Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn Update

     Throughout this fall, we have had some great opportunities to get outside and climb. These days have been accompanied by some great weather and optimal rock conditions. My partner, Kerry, and I took advantage of a past three day weekends to take a trips to the New. Like I said previously, the weather was great; we encountered highs in the mid-forties, overnight lows in the mid-thirties, and overcast skies. We couldn't have asked for anything better!

     Our first day we figured we should try something new, so we went to the Meadow River and decided to hit up Area 51. The drive was fairly distant, along this old winding narrow road where we had to cross over --according the the guidebook-- an old "dilapidated train trussel." We were surprisingly welcomed by a short, five minute approach to the base of this tall, steep, white wall. We had one climb in mind, Made in The Shade, a four-star 12d in which Kerry sent quickly in two tries, and I made shorty after.

     Since the weekend we picked happened to be part of Bridge Day-- an annual tradition where BASE Jumpers from all over come to legally jump off the 900+ ft. New River Bridge-- we decided to stay on the northern part of the gorge since the bridge would be closed all day. We went to Endless Wall and warmed up on this classic 100 ft. four-star 11b, Discombobulated. Shortly after this we quickly parted directions and found two separate projects to work, Pocket Route and Dial 911, two classic, four-star 13a's. After Kerry set up her draws on Pocket Route, I hopped on Dial 911, flailing to the chains with beta from a guy we met the previous day. I figured this route would never go after this lousy first attempt. We returned on our third, and final day to hopefully cleanup what we had started. Although Kerry decided to clean her gear and save this route for next time I felt determined to give Dial 911 a final redpoint burn. I quickly cruised the easy beginning thirty feet and passed the first hard move. I continued past the middle crimping section making an occasional noise to reach the first crux where some powerful moves on these tiny delicate crimps through a dihedral mark a large deadpoint to a mailbox slot. I figured if I can make this low-percentage move then I might be able to man-up and finish through the upper crux. Well sure enough I stuck the slot and continued to this "halleluiah" rest jug. After regaining as much juice as I could I ran at the last crux move with everything I had. Making some ridiculous noises, I stuck the final moves and clipped the chains in relief.

I am currently planning for my upcoming trip to the Red River Gorge over Thanksgiving break and am praying for good weather. Though Kerry, my usual partner, won't be accompanying me, she will be crushing at the Pan-American Championships in Chile along with three of our other teammates, Kayla, Brandon, and Claire. Good-luck to you guys and represent!!!

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