Tag Archives: rock climbing

Clinging to the rocks of Klinger Springs

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Saturday, 16-June-2018

With her knee still injured, and outdoor adventures out of the picture, Sarah’s taken to living vicariously through me.  To do so, she’s been setting up play dates for me with various climbers that she knows.  This weekend was a climbing trip with two people she’d met during her Advanced Rock class with the Mazamas, on an adventure to a new climbing area that neither of us had been to…

 

The day started early, as it’s wont to do when Mazamas are involved.

I hadn’t met either of the two Patricks that I’d be climbing with today, but we’d been chatting on Facebook for a while, discussing plans and coming up with route ideas and gear selection.  It was good – we were pretty ready, and while it was going to be an early morning, climbing’s one of those things that I’ll very willingly wake up early for.

 

We met up, piled into Pat’s (one gentleman was Pat, the other was Patrick) Subaru, and hit the road!  It was going to be a long drive – just about an hour and a half – but that’s the price we pay here in Oregon to find good rock.

The drive?  Simple, enjoyable, and finished before too long.

The parking?  Kind of sketchy, since it’s just a tiny pulloff on a winding road East of Mt. Hood.

The approach?  Tough.  I packed too much, and don’t like hiking straight up the side of a mountain.  I lived, though.

The climbs?  Well…

  • Blue Grouse – 5.9, Sport, Top Rope – Our warmup route, this one was really fun and pretty straight forward.  I enjoyed it, even though it was sport.
  • Belly of the Beast – 5.8, Trad, Lead – This one was glorious, if a bit tough for me.  I haven’t done much crack climbing since breaking my knee, and the movements are still a bit tough for me.  But I pushed through, slammed gear in, and safely made it up to the top.  I loved the top of it, specifically, traversing out from under a roof, and clipping an anchor out on the face.
  • Ourboros – 5.8, Trad, Lead – This was around the corner from Belly of the Beast, on the far side of the huge basalt column.  I liked this a bit more, since it was a little cleaner and had some better placements, but honestly it wasn’t super different from Belly of the Beast.  The real challenge was remembering when/where to traverse around the arrete to get to the anchors.  I caught myself before I went too far, but poor Pat had to downclimb nearly 6ft to get back to the anchors.
  • Shaken (not to be confused with Shaken) – 5.8, Mixed, Top Rope – this route… was a bit contrived, if I’m being honest.  It looks like a really hard finger crack, but Mountain Project called it a 5.8, so we jumped on it.  But it’s literally 2ft right of a 5.10 sport line.  So… you can easily clip bolts everywhere.  And while the crack looked good… well, this route was really just a face climb with a tiny crack that you could sometimes place gear into.  Meh.

We started up one more route, but unfortunately the rain started seriously threatening almost immediately after Pat headed up.  By the time Patrick was on his way to clean, it was sprinkling… and when he was down, we had rain.

So, we packed up and headed back.  The drive was pretty clean, though I’ll be the first to admit that I had a bit of trouble staying awake for all of it.  I didn’t fully nod off, but I definitely zoned our pretty regularly.

But hey!  That means we went hard!  And I got to explore a new area, so… that’s pretty rad, right?

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Other Galleries

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Epilogue

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the only one on this adventure.

And, thankfully for everyone, some of the other adventurers are excellent photographers.  You may have noticed that, while leafing through the various pictures that I posted, I don’t feature in a whole lot of them.  Funny, that.  Turns out that being behind the camera (or cell phone, in this case) is pretty non-conducive to being in the photos themselves.  I tried for some selfies… but let’s be honest.  The front-facing camera isn’t really doing my beautiful face justice.

Thankfully, those other excellent photographers also had cameras.  And some of those cameras are really good!

 

So please.  Sit back, relax, forgive us for any repetitions that you might see, and enjoy Daniel’s rather massive photo gallery.

 

Link:  https://photos.danielbostwick.com/Public/New-River-Gorge-2018/

Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

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Spring Break 2018 – West Virginian adventures, Saturday, 02-June

A West Virginia adventure – Spring Break in the New River Gorge, 2018

Saturday, 26-May, through Saturday, 02-June, 2018

Life is old there, older than the trees. Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home… to the place, I belong! West Virginia, Mountain momma… take me home, country roads.”

I’m pretty sure that the first real spring break I ever had was with Daniel, years ago, when we drove down to the New River Gorge to climb, and attend the New River Rendezvous. Since that year, we’ve done our best to always link up and go on some glorious climbing trip on or around Memorial Day. This year was a tough one, with Sarah breaking her leg, but she insisted that I go anyways, and let her live vicariously through me as she convalesed at home. I’d already cleared the week as vacation with my boss, even before I was hired for the project, so I was free and clear for a throwback adventure…

 

 

Saturday

Our last day dawned, and was greeted with Eggs and a rather impressive pile of leftovers from the BBQ the night before.

When I say “a rather impressive pile”, I don’t know if you quite understand… I’m talking about a to-go box weighing a few pounds. We’re talking nearly an entire chicken. And that’s the leftovers from us all gorging ourselves till we were overfull the night before. Firecreek doesn’t mess around with portion sizes, I tell you what.

But anyways, it was a short breakfast. We had a lot to do – cleaning up, clearing out track and recycling, basically all those things that one would normally leave to housecleaning at a hotel. It’s a downside of an AirBnB, but I’m pretty okay with it – I mean, we used those dishes and generated that trash, right? It’s only fair that we spend an hour at the end of the week cleaning it all up.

After that were our sad goodbyes, and then a long road ahead for me and the rented Kia.

 

I honestly don’t mind driving. It’s pleasant, I can half-zone out, and I get to see beautiful scenery.

The mountains of West Virginia are absolutely one of those places that I wouldn’t mind driving through, just spending hours cruising through small towns and around bendy mountain roads.

And what an unexpected coincidence, that’s exactly what I had to do in order to get back to DC!

 

Since the rest of the trip is kind of boring (going home usually is), I’m just going to give a few quick bullet points below:

    • Get gas, then blast my way through the mountain towns to the main highways. It goes quickly – I’m more awake and energetic than I was on the drive in, and I’ve got better music queued up too. Awww yeah techno!
    • Get to the highways, and spend some time chatting with people on the phone. Catch up, and get some solid family time. Is good. Then, back to rocking the techno!
    • One last stop for gas and “chicken” nuggets, and I’m at the airport
    • Return car, get bags checked… ohh lord the check process is insane. Too many people, not enough kiosks, no line control. Then security… with way too much line control! Line markers everywhere, keep us walking in random loops just to waste time and energy… which is honestly really smart. Go you, Dulles. Go you.
    • Once I’m through, it only takes a bit of time to get to the gate, and then… I get to chill! Yay youtube! So many movie clips!
    • I get extra movie clips, because the flight is delayed! Boo!
    • Holy wow, so delayed. And then, once we’re on… we sit on the tarmac! Sweeeeet.

The last bit of the trip was the sweetest part of the day, even including that delicious leftover BBQ that I had for dessert: When I got out of security at the airport.

I was planning on just heading down to get my bag, and then getting a Lyft home. Probably cook something up quick once I got there?

But instead, there was a Sarah waiting for me with snacks and kisses!

An excellent end to an amazing trip.