Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Nose

This beautiful granite in Western North Carolina's Pisgah Forest is called The Looking Glass. It was formed as a large igneous intrusion under layers of weaker rock that eroded away to expose this monolith.

The Nose is the classic moderate route on the large face central in the photo above, left of the creeping vegetation from the summit. We started up this route early, about 7:30am before anyone else had even arrived at the parking lot. It was a good idea too, not only to snag first in line, but the temperature reached 90 degrees and staying out of the sun for the first half of the day was crucial.

The start of the route got me back into placing gear and trusting my feet on slab. My two month hiatus from climbing has really taken a toll on my psyche. But up in pitch 3 I really started to regain my confidence and execute moves deliberately. Liz had a great time following me and did an excellent job lead belaying. Congrats on her first multi pitch route!

The Blue Ridge Mountains in the background of this photo made an excellent backdrop to this four pitch climb. We topped out around noon and took in the view, along with some water and cliff bars. We simultaneously rappelled on double ropes, passing stations and getting down in half the time. We made it back to the car at 2:00pm for peanut butter sandwiches.

As you can see by the smile on my face, it was an excellent day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

North Carolina

I wanted to start a blog for the purpose of cataloguing my climbing and guiding endeavors. However, I feel it is most appropriate to bring myself up to speed on current events in my life. I've just started my first job out of college at Wellspring Adventure Camp in Canton, NC. Nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains between Mt. Pisgah and Cold Mountain, this place has been my home now for four weeks. And it will continue to be my home for another two, before my partner Liz and I move into our West Asheville Bungalow.

That's it above. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, basement, storage shed, back deck and fenced-in backyard. As my good friend Dave said, "Very domestic." All of our things are now in Asheville (Asheville Mini Storage to be completely accurate) with special thanks to Lamar for his help unloading the Uhaul.

Wellspring Adventure Camp has been a lot of fun so far. Their program for weight loss is truly inspired and provides campers with many opportunities for empowerment. I can't wait for our numbers to jump and to start functioning at maximum capacity.

But as for the true focus of this blog, climbing, that starts this Sunday the 20th. Liz and I are setting out to tackle Looking Glass hopefully by means of the route The Nose. It's heralded as the Southern classic, and we may have to beat the sun to this one in order to catch first dibs. I absolutely can't wait, given I've been staring at the many impressive faces throughout the Pisgah Forest for four weeks now without touching any of them! But I can manage. There will be a trip report soon following this outing. Cheers to all!