Canoeing down the Youghiogheny!

On October 21, 2017, Lane Darby, Brian Lee, Brandon Pek, and Michael Jehn headed to Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters in West Newton, PA (not far from McKeesport) for a peaceful, relaxed Saturday afternoon canoeing trek on the Youghiogheny River. The weather was perfect for an easy autumn paddle in calm waters: warm, partly cloudy, and lightly breezy with the heady fragrance of fall's gradual transitions in the air. After being dropped off upstream along with their canoes, the group traveled about four miles down the river and back to the outfitters. Freight trains passed by occasionally and cyclists traveled along a bike trail running parallel to the river. The group encountered fishermen, kayakers, and a couple with a swimming dog. Wildlife sighted included red tail hawks, a groundhog, and a cat. Other than a few areas of very light rapids where the water became significantly more shallow with minor submerged obstacles, the journey was smooth and unrushed. An excursion such as this would be perfect for beginners, and this particular outfitter does offer longer trips.

- Michael and Lane

Multipitching at Seneca!!

Over the weekend, six club members went to Seneca Rocks to do some multipitch climbing. Sherman, Steffen, and Cat tackled Ecstasy, Pleasant Overhangs to Thais Escape, Gunsight, and the Burn. Alex M, Dante, and Alex G. climbed Skyline Traverse, Le Gourmet to Front C to Critter Crack, Castor, Pollux, and a few more routes at the lower slabs. With the exception of Sherman and Alex, this was everyone's first multipitch experience and they all had a blast! 

A tricam was left behind, a carabiner dropped, and a cam nearly lost to the depths of Critter Crack. Overall, not too unexpected for a beginner trip and a great learning experience for all.

We finished up the trip with a visit to Hellbenders. They make some pretty awesome burritos. 

Steffen, Cat, and Sherman at the summit!

Steffen, Cat, and Sherman at the summit!

About to head up Gunsight

About to head up Gunsight

Steffen is stoked!

Steffen is stoked!

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Seneca, majestic and chossy as always.

- Sherman 

Intro mountain biking trip to Raystown

Matt led an intro mountain bike clinic over the weekend to Raystown Lake, PA. 5 members tried their hand at the smooth flow trails, starting from Buck and Fawn trails and progressing towards more challenging Osprey, Eagle and the ever popular Hydro Loop. A few members stayed longer to ride the skills part and grab a little air time ;)

Check out the full ride log below

Matt practices cornering on the berms

Matt practices cornering on the berms

Checking out the views on Hydro Loop

Checking out the views on Hydro Loop

Intro to Climbing - A Beginner's Trip to Breakneck

On Saturday, 15 CMUX members headed to Breakneck (Connellsville, PA) for a day of sport climbing and top roping. The weather was spectacular. Connie, Jack, Eric, and Emma learned how to tie in and belay. Alex G, Aria, and Charles practiced lead climbing and belaying. Justin and Dante sent one of their 5.12 projects (rock on guys!) while I shook my Elvis leg and whipped all over the place. Overall, this made for a fun and casual day for CMUX climbers of all skill levels.

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The crew (missing a few people who left early)

The crew (missing a few people who left early)

Members include: Sherman Lam, Dante Bowman, Alex Gotsis, Charles Wu, Alex Malkin, Aria Wang, Steffen Bakker, Justin Wang, Connie Fan, Jack Chua, Eric Yang, Emma Lloyd, Andrew Conlon, Jess Chernak, and Aaron Perley

- Sherman

Raccoon Creek State Park hiking trip - Sunday 9/17/17

Ten CMU-X adventurers headed to Raccoon Creek State Park for an afternoon out of the city and back to nature. The park features a variety of natural habitats including deciduous and coniferous forest, wetlands, streams, and a wildflower reserve; a dammed lake with a swimming beach and boat launches; and numerous trails maintained for hiking / backpacking, cross-country skiing, off-road cycling, and even horseback riding. The weather for our hike was sunny, warm, and humid with autumnal changes just beginning to appear and the air tinged with the scent of fallen leaves. Around the midpoint, three hikers continued on to complete the entire approximately 20-mile park loop while seven hikers elected to explore other trails and areas of interest near the park office / visitor center.

Raccoon Creek State Park is one of the best recreational areas in the Pittsburgh region. Other than the occasional overhead commercial aircraft--either preparing for landing or departing Pittsburgh International Airport--to remind visitors that they're not far from civilization, the park allows hikers to immerse themselves in protected natural surroundings and is perfect for quiet contemplation and discovery.