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.

Allegheny National Forest Backpacking 9/9 - 9/10

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With packs and climbing shoes in tow we walked 13 miles through the wooded valleys and stark rock formations of Allegheny National Forest.  Everything was damp from Hurricane Harvey's remnants passing through the day before, but thankfully sunny weather returned for hiking on the Labor Day weekend.  We started on the Tanbark Trail, which connected to the longer North Country trail where we found a long-forgotten apple orchard and comfortable campsites beside a small creek.  We packed out the next morning after pancakes and bacon cooked over the open fire.

Climbing at the New River Gorge 9/9-9/10

Over the weekend, 12 club members headed down to the New River Gorge for some perfect climbing weather. On day one, part of the group went to Sandstonia for some easy and moderate sport climbing. We put up some classics in the area including Geisha Girl (5.8), Mrs. Field's Follies (5.8), Kinesthetica (5.10c), Shady Lady (5.7), Zeitgeist (5.10a), and Decameron (5.10b). Another group went to Kaymoor for some hard sport at Fire and Ice Wall and Seven Eleven Wall.

 Ian leading The Good Book 

Ian leading The Good Book 

 Catherine on Mrs Field's Follies

Catherine on Mrs Field's Follies

 Sherman working the moves on Lord of the Jungle

Sherman working the moves on Lord of the Jungle

 Matt at the top of Bobby D's Bunny

Matt at the top of Bobby D's Bunny

Many returned to Pittsburgh on Saturday night but a hand full stayed through Sunday to climb at Bridge Buttress. The crew got a taste of crack climbing while tackling Jaws (5.9) and Easily Flakey (5.7). We also ran a crash course on gear placement and practiced placing gear on the routes.

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Many of us finished the trip off with a ritualistic visit to the Secret Sandwich Society. Apparently, I didn't over hype it. The sandwiches are really really good. 

Club members in attendance: Sherman Lam, Catherine Pavlov, Justin Wang, Adrian Markelov, Ian Rosenberg, Alex Gotsis, Steffen Bakker, Matt Barnes, Evan Hill, Clare Cui, William Guss, and Charles Wu

Did I mention that the Secret Sandwich Society has amazing sandwiches?

- Sherman