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October Break 2004 at New River Gorge

Mad crazy huge October break trip to the New River Gorge

Friday afternoon the mass of people (myself, Noah, Carol, Maggie, Abhishek, Ani, Joe, Arthur, Zach, Jake, Joel, Jonathan, Sumanth, Jim, and Frank) departed from various points in the Midwest and with few troubles eventually ended up at the New, for a rather expensive night at the Summersville Lake retreat campground, as all the free camping was more than full. This turned out to be a good meeting place and in the morning all the cars (of driver’s with names starting with J’s because we apparently rule the world, or at least the POC) had arrived and gotten a fair amount of sleep. Since the process of getting 15 people ready to go in the morning takes a while, Noah found the slack line in the mess of gear in my car and we quickly assembled it for some breakfast entertainment.

We headed out to Junkyard crag, and I secretly hoped that by some miracle there would be no other groups there that Saturday. Well that was a pretty pointless thing to hope for but nonetheless the other groups were not too big and we seemed to all get along well enough and no one got in any one else’s way too much. So we got on some climbs there and it seemed like everyone had a pretty good time. We actually managed to finish up there and hike out before dark, which shocked me because I don’t think I have ever left that crag before dark before.

Well then we decided to try to find some of the free nat’l park camping. However, after over an hour of exploring the back roads of West Virginia, we felt we were close, yet unable to find any of the places we were hoping to find. So we retired to Roger’s for the evening, cooked dinner, and went to bed.

Sunday morning we tried to get up early as some people (even other than myself) expressed interest in eating at the Cathedral Café for breakfast, and some others wanted to go to the gear shop in town. Well considering there were 15 of us and it seemed that everyone else in the gorge that weekend also wanted to eat at that café on Sunday morning, we took quite a while and didn’t get to Bridge Buttress until almost noon. There, I quickly set up a 7 that we had been on several weeks earlier, then dropped ropes on another 8 and of course on Your Mother so that everyone on our trip would have the opportunity to try such a fine climb. That evening, Jake’s car and Jim’s car left to return north, and the rest of us drove back up to Summersville to try our luck again at the Gauley launch camping area. Fortunately, Brian, Nell, Kei, and Dylan had arrived there a while before us and cleverly secured enough campsites for all of us, and had even started a campfire. That night was definitely the coldest of the trip, plus I woke up with a heavy layer of dew covering my sleeping bag as several of us had chosen to sleep outside for this trip.

Since we were already in the Summersville area, we decided to go to Summersville lake to climb, and since our hands were all beaten and bruised from the cracks of the previous two days. After a full day of some sport, Joe’s car was done climbing, Brian’s car stayed at the New for Tuesday, and my car left to go to the Red.

We arrived at Miguel’s at about 10 pm, and set up tents because there was indication it might rain that night or the next day. No rain bothered us that night, and in the morning we woke refreshed to a beautiful fall day in the Red River Gorge. The weather was ideal for climbing, and we chose Pebble Beach as a good sunny crag with some fun climbs.

Just as we sat down to eat dinner at Miguel’s that night it started to rain, and it rained the entire drive back to Lafayette. Overall a very smooth trip with lots of fun climbing that wore us out for the most part. But now of course I am ready to go back.

Pictures from this trip

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