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,