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NRG-July 4th 2012

July 10, 2012

Carl invited Emily and I on a NRG trip a month or so before the trip and it despite the excellent climbing we were the only takers.  Carl had secured the covered campsite at Chestnut far in advance.  Emily and I still decided to invest in a brand new REI Hobitat and camping comforts.  Despite our best planning we were in for a rougher time than anticipated.  The Friday before we left a historic storm blew though a large swath of the country, including all of West Virginia.  5 days later Fayetteville was still without power.  This meant no water, no showers, limited dining options and no ice.  To top it off there was a heat wave.  Of course none of this deterred us.

Tuesday July 3rd

I dropped Blue off earlier in the day and when Emily got home we dropped off her keys with the cat sitters.  We picked Carl up at GSK by 6 and arrived at a near empty Chestnut a bit after midnight.

Wednesday July 4th

We tried to hit Cathedral when they usually open (7:30) on Wednesday but soon discovered the entire of town of Fayetteville was in black out mode.  The Vandalian was open, running on a generator and offering a single dish for breakfast.  Carl went for the $10 fridge clean out special and Emily and I ate from our stash in the car.  We decided to head up to Summersville with the hopes of finding a place to eat for dinner after climbing.   We stopped to buy ice with out luck before heading up to the lake.

It was a warm day and relatively quite for a mid week holiday.  We climbed Hippie Dreams (5.7) Chuncko Goes Bowling (5.9) Voodoo Surfing (5.10b), Smiling Jack (5.11c), Narcissus (5.12a) and Apollo Reed (5.13a).  We took in a nice swim as well and laid out on the rocks.

Hippie Dreams is a pretty nice climb, an obvious classic for the grade, same goes for Chuncko and Voodoo.  Smiling jack went first go for me. It was pretty encouraging. Narcissus is a steep cave route. I did pretty well on my burn making it to the 3rd clip before being flummoxed trying to find the hold around the corner.  Definitely a route to get back on.  Carl was able to redpoint the route.  Apollo Reed was a bit over my head, I couldn’t get through the shield crux but with hanging draws it’s worth giving a go.  Carl had a much better time getting to the sixth bolt crux.

Dinner was a bit of a miss as our targeted Mexican restaurants were closed due to 4th of July celebrations.  We made a half assed Walmart run and were fortunate to find ice on our way past the Sheetz.  Emily and I made burritos with chicken patties over the jet boil.  We made a fire before bed.

Thursday July 5th

We woke up to cloudy skies that turned into a passing shower through breakfast.  I tried making coffee with the jet boil but it wasn’t working. It felt like there was fuel but we weren’t getting a boil going. We headed in to the Meadow’s First buttress.  We got on Cross Eyed and Blind (5.11a), Creature (5.12c) and Lamda (5.12b).  Creature features a tricky start with a stab to a mail slot under the first bolt hanger, an iron cross to a layback to a high foot move before the crux dyno.  Fortunately there’s a grade dropping alternative to the dyno.  The climbing doesn’t let up much though. The more modestly Lamda didn’t feel much softer there’s a heinous series of crimps low on the climb and a powerful move off a small right hand up at the crux.  Quite the battle to clean Carl’s draws.  The First Buttress kept us dry as rain clouds moved over through out the day.

We were happy to find Pies and Pints up and running, no water or ice but beer was on tap and the pizza ovens were working.  We had no luck with the fire before bed.

Friday July 6th

We headed into Cathedral but they still hadn’t restocked the tofu (or cream…) I ate some left over pizza in the car and dropped about half of it on myself.

We drove up to the shuttered Roger’s Rocky Top Retreat and hiked down to Butcher’s Branch.  We climbed Flight of the Gumbie (5.9), Control (5.12), Bimbo Shrine (5.11b), and Tony the Tiger (5.11c).

Gumbie is fun and worth doing for the exciting exposure at the top. Control is a pretty manageable 5.12a featuring a hard powerful crimpy crux down low, a great sit down rest at the Kaos anchor, and delicate moves to the top.  Bimbo Shrine was a bit more work for me, with confusing sequences and hidden holds.  Tony the Tiger is Great but I failed to clip the chains after a great run all the way to the chains.  What a heart breaker.   We also played around on the start of Tit Speed before realizing we were fried and needed to head out.

We found ourselves at Diogi’s for dinner.  With all the other calamities of being in Fayetteville that week, finding out Diogi’s lost it’s liquor license was just another let down.  We played around on the slack line and Carl gave Emily and I some lessons.

Saturday July 7th

Ah, another hot day. Carl downed another Fridge clean out special at Vandalian. We drove up to the lake again.  This time we got on Jeff’s Bunny Hop (5.8), Baby has a Bolt Gun (5.10c), Satisfaction Guaranteed (5.11a), World of War (5.11d), and Personal Pronoun (5.9).  We enjoyed swimming out to the Indian Summer Crack, nearly drowning Emily in the process.  I was pleased to flash Satisfaction and climbed pretty well on World of War (despite having to fight a spider at the second bolt) before getting shut down around the 4th bolt with a tricky move out left.  Definitely some powerful climbing.

We headed back to Pies and Pints for dinner and got a good fire going before bed.  Brian told us the cold water was running, but after a 4 day shower free streak we all decided to rough it out for another day.

Sunday July 8th

We made a quick break down of the camp site, had a DYI breakfast and headed straight to the Junk Yard. I lead Four Sheets to the Wind (5.9) I found myself battling spider webs gain. I’ve lead this climb about 10 years ago and was eager to try it out again. I remembered almost nothing about the route other than finding it pumpy and wild… It still was, but this time I was armed with more cams and experience.  I came down sweaty as all hell and we were done climbing by 10AM.  We made good time and were home around 6PM.   The heat wave pushed all the way through Philadelphia and I regret not leaving an AC unit on. The house was baking but the shower felt great.


From → New River Gorge

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