The past two weekends, I climbed local – here at the New River Gorge.  Its been cooler, though still humid.  Lots of sweat and manky feeling holds, but at least it wasn’t horrible hot.  I think that we are just around the corner from the perfect climbing season.

Matt Fanning at the Knee-Bar Crux of “Cage Match” 5.12c

Yesterday, climbing with Jim Woodruff, I was fed awesome beta for “Cage Match” 5.12c, an aptly named intimidatingly steep and powerful crack/jug haul.  The climbing starts right off with a difficult crux after the initial slab section.  The difficult sidepull and undercling windmill section leads to a couple bolts of pure jug pulling, culminating with the crux move, a knee-bar scum/cletus-funk rattly pull-in move to a decent jug (hard to get.)

Matt Fanning on the 11c run-out crux portion of Cage Match “5.12c”

From there, you need to establish and then gain a good ledge jug (chances are, you’re going to cut feet and hope to not blow it.)  From here, you go into a butt and knee-jam cave rest section.  Super clausterfobic…then there’s another intimidating, blind move off decent jams and holds (though awkward feet) to another jug.  From there, its run-out 11c crack climbing to the anchor!!!  Good stuff.

I did not send it on my first go, though did manage to do all the moves (except the first hard one) pretty much first go that I tried hard enough (at lot of it was feeling balances, scums etc which I was trying to work out.)

I can’t wait to get back on the route, hopefully this Saturday.  Sunday and Monday, we are climbing at Coopers Rock!

I bolted another route and think that I am going to bolt another…but I’m not going to say anything about those until I send them!

-Dan

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