Saturday, April 25, 2009

West Virginia Trip – Part 5 – The Not So Restful Rest Day

---- Current location – The Gendarme Climbing School, Seneca Rocks, WV, USA - Temp: ~29DegC ----

Today, I was planning on taking a rest day, after the hard routes we have been climbing the past few days. So, I went down to the Gendarme Climbing School to check my e-mail, chat, etc. After about thirty minutes or so, someone came around asking if anyone needed a partner. After awhile, I said I could climb with him. So, I ran up to the campsite to grab my gear. Apparently, while I was gone, Matt and Massey recommended me as a partner (that was cool of them). So, I linked up with Tim and we set off toward the rock.

We started off on The Burn (5.8), which Tim lead. I didn’t want to lead today, since it was my rest day. It went well, Tim seemed solid. We moved on to Marshall’s Madness (5.7). This was a hand crack the whole way up (AKA my worst enemy). So, Tim set up a top rope and I worked my way up. It was good training for Fred’s Folly, back in Kingston. Feeling confident in each other, we moved on to Pleasant Overhang (5.7), a massive three pitch overhang traverse. It was intense. The first pitch was just a flake, too easy. The second pitch (under the overhang) was ridiculously exposed, but easy. The third pitch was a bit of a scramble up to the summit. It seemed like the hardest moves on this route were into and out of the belay stations (which were super sketchy - rusty piton style). I finally got to top out on the summit, so that was cool. I rapped down with to guys and left Tim to climb with a group of three.

Figure 1 - Tim at the South Summit of Seneca.

Once I got down, the two guys and I grabbed some Gatorades and rehydrated. I went back up to the campsite and met up with the other two Canadians (Pat and Bill). We started planning our bivy on the South Summit tomorrow night. Luckily, I was up there today, so I recced a campsite. We plan on heading out around 4PM tomorrow and climbing up the Gunsight to the South Summit. It should be a good time, and a great way for Pat and Bill to cap off their trip. It should be an awesome experience, the site I scoped out seems like a pretty good spot. Plus, the view of the sunset and sunrise from the summit will be great. So, don’t expect a report tomorrow, I will be set up on the summit of Seneca.

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