---- Current location – The Gendarme Climbing School, Seneca Rocks, WV, USA - Temp: ~29DegC ----
Day five in Seneca Rocks, WV, has been spectacular. 29DegC, sunshine and a breeze. I will need to start climbing in shorts, if it continues like this (which it is supposed to). I have been climbing in pants up to this point and was blistering in them all day today. Unfortunately, I didn’t take many pictures today, sorry.
Today, I went climbing with Matt. Massey had to take some clients out to the rock. We met up around 9AM, racked gear and headed off with the plan to climb Ecstasy (5.7), a 3 pitch Seneca classic. Unfortunately for us, Chad (from the other guide service) was taking a client up it, so we moved on. We went around the corner to a lower section of the East Face than we were on yesterday. We set up to do a link up of TNT (5.8-) and Bee Sting Corner (5.7). I lead the first pitch (TNT), which was a run out, bolted, line. Those of you that know me well, know that I rarely swear, but I was shitting myself up this route. Even though it was bolted, the run outs were nuts (or at least I thought so). Apparently, Seneca bolted lines are known for this, I had no idea. I set up an anchor off some bolts to the right and Matt followed me up. He carried on to the second pitch (Bee Sting Corner) and set up off a tree. I followed, much more confidently now that I was on top rope. We rappelled down quickly, but soon realised that the second rap wasn’t going to reach the ground, so we had to downclimb the last 20 feet or so, oh well. After that route, we ate some lunch and did a route that is not in the guidebook, we think is called M&M (5.8). We pumped it out in short order and moved back to Ecstasy. There was a line forming by this point, so we moved past and hopped on Ecstasy Junior (5.4). It was an easy ascent, but the hardest 5.4 I have ever done. It was a large, over hanging, crack system that seemed as if it would let loose at any moment. We made it up and chatted with Tom, the head guide from the other guide service, and rapped off. This was the last climb of the day, as Matt had to open up the shop at 4PM. On the walk back, it was so hot, we both stuck our heads in the river to cool off. It was great, the water was frigid and it felt good to get that first layer of sweat off my face and hair.
After sorting out our gear, I took the short walk up a hill to my tent and decided to take my first shower since arriving. Up until this point, it had been too cold and rainy to do this. It felt great. Washing all the sweat and grime off myself, I felt like a new person. After taking the shower, I put away my gear, grabbed some beers and my laptop and am now sitting on the porch of the shop typing this blog post.
All in all, today was a great day. Be prepared for more adventure, the crowds are starting to arrive for the weekend, there is talk of bivying on the summit Sunday night and best of all … “The Dan’s” plan to be here on Wednesday. Now that I have had the grand tour of this place, we should be able to quickly get on some of the classic routes here at Seneca Rocks.