Another Climbing Adventure!
My friend, roommate, and climbing partner, the ineffable Andreas and I spent the first half of Thanksgiving Break climbing Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. It was awesome. Unsurprisingly for the end of November, it was also cold!
Seneca is far more wild than the lovely Gunks, filled with large unbroken faces, steep overhanging crack systems, and a never ending supply of loose rocks to rain down on your belayer.
We survived on campfire food, artisan beer, and home made Bacon Bars.
Yes, that is pureed bacon with nuts and honey… they pack the caloric punch we need for three 8 hour days of climbing.
Nothing gets the blood pumping like super sketch trad, and yet, for the first time, I finally felt I was secure in my climbing even while pushing my own limits; that’s not to say I was climbing beyond my level in the past, but that my ‘lead-head’ as climbers call it was screwed on tight the entire trip this time. That’s a great feeling!
There’s less daylight for climbing in winter, and because of the nature of the sport, we need to wait till later in the day to begin climbing in winter. Clinging for your life on a mass of cold rock slowly (not so slowly) sucking the warmth and life out of you isn’t fun. We had to wait until the sun had been up for ~3 hours before hiking in.
That gave us a perfect opportunity to ChaXi! I brewed a really nice roasted Taiwanese Oolong from ShanLinShi I picked up in Taiwan this summer on the helipad in the shadow of our mountain. It was beautiful and physically warming.
It took us all 3 days before we reached the summit.
I hope it won’t be my last time on it.