Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Dark Side

By the end of the summer Mark and I had decided that it was time for him to start working towards moving up here. We were getting tired of having to drive 3 hours to see each other every weekend and were ready to take the next step in our relationship.

Mark’s place in VA was about 2.5 hours from Fayetteville, WV. So going to the New was not a difficult trip from there. Since he’d be moving away we decided to try to get in as many trips to the New and Gauley that summer / fall as possible (the trip from DC is more like 6 hours so we wanted to take advantage while we could).

That winter Mark had turned over to the dark/dry side… he had become a climber!! Since the New River Gorge is also an excellent climbing area he wanted to get in a little of that while we were there. We did three trips to the NRG that summer. On the first trip the two of us checked out Kaymoor and ran the river. For more pictures see here.

Kaymoor, NRG

On the second trip Justin and his girlfriend Lissa joined us. We spent the first day on the river while Lissa went for a run. On the second day we climbed at Tattoo Wall. At the end of the day we headed down to the takeout and I got to get in my boat again and run Fayette Station and then did some cartwheel practice. It was a great weekend. As this isn’t a climbing journal I’m just going to put up a few pics. You can check out more here.

Mark at Lower Keeney

Mark and Justin figuring out routes

Mark about the pull the roof, Tatoo Wall, NRG

Me at Tatoo Wall, NRG

Me running Fatette Station, NRG

Cartwheel practice

The third trip was an all climbing trip that Mark had planned with some of his friends from VA. I didn’t really have much to do that weekend so I decided I’d go along. I wasn’t really much into climbing outdoors at the time I didn’t really want to spend two full days sitting around at the wall. So I convinced Justin (it didn’t take much) to paddle with me one day instead.

Tatoo Wall, NRG

Everything worked out great. We spent the first day at Tattoo Wall again. I mostly just hung out and took pictures. On the second day we dropped Mark off with everyone else at Summersville Lake for another day of climbing and headed to the Upper Gauley. It had been a while since I’d run it but I basically remembered the lines. I was able to easily recognize Initiation (easy class III with a deadly sieve if you run the right side) and we had no problems throughout the run. It was great being out on the river. At Lost Paddle we ran into Jimmy Blakeney of Team Wavesport and got a great guide down the rapid. We rejoined the rest of the gang at the lake and headed home.

Justin at the putin, Upper Gauley

On the way back we noticed that someone had put up a new billboard on Route 19, absolutely classic:

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