Friday, May 1, 2009

West Virginia Trip – Part 9 – The Dans’ Arrival

---- Current location – The Gendarme Climbing School, Seneca Rocks, WV, USA - Temp: ~19DegC ----

Yesterday was a pretty boring day. There was not much climbing to be done, due to the weather. So, Matt, Massey and I set up for the big Cinco De Mayo party. We had to put up a big tent, a small tent, set up the barbeques, etc. Once we were done, Matt and Massey wanted to go work some harder routes that are overhanging and out of the rain. I tagged along. I didn’t really feel like climbing, that much, for some reason, anyway. It went well and we came back to the shop. From there, we decided on burgers for dinner. So, we headed to Yokum’s restaurant. We grabbed a late night (after closing) burger from Jim (which was delicious, as usual). When we returned to the shop, we ran into none other than The Dans, who had arrived several hours earlier from Kingston. I took off with them to the campsite. We tried to get a fire going, but everything was too wet and we didn’t really have the energy. So, we went to sleep.

Figure 1 - How Seneca has, unfortunately, looked lately.

Today, we woke up and made a very scrumptious breakfast. We made bacon, scrambled eggs and toast (awesome!). After breakfast, we decided to climb Ecstasy, a three pitch 5.7 (classic Seneca route). So, we headed down to the climb, with all our gear. As soon as we arrived, it started raining. We hung around the base of the climb hoping beyond hope that it would stop, which it did not. So, we trundled back to the shop in shame. Once there, we left our gear and went back to the tents to grab our laptops and Scrabble. We trudged our way back to the shop (in the rain) and got some internet time in, plus played a game of Scrabble. After which, we grabbed a sandwich from Yokum’s Deli for lunch. It was not very delicious, unlike most of the food around here. We sat around a while longer. Dan R took a nap. Until, we were tired of sitting around, so we headed to The South End with plans to climb Candy Corner (5.5), whether it was raining or not. We got there and it seemed fine, so Dan FM lead the first pitch. We had planned on top roping it, but decided to go on an adventure. So, we set up for multi pitch. I followed. Dan FM and I tried to haul Chico (Dan R’s dog) up with us, but failed. Chico had to stay on the ground. Dan R then thirded. I set up to lead the next pitch, but realised we were at the wrong bolts. My pitch ended p being about 10m and required no protection. Dan R lead the next pitch to the base of Bee Sting corner (his first multi-pitch trad lead – woohoo). From there we double rope rappelled off, collected Chico and headed home.

Figure 2 - Me at the first belay of our Candy Corner link up.

Figure 3 - Dan R and I at the second belay.

Figure 4 - Dan FM at the base, post climb.

Tomorrow, we plan on hitting up some more routes and partying our faces off (we have to show these Southerners how Canadians do it). Be ready for an epic blog soonest.

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