October on the east coast marks the start of climbing season. The mountains are painted by the changing of the leaves and temperatures are prime for firing projects. Conditions on the east coast vary so much through the year from frigid winters to hot and humid summers that fall is a welcomed change. One of my favorite places to spend fall climbing is the New River Gorge WV.
Its gorgeous at the New this time of year. All of the trees are in full color and the views from the bridge are incredible. This weekend the weather look great so we decided to head down to check out some of the new development being done on the boulders at the new. The New has some of the cleanest sandstone boulders that I have seen, sometimes 30-60ft sandstone blocks sitting in the forest with no holds. Other boulders are more appealing in the sense that they do have holds and are in a good height category that falls in my comfort zone. The rock is different from southern sandstone, it has a glassy feel from being water polished and the rock formed under different pressures so it lends itself to a slightly different climbing style then southern rock. Maybe the best way to explain it is a combination of grit stone techniques along with gymnastic movement. To top off the unique quality of the rock look no farther the quantity of rock. I think it can be summed up like this, NRG is stacked with stone.
We arrived in Fayetteville late Friday night and met up with Nic Spruill to do some night bouldering. Nic took took us to the Ali Bubba roof at Beauty Mt. to try some fun established lines and show us some projects. We warmed up and quickly dispatched some lines and started working on a project towards the far left of the roof. It went down quickly once we figured out the beta and we called it Bubba Ho Tep v10. We called it a night after that and went back to Nic's place to kip for the night. We woke up bright and early the next morning and headed back to the Ali Bubba roof so Nic could fire Bubba Ho Tep and warm up for the day. We managed to find a new king line on the right side of the roof and Nic sent Ali Bubba and came damn close to firing Bubba Ho Tep. I put up another new line on the far left of the roof called Prince Ali v11. Ryan Scrufield joined us half way through the day and I showed him the new lines and sprayed him with beta and he managed to do Bubba Ho Tep quickly and found new betta on different hold for prince Ali that clocks in at about v9. The new beta uses some extra holds out right that for some reason i just didnt consider using. Nice work! We finished up the day by hiking around looking at boulders and ended up at Pat Goodman and Jessa's house to have a cook out.
Sunday we woke up early again to capitalize on the cool morning temps and fire the Mellifluous project at fern. Ryan dispatched in about 15 minutes or so and named the line Master of Manipulation. I put up another new line to the right on the same boulder and it clocks in at around v9.
Every trip I make to the new reminds me of how much we have on the east coast. It's different in many ways than other places that I have climbed in the sense that you definitely need to be up for an adventure in order to climb. The rock is very inspiring too. Some of the prettiest formations I have seen are on sandstone and the new river sandstone is no exception. Our trip was good and I learned a lot. I cannot wait to get back down to the New River and put in some more time developing such a great area.