Shiver at the New River

It was either the prospect of climbing in the December cold, or the pressure of approaching exams, that led to the fact that the only two participants on last weekends climbing trip where the two organizers. But, in hindsight we can definitely say that the stay-at-homers missed out on a great trip with superb weather.

Saturday was dedicated to the world-class routes at Kaymoor. After both having started on the four star route Flight of the Gumby (5.9+), we pushed our limits by leading our first 5.12b (Dante, Thunderstruck at White Wall) and 5.10b (Steffen, Springer at Butcher’s Branch). From the moment we drove back to the campsite, and until late in the evening, the supermoon cast its beautiful light upon us. While at camp, a delicious black bean meal prepared by Dante, some Seneca IPA’s, and a warm campfire, awaited us.

Sunday started well with a coffee stop at Cathedral Café (where the day before, Steffen already had the luck to get a meet and greet with Santa Claus), for a taste of the renowned cinnamon bun. Warm, straight from the oven, and o so buttery, it lived up to its fame.  
       With our bellies filled, we headed for some good climbing at Summersville Lake. The water level had dropped, such that many good routes opened up at Whippoorwill. The walls were bathing in a blazing sun, such that even shirts were taken off. The efforts from Saturday were still noticeable in the arms, so the onsight percentage might have been somewhat lower on Sunday. Worth mentioning here are Dante’s push on Jason and the Arguenots (5.12a, scary start!) and his subsequent climb of Masuko (5.11a). Such a persistence! This opened up for Steffen’s first 5.11a, although on top rope and with many lowering requests that Dante politely refused. Thanks for pushing me.
       After being reminded that bathing was mandatory on this trip, Steffen took a quick dive in the lake, and we were ready to head back to Pittsburgh. The scenic views of the hills and beautiful harmonies of, amongst others, Angus and Julia Stone, made it a quick and pleasant three-hour-drive.

Finally, on a personal note, I would like to thank the Explorers Club for accommodating the many trips I have been on this semester, and the members for making them such great experiences. Hook me up when you happen to visit Norway in the future, and would like to do some climbing or backcountry skiing over there.

Takk for meg,

Steffen

 

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