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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mcafee's Knob: bouldering on the AT

I'm now stationed in Lynchburg, Va and it didn't take me long to locate the nearest climbing area. About an hour west lies Mcafee's Knob, more popular for the hiking (Appalachian Trail) than climbing. But don't be confused, there is excellent climbing with even better views. From the parking lot you gain 1200 ft. of elevation over 3.25 miles to reach Mcafee's Knob (3197 ft.). Along the trail there are scattered bouldering areas, but the greatest concentration lies on top of the knob. On windy days, it is a great place to escape the summer heat. The pictures below were taken as I hiked the trail to the top.

View along the trail

Mickey Mouse Boulder

Notice the AT trail to the right of the boulder

To Z Top

Mcafee's Knob Overlook

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New River Rendezvous 2008

The last 2 weeks have been action packed, needless to say, I haven't had much time to post any new blogs (apologies).  First off, I would like to thank the tenants at 9 Smith (Dan, Dylan, & Clint) for letting me crash at their place while staying in Athens (Ohio).  I had the opportunity to meet up with old friends, and complete the Athens checklist, which consisted of visiting my favorite places (Casa Nueva, Jackie O's, Village Bakery, etc.).  After meeting up with the A-Town crew on the 15th, Dan and I headed down to Fayetteville, WV for the New River Rendezvous (#6).  A weekend long festival where friends of new and old meet to climb and relax, while raising money for the New River Alliance of Climbers.  The New River Gorge is one of my favorite climbing areas of all time, and a frequented visiting place while attending Ohio University.  Athens had a strong showing, with around 15-20 people showing up.  I even got my best friend, Ben Denlinger, and his girlfriend Megan to show up.  Look for Ben in the Sumo Pad Wrestling clip, it is hilarious.  I've put together a video montage of the festival, taken with my small digital camera.  Below is a shortened version of the original (Excuse the quality, because of size limitations and web streaming, the video quality is low.  I mean real low).

After the rendezvous, Dan informed me of a climbing trip to the Red River Gorge during Memorial Day Weekend (the following week).  Our buddy Nate was renting two cabins for the weekend, all inclusive w/hot tub.  I wasn't due back to work until the 27th, so there was nothing holding me back.  We climbed in the Red on the 24th, 25, & 26th, it was phenomenal!  We put most of our focus to the newly developed areas at Muir Valley.  Except for the tasty arete, "No Place Like Home," which had stellar exposure and unique views of the gorge.  This trip was a perfect way to end my east coast adventure, and an excellent way to begin this years rope season.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Moss Island

Let the saga continue.  I have been climbing for three days on now, and I can't believe how lucky I've been to get good weather and time off of work at the same time.  Our aircraft is still down for maintenance, so aircraft maintenance + time off + good weather = climbing.  My new friends from Nine Cornered Lake recommended I check out this crag by Little Falls, called Moss Island.  Moss Island is unique, in that you cross a small dam (via bridge) and then you are on a small island in the middle of a river.  The area has strict ethics on bolting, and is pretty much a top rope climber's paradise.  The routes range in length from 35-50 ft., and grades are from 5.2 to 5.12c.  I opted for sans rope, and soled 7 routes ranging from 5.2 - 5.10.  The rock is bullet proof and most of the cruxes are at the bottom, so it made for comfortable climbing.  It was a great way to spend a "rest day."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nine Cornered Lake Bouldering

This week I was fortunate enough to get some time off of work, due to maintenance on our aircraft.  Finally, some time to go out and climb!  I've been nursing a finger injury for the last month, and was amped to go climbing.  Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, lies the Nine Cornered Lake Bouldering Area. I arrived late Wednesday afternoon, and ran into some locals. This crew was awesome, inviting, filled with energy, and gave me the full tour of the area.  Below is a short sequence of the uber classic "Origin".  The video is of Justin Sanford working one of his current projects.  Justin is one of the main driving forces in the area and is never short on energy.  You can thank him for submitting the Dr. Topo guide, cleaning new boulders, and trying to create new trail systems.  Oh, and don't be surprised if you see someone climbing in their socks.  It is probably Murphy, aka "Sock Ninja" (he's pretty strong).