Microventures: Part I
Micro Adventures. Small adventures that take place exploring the world in short proximity to your home. For the stories that are too short to write a whole blog post about I’m going to post my “Microventures” below.
Tower Rock Revenge Tour - 8/2019
Went on a Tower Rock revenge tour today. The last time the three of my buddies and I went to tower rock we got shut down on every climb we tried. This time it was about redemption, and about sending all of these routes clean. Up first was arachnid. I cruised the laser cut hands section down low. Worked my way easily across the roof and got my feet up to the ledge before the committing moves. I got up to the wide spot again, and just wasn’t 100% with my gear, and didn’t think it was worth taking a possible huge swing into the other wall. So, I got shut down and down climbed the whole thing. Again.. 0/1. Next up, Africa. I had the sequence dialed. Pulled through the crux no problem, higher up I was feeling good. My weight was a little right though, and I said hell naw. I was reeling my body back in when my hands slipped out of the crack and I fell on my #2, 3’ from the anchors. I couldn’t let that be my try, so I pulled the rope and tried again. Attempt #2. Cruised up to the crux, pulled the crux with ease, and headed up. My hands were in the wrong sequence and I realized it. I was in the middle of making the switch when my hands popped out faster than I could think and I took a 10-15 foot fall onto my #1 cam. 0/2. Next up Caver’s route. My partner took the lead first and headed up into the crack. That’s up to the start of pitch 3. Pitch 3 goes through a hole you need to squeeze through and I almost didn’t fit. We managed to make it up the next two chimneys and topped out. 1/3. Took a swim in the Red river before heading home with thoughts of drier, less humid weather on the horizon.
New River Gorge - 8/2019
I saw checked the weather early in the week. Living in Central Kentucky we’re fortunate to be within driving distance from a lot of world class climbing areas. Doing my usual check for what the weekend weather had In store I saw mid 70’s temperatures at the New River Gorge. I texted a few buddies and we were off. Psyched for a weekend of crushing and testing our metal at the New. Due to some unforeseen circomstances we left Lexington at 4am on Saturday, and after a few stops arrived at the trailhead parking lot around 8:30. We headed off to Fantasy wall after admiring the view of the gorge below us. First up was fantasy crack, followed by Doce Doe, then Aesthetica, and finally Black and Tan. Dustin had a ton of small cams so I felt good leading the small gear laden line up Black and Tan. It was incredible! Really balancey and committing. The weather was absolutely perfect. I was almost cold at one point because of the breeze flowing through the gorge. Our plan was to then head over to Junkyard wall to finish out the day. We strolled up to New Yosemite with no one on it and it was incredible.. If only it was longer!! Then Ben talked me into leading Four Sheets to the Wind. I made it to the first roof, and stood on a ledge examining the gear and holds. I made a move for it and was able to make some progress up before I had to rest on a cam. A little bit more inching upwards and I was way-out on the roof, trying to figure out how to protect the crux move. There was a large crack in the back of the ledges, and I managed to get a #3 back in there. When It was weighted I think it moved a little bit, but held. I had read somewhere about a #.75 for the crux and so I took one of those and shoved it up in the crack. I couldn’t see it, I was just hoping for the best. After some talking myself up a little bit and shaking my pumped arms out I went for the move. I pulled up through and was able to get my feet up, which put me at this blank dihedral where the was a little pocket maybe good enough for 4 of my fingers.. My feet were too far back and my weight was pulling me off the wall. With a few grunts, I couldn’t hold it anymore and fell off the wall. As I fell I looked down and saw what was somewhere around 8 feet of rope falling into space. I normally don’t yell when I fall but I did this time. I think in that moment I wasn’t sure if my top two cams would hold. Luckily for me they did! I fell, with rope stretch somewhere around 20 feet. It was my biggest trad whip to date. I decided to give in to the climb and we rapped the route to clean it. It’ll have to go clean another day.. hopefully this fall. The rest of the weekend was incredible. Filled with good beer, biscuits and more bullet hard sandstone. I can’t wait to make another trip up the the New.