I woke up to a so-so sky. It was cool, but humid, so conditions were likely ok to decent. I live about an hour west of the New River Gorge and weather travels West-to-East, so I pretty much get the preview of the NRG weather. I hopped in the car and drove over to Fayetteville to meet up with some friends at the gear store and we checked the radar: A giant huge storm coming our way…so my friend Randi and I decided to chill in the back of my “Element” and play a couple rounds of scrabble.
As the rain and windstorm gales rocked the vehicle, prospects of climbing were grim, but we waited it out, the rain stopped and we waiting some more. Finally we go the 1pm start and headed down the the “White Wall” at “Kaymoor” which has a large, sheltering roof….and SCORE. It was dry, albeit manky. I had previously done the two other routes on the wall, “Dining at the Alter” – a classic but reachy route and “Pettifogger” – A classic, not so much over-all reachy, but your hosed if you’re short for one move kinda route. The last one on the wall for me to do was “Shang” which was listed, originally as a project in the Rick Thompson book. The Cater book lists “Shang” as 12d/13a, but Mike William’s got it right in his book called it 5.12c. To best honest, for the shorter folks, it may be the easiest one on the wall.
I have this theory that its best to warm up on your project for the day. I don’t do the crux moves or anything, but basically just bolt-to-bolt the route, feeling out the moves, checking rests, sequences etc. I took this theory on Shang, stick clipping through the crux moves, hanging the draws and feeling out the rest of the climbing. I took a bit of a rest, then second try, climbed it to the crux (A two move roof sequence), took, rested, then managed to do the crux move FIRST TRY! I was like…woah….so I finished the route, brushed it, then came down, rested an hour, then did it. It felt easy too…I couldn’t believe it.
Its crazy, because for me, 5.12c has always been one of those grades where you really have to try hard, project, that sort of thing, but to 2nd/3rd go something like that for me? Crazy…
It rained again and we knew we were pretty hosed, so we went to the best rain-day place at the New – Summersville Lake on Sunday. I don’t really like Summersville lake because I’ve done every route up to but not including Apollo Reed. It was really manky, but I actually did really well on it. I think that I might actually be able to send that thing! Its nice being in good shape!