Sunday was supposed to be sunny, 48, blue bird and it was at 8am. I left MD early to blue skies, 50-degree temperatures and only grabbed my jacket to be safe. Our plan was to make the 4hr drive west to check out Coles cove. The temperature gauge in Brian’s car doesn’t work exactly, but it does measure some form of temperature, even if it’s not the temperature outside. The closer we got to our destination the lower the temperature was dropping. 30, 20, 18, 13, and finally stopped somewhere around 8. We were pretty sure the car was using some non linear algebra to calculate the temperature; it definitely wasn’t 8 outside… as to what the temperature really was outside? I put the window down and we quickly concluded it was really, really cold. I pulled out my handy phone, Sunny and 35 is what the screen said… I looked outside, snow and well below freezing... Back to the phone, refresh, refresh.. no luck, we had been had by weather.com and I was almost completely unprepared, praise the lord I grabbed my jacket. Basically my trip to Coles Cove became walking around in 2 inches of snow while being snowed on. The western PA boys were psyched though, and I was really psyched to see all the rock at Coles. As with many western PA areas, Coles hosts gritstone boulders ranging in size and difficulty. The stuff that’s good there would be considered good anywhere. The plan is to make another trip out this weekend pending the weather.
Yesterday, I made a trip to Mt. Gretna to see if I could snag a project that I put a few tries into many years ago and again last week spent a few minutes there. Really good line that adds 5 moves to an established line called Keyhole. The crux revolves around a left hand micro crimp, right heel hook and quite possibly one of the coolest little pinches I have ever been on. You do two more hard moves to a left hand crimp with a thumb catch and cross to a good quarter pad crimp then jump to a jug pinch, so good and so close on this one. We got into Gretna warmed up and I headed right to the proj, I was fully focused, nothing else seemed to even interest me at Gretna. When I turned the corner to scope it out I was let down.. The boulder was soaking wet. The only boulder in the field that had ice and water on it was the keyhole boulder. I tried to dry off the water and get rid of the ice but nothing was working. It was soaked. I stayed and tried it a little beside the fact it was soaking wet I felt like I made one giant step forward with beta. I started using a smaller worse hold than I was attempting to use before and managed to unlock the sequence that was shutting me down before. No send but I am banking on my next session for sure. I can’t really be certain how hard it will be exactly but it feels somewhere in the 12/13 range. I think easier than some of the things I have done recently in the 13 range but it’s hard to say… Beta and conditions make a huge difference and who even knows.. It could feel one way to me and feel totally different for someone else.