Most folks are talking about climbing season being OVER. And as far as “climbing” season, it is over for me, but that means the kick-off for BOULDERING season! With snow and sketchy weather, I may get maybe one or two more climbing days at the NRG or RRG, but I am not counting on it.
I took 4 more climbing days over the front half of Thanksgiving holiday with the Energy Rock Gym crew here in Charleston to the Red River Gorge. We got a cabin – which was nice!
|Photo Matt Jones|
Far different from the entire fall (it was pretty hot) we picked routes in the sun! Our first day, we climbed at Solar Collector and the Bright Side. I had not climbed at the Bright Side – a newer crag at the Red, but had definitely spent time staring across the valley at it from the Darkside. Aptly named, the Bright Side sits in the sun most of the day (the latter in the day, the more of the cliff is in the sun.) Routes here are typical Red River Gorge steep slug fests and the routes are quite awesome.
I warmed up on “Crown of Thorns” 5.11c, which is now definitely one of my favorite routes at the red! The route is fairly continuous, though there are several “small hold” sections which with my lock-off strengths and reach, I was able to skip.
Next I set my sites on “Golden Brown” 5.12a. I think this one gets 3 stars in the book, but upon climbing the route, I immediately added a 4th. I guess the first half of the route climbs some boring and easy slab, but the headwall is impeccable rock! The crux itself is a series of awesome holds separated by long reachs and is fairly run out (you couldn’t stop to clip.)
After that, I decided to try and onsite Bush League 5.12c. I can definitely use some 12c onsites for my 8a scorecard. 😉 I was really happy to put this one together on the onsite, doing all the moves correctly my first go. Someone was nice enough to tick all the good holds and not tick any bad holds! This climb felt a lot like a “motherlode” route – with a difficult opening boulder problem (first ?3 bolts) to a good rest, then it kicked back to the typical Red River Gorge “don’t get pumped.” I didn’t!
|Bush Leauge 5.12c|
I tried a couple of the other routes on that wall, but got shut down pretty thoroughly!
|Blood Bath – 5.12c.|