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New River Gorge: The (Almost) Day of Reckoning

If you follow our family on instagram (@cragmama1), you may have noticed a family photo taken along the Endless Wall Trail on Saturday morning, with a caption entitled -“Today is a day of reckoning out the NRG…let’s do this!”  It was my first (and potentially only) chance this spring to send Jesus and Tequila 12b, the mega classic sandbag that I’d came heartbreakingly close to ticking off last November as the fall season closed out.  After some annihilating circuit work in the gym, along with recent success at both the New and the Red in recent weeks, I was feeling…Read the rest of this entry →
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The Blessings of Jesus and Tequila

A lot of people tout that Jesus and Tequila 12b (aka “J ‘n T”) is the best 5.12 in the New River Gorge (and I wouldn’t disagree.)  Some people even argue that it’s the best route in the Gorge, period. I’ve even heard more than one person say it is the best route they have EVER touched. Well, with that introduction, you know it’s not gonna be a gimme for the grade, right? While grades are of course highly subjective, J ‘n T has a pretty solid consensus that 12b is a big fat sandbag (unless you are my one friend that downgrades…Read the rest of this entry →
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Sendless at Endless

Catchy title, but will probably make for a rather lackluster trip report!  Conditions were prime for sending…I guess my only excuse is myself!  Fortunately, however, our weekend in West Virginia was still “wild and wonderful.” Saturday was spent at Snake Buttress.  After warming up on Muckraker 11a, I had hoped to tick New World Order 12a, which I had started working on a few weeks ago.  To be honest, heading into the weekend I’d been feeling less than confident, and with questionable motivation. The crux for me on New World Order is a big deadpoint move that requires (for me, anyway) a LOT of precision…Read the rest of this entry →
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New River Gorgeous Fall Climbing!

It’s been 7 years since the CragDaddy and I first visited the New River Gorge (way back in the pre-kid era of our marriage.)  Since then we’ve spent hundreds of weekends up there, in all seasons of the year and all kinds of weather…but NONE were as beautiful as this past weekend!  The intensity of the fall color this year was absolutely breathtaking – vivid yellows, vibrant reds, and spectacular oranges.  It was as if Someone, in the 5 days we’d been back in Charlotte, had taken a paintbrush to the entire landscape. Even just hiking in to Endless Wall had a…Read the rest of this entry →
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NRG Round 1: Endless (Not Sendless) Wall

After a month of unseasonably wet and humid conditions, we were starting to think fall climbing season would never get here.  But this past weekend was about as good as it gets, condition-wise.  The air was cold and crisp, but the rock was still warm – one of those magical times where you can climb pretty much wherever you want, without having to chase sun or shade.  In other words, any excuses for not sending are your own fault! Now when it comes to climbing grades at the New River Gorge, there can be some inconsistency, but the general consensus is that…Read the rest of this entry →
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Humidity + Humility = Reality at the New River Gorge

This weekend marked our first climbing trip back on the east coast since our big Wyoming adventure (summed up here, here, here, and here.)  And while it felt good to be back on familiar stone, the CragDaddy and I both took a giant dose of humble pie (served dripping in humidity!) “You know we’re going to get pummeled at the New this weekend, right?” I’d joked to Steve last week.  After a week of rest and a couple of bouldering sessions at the gym, we were still talking about the glory days of our vacation, where both of us had climbed harder…Read the rest of this entry →
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A Belated New River Gorge Recap

With a shoe demo in Atlanta last week (more on how cool demos are next week!), I was too busy to do the write-up for our New River Gorge trip the previous weekend, but I figured better a week late than never! The New was forecasted to be hot…and humid…but not QUITE as hot and not QUITE as humid as the southern crags in our neck of the woods, so we made the trip.  Summer conditions at the New (or pretty much anywhere in the Southeast) are never all that great, but our main goal was to get plenty of mileage…Read the rest of this entry →
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A Family Sunday “SEND-day” at Kaymoor

Our good luck with good climbing conditions has fortunately continued into late spring (which probably means we’ll be smothered by a hot blanket of humidity any day now.)  And while 80’s may not be ideal sending temps, the weather felt darn near perfect for June in the Southeast…so off to the New we went! We decided to climb in the shade at Kaymoor on Day 1.  Steve was psyched to work Lost Souls (5.12a), and I figured it was probably about time for me to give that one another try.  I’d been on it several times before Baby Zu (most notably of…Read the rest of this entry →
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New River Gorge, Round 2!

Another beautiful spring weekend means another trip to the New River Gorge.  And another trip to the New means another great weekend of family, friends, laughs…and of course climbing!  This was the second week of my Rock Climber’s Training Manual “perfomance phase,” and after the inconsistencies from the first week, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Here’s how it went… Michelin Man Original Finish (5.12b) – After one-hanging this one last weekend, sending this was my primary goal for this trip.  I was hoping that hopping on it fresh as a daisy on Day 1 would feel a lot…Read the rest of this entry →
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Performance Week 1: New River Gorge

This past weekend marked the first trip of my “Performance Phase” in my first training cycle using the Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  There were a few ups and downs, but overall I am very pleased with how I climbed, and am optimistic about how the next few weeks will go.  I’ll start with the downs, so I can end on a good note! DOWNS On the routes I’d previously been on (and thus already worked out the moves for), I got shutdown.  I failed miserably on Techman (5.12c), which had been my primary goal for the weekend.  The crux went…Read the rest of this entry →