means another great weekend of family, friends, laughs…and of course climbing!  This was the second week of my Rock Climber’s Training Manual “perfomance phase,” and after the inconsistencies from the first week, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Here’s how it went… Michelin Man Original Finish (5.12b) – After one-hanging this one last weekend, sending this was my primary goal for this trip.  I was hoping that hopping on it fresh as a daisy on Day 1 would feel a lot…Read the rest of this entry →

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Performance Week 1: New River Gorge

Performance Week 1: New River Gorge

This past weekend marked the first trip of my “Performance Phase” in my first training cycle using the Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  There were a few ups and downs, but overall I am very pleased with how I climbed, and am optimistic about how the next few weeks will go.  I’ll start with the downs, so I can end on a good note! DOWNS On the routes I’d previously been on (and thus already worked out the moves for), I got shutdown.  I failed miserably on Techman (5.12c), which had been my primary goal for the weekend.  The crux went…Read the rest of this entry →

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A New River Gorge-ous Weekend!

A New River Gorge-ous Weekend!

After about a dozen failed attempts to return to our favorite climbing area on the planet, we FINALLY managed to get ourselves up to the New River Gorge for the first time as a family of four!  Climbing conditions were near perfect, and we had a great crew of folks to hang with.  Our first day was spent at a family favorite, Endless Wall.  The Crag-Daddy and I love the style of climbing there, and Big C loves going up and down the approach ladders. After warming up on Stim-o-Stam (5.11c), we got down to business.  The Crag-Daddy had his…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge Climbing – 24 Weeks Pregnant

New River Gorge Climbing – 24 Weeks Pregnant

For the past few weeks we’ve had our eye on our schedules and the weather, with fingers crossed that the stars would align and we’d get one last chance to hit up the New River Gorge once more before cold weather, holidays, and new baby prep begin to overwhelm.  Towards the end of last week we finally saw a weather window that looked promising, so we made tentative plans, solidifying them on Friday just a few hours before we left (not recommended, as the mad dash to pack was a bit hectic…) Despite the fair skies advertised for Saturday, it…Read the rest of this entry →

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Fall at the New River Gorge – 17 Weeks Pregnant

Fall at the New River Gorge – 17 Weeks Pregnant

After rain, rain, and more rain botched our plans to head up to the New last weekend, a high of 70 without a cloud in the sky was a welcomed sight this weekend!  We had a rather large crew, with a wide range of ability levels and agendas, so the real crux of the weekend was figuring out where to go!  We ended up deciding on the Upper Meadow for Day 1, and Endless Wall for Day 2, which seemed to work out well – all parties involved sent a little, flailed a little, and of course laughed a lot!…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge – 12 Weeks Pregnant

New River Gorge – 12 Weeks Pregnant

To celebrate my fading nausea from the 1st trimester, we decided to take advantage of some unseasonably fair weather at the New River Gorge, West Virginia.  With daytime temps hovering around 80 degrees, and nights dipping into the 50’s, their was a crispness in the air that was much more reminiscent of the beginnings of fall rather than the end of summer! I found that I had a mixed bag of emotions with this trip.  On the one hand, I’m feeling great – my energy is coming back, and the icky nausea is gone. Although I can clearly tell that…Read the rest of this entry →

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Pooping in the Woods, Broken Bones…oh, and a little bit of climbing too.

Pooping in the Woods, Broken Bones…oh, and a little bit of climbing too.

Despite how crazy it sounds, that title pretty much sums up our Father’s Day weekend trip to the New River Gorge.   Here’s the specifics: POOPING IN THE WOODS:  (Ok, so non-parents you might want to just tune out for this first paragraph…)  For the past two weeks we’ve been kickin’ it local style while we went cold turkey with big boy underwear with C, and this was our first weekend trip sans diapers (maybe “sans” isn’t entirely accurate…I did have a large stash of pull-ups in my bag “just in case”).  But I am so proud to say that…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Rendezvous X – A Recap of the Rollercoaster

New River Rendezvous X – A Recap of the Rollercoaster

After skipping a year for the first time in 10 years, the New River Rendezvous was back and better than ever this past weekend!  For those of you not familiar with it, the ‘Vous is a climber’s festival that raises money for the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC).  It’s also a great excuse for the climbing community to get together and celebrate living near some of the best stone this country has to offer!   Though it was the 5th Rendezvous for Steve and I (and Cragbaby’s 2nd), it was my first time attending as an athlete for Trango,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Sending a Family Project: Flash Point (5.11d)

Sending a Family Project:  Flash Point (5.11d)

This weekend the hubby and I had the unique opportunity to send a project together, one that was equally meaningful to us both, but for very different reasons.  For Steve, Flash Point was about redemption.  After a pretty successful toprope run this past January, he tied in on the sharp end with no expectations and shocked everyone (but probably himself the most!) by making it through the first two cruxes clean before pumping out one move before a good rest 80 feet up.  After jugging back up he found some better holds that probably would have kept him on had…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge (in January?!?) and Climbing “Tall”

New River Gorge (in January?!?) and Climbing “Tall”

  The cool thing about living in the Southeast is that rock climbing can be a year round endeavor.  In fact, some south-facing, friction climbing areas are pretty much only good in the winter (Stone Mountain, Rumbling Bald, and the Asheboro Boulderfield come to mind).  If the sun is shining and the wind is calm, you can have a very pleasant day with relatively warm rock even with high temps in the low 40’s.  But despite the abundance of winter climbing opportunities, our family always makes a definitive shift into “cold weather climbing mode.”  We spend more time jumping down onto crash pads than…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge: The SEND Train has left the station…

New River Gorge:  The SEND Train has left the station…

And I managed to hop on it this time.  (It’s about time…) SEND TRAIN:  The extreme sending phenomenon that occurs when a group of climbers are projecting together and one person finally has a breakthrough – the rest of the crew feeds off of that psych, and all of a sudden everyone is crushing left and right. In last week’s trip report I alluded to the fact that I had felt like I had been in somewhat of a climbing slump for the past few weeks.  It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I was always coming up…Read the rest of this entry →

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The NRG Craggin’ Classic…

The NRG Craggin’ Classic…

This weekend marked an exciting milestone for the American Alpine Club, as well as any climber frequenting the New River Gorge (which is probably the majority of us in the Southeast…)  The “Craggin’ Classic” event gave climbers a chance to get a sneak peek at the latest progress on the new AAC climbers’ campground.  It’s pretty bare bones right now, but from the sounds of it, it has the makings to become a staple part of the NRG!  The crowd was small, but the camaraderie was high, and it seemed as though everyone was relieved to finally see some fall temps again!…Read the rest of this entry →

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Back to the New River Gorge

Back to the New River Gorge

My affair with Ten Sleep Canyon sure was great while it lasted, but like so many good things, it had to  come to an end.  Lucky for me I had the world-class climbing of the New River Gorge to come back to.  And this weekend was not just any old weekend at the New – one of our partners in climb just moved up there a couple of weeks ago, and our crew descended upon his new digs in full force.   Day 1:  Endless WallOrdinarily Endless Wall would not be what I would consider a “go-to” area for summer,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Say It Loud! The New Doesn’t Get Old.

Say It Loud!  The New Doesn’t Get Old.

But I do.  And it sucks.  Not sure why, but this weekend made me feel old.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I twisted my ankle (the one that I used to consider my “bad” ankle until I broke the other one…) just hiking into the crag on Day 1.  Thankfully it seems to be nothing more than a minor inconvenience, along with an annoying,  rainbow-colored reminder that my Earth-Suit ain’t what it used to be.  Or it could possibly be related to the fact that I realized that not one but several of my climbing…Read the rest of this entry →

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A 5.12 for Mother’s Day (and a bunch of other awesome stuff…)

A 5.12 for Mother’s Day (and a bunch of other awesome stuff…)

The build-up to this weekend at the New was admittedly a bit chaotic.  But despite last-minute partner bailing, a forgotten ankle brace, and a moody weather forecast, this Mother’s Day ended up being the best yet!  I had two goals in mind – to send as many hard .11’s as I could, and to get redemption on a 5.12 project from last summer… Day 1 Routes (Butcher’s Branch and Seven-Eleven Wall): The Greenpiece (5.10b):  I’d only been to Butcher’s Branch one other time, and it was almost exactly 4 years ago.  I remember having an epic almost-onsight of this route…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Gorge: Round 2 (aka Let’s Stop Playing Games)

New River Gorge:  Round 2 (aka Let’s Stop Playing Games)

Considering our history with rainy weekends and the New River Gorge, we are all too aware of how fickle spring weather can be – so another weekend of sunny ad 70’s was too tempting to pass up, even though we were just there last weekend!  It also didn’t hurt that our family has been in real rock withdrawal over the past 6 weeks due to me and that ugly black boot (which is currently perched high upon a shelf in the garage, hopefully to never be resurrected again!)  So once again, we loaded up the car (this time we weren’t as rusty!), and hit the…Read the rest of this entry →

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A New Season at the New River Gorge

A New Season at the New River Gorge

 As we packed up our climbing and camping gear as a family on Thursday afternoon, I realized that it had been quite a while since we’d done this.  Our last family camping trip had been at the New last October, our last day multi-day climbing trip had been at the Red just before Thanksgiving, and our last day trip at the crag as a family had been at Hidden Wall 8 weeks prior when I fractured my ankle.  To be honest, I was feeling a bit rusty.  Family Packing Hour used to work like a well-oiled machine – but this time…Read the rest of this entry →

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Rocktober-fest at the New River Gorge

Rocktober-fest at the New River Gorge

After a small string of crappy weather trips a few weekends back, I was starting to think our rain curse was back…but au contraire!  Despite both nights plummeting to a frosty 35 degrees, the daytime temps went from frigid to an ideal 60 degrees within a couple of hours of the sun rise, much to everyone’s delight.  Although we had a pretty big crew with a wide range of skill levels represented, I think everyone managed to get their fair share of pump and exposure, along with a healthy dose of fall color. We spent Saturday at Endless Wall, which is probably…Read the rest of this entry →

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Birthday Bonanza at the New River Gorge!

Birthday Bonanza at the New River Gorge!

  Its that time of year again where I get older and wiser, which in our family means we fly north to the New River Gorge to celebrate.  In years past we’ve hit Summersville Lake (for the trip report on last year’s bash, click here), but this year we decided to stay in the gorge and climb away from the crowds.  The weather was (for August), spectacular – temps below 90 with decent cloud cover, and the only rain was in  quick passing showers on Sunday afternoon.  Had we been able to lift off that smothering blanket of humidity, conditions…Read the rest of this entry →

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The New Never Gets Old

The New Never Gets Old

Well its about time.  We went to the New this past weekend and we had….wait for it….NO RAIN!!!  The Lineberry Rain Curse is officially broken!  Sure we’ve had a few sunny day trips here and there, but its literally been a year since we’ve roped up on a completely rain-free weekend.  Conditions could not have been any better – low humidity, cloud cover, temps just barely hitting 80!  And though I would never in a million years wish rainy conditions upon any of my climbing peeps, after hearing of two other crags that got dumped on (one with only a 10% chance of…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Rendezvous Recap

After skipping last year’s ‘Vous b/c Cragbaby was still really new on the scene, we were back this year, this time as a family that was bigger (and I like to think C has made us better…) than before!  The weather was great – the driest trip to the New we’d had in a really long time!  We had a whole posse of friends that met us up there, ran into tons of folks we hadn’t seen in a long time, and of course met lots and lots of new friends! We rolled in just before dark on Thursday night…Read the rest of this entry →

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All Sorts of “Newness” at the New River Gorge

All Sorts of “Newness” at the New River Gorge

I’ve been to the New a countless number of times over the past few years, and the best part about it is that it never gets old!  No matter how many times we head up there, no two trips are ever the same, and this weekend was certainly no exception.  In fact, our weekend was chock full of “newness” – a new climbing season, a new drive, a new friend, lots of new routes, new gear, and of course a new hit list to work with.  Our trip started on Friday afternoon, when Cragbaby and I picked Steve up at…Read the rest of this entry →

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Can’t Get No “Satisfaction…”, so just “Lieback and Enjoy It”

Can’t Get No “Satisfaction…”, so just “Lieback and Enjoy It”

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…Read the rest of this entry →

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Rainy Mornings + Sunny Afternoons = More Than You’d Think

Rainy Mornings + Sunny Afternoons = More Than You’d Think

Well, the weather forecast may have looked significantly better this time compared to the last time, but of course it isn’t a trip to the New without a little rain, right?  Steve, Canaan, and I arrived 7 or so on Friday night, which gave us plenty of time to set up our tent and cook some dinner before it got dark.  Canaan really enjoyed walking around the campground before bedtime – apparently he thought it was hilarious and cackled with laughter for at least 30 minutes.  I’m still not really sure what was so funny, but of course a baby’s…Read the rest of this entry →

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When it Rains, it Pours…

When it Rains, it Pours…

Since Canaan did so well a couple of weeks ago at the New, we decided to get up there again this past weekend.  We took our friends Marc and Marie, who are gym regulars that are relatively new to the outdoor scene.  We thought it would be great fun to head a little further north to Summersville Lake, a pristine blue mountain lake that doesn’t feel like it should belong in as benign a place as West Virginia.  The best part about climbing on a hot day in Summersville is the post-climb dip into the lake.  I went out the…Read the rest of this entry →

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C-Squatch and “The New” Invasion

C-Squatch and “The New” Invasion

After several weekend weather woes, we were finally able to get Canaan up to the New River Gorge for his first multi-day climbing/camping trip.  We decided it would be best to go up during mid-week as to figure out the logistics of bringing a baby to the crag without also having to battle all the crowds of Memorial Day weekend.  We convinced our friend Scott to be our third man/guinea pig under the stipulation that we wouldn’t stick him with the job of baby-watching. So, with as rain-free of a forecast as you can hope for at the New River…Read the rest of this entry →

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Endless Fun at the New

Endless Fun at the New

So what started out as a random assortment of climbing buddies at the New, ended up being just me and Steve.  Some folks bailed earlier in the week, one signed on AND bailed all on the day before, and others bailed after driving for an hour and deciding they were too tired to continue (not naming names though, Manbert…).  🙂 Anyway, we spent our first day at Endless Wall, which is in my opinion one of the most beautiful places in the gorge.  I realized that I had a few head issues to work through, but by the end of the day,…Read the rest of this entry →

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New River Rendezvous – Lucky #7

New River Rendezvous – Lucky #7

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…Read the rest of this entry →

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