The Access Fund and their local affiliate the Mid Atlantic Climbers provide the climbing community with an important voice in land use decision making and lead efforts to conserve and protect our local and nationwide climbing areas.
Where: Penn Social, 801 E Street NW, Washington, DC (near the Gallery Place/Penn Quarter/Chinatown and Metro Center stations)
When: Monday, May 20, 6-9pm
What: Drink some beer, win some schwag, learn about the Access Fund and Mid Atlantic climbers, and meet other area climbers.
Hope to see you there!
Then, on May 20, come spend an evening celebrating and supporting local climbing at Penn Social in Washington, DC for a fundraiser supporting the Mid Atlantic Climbers and the Access Fund. Click here for more details and to share on Facebook!
The Travel Channel lists Joe’s Valley as a favorite Spring vacation destination. (Full disclosure: Arthur is a Travel Channel editor/producer)
We’ve been hitting up Governor Stable a bunch lately to take advantage of the great friction that is only found there during the colder months. Also, the conditions at our other favorite spot, Coopers, has been quite horrendous all winter – either covered in snow or seeping from the snow that just melted. Paul, Dylan and Nate found that out the hard way when they decided that they were tired of PA diabase and drove out to WV, only to hike in for an hour and find completely soaked sandstone.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Eric, Outdoor Mitch, the Maxes and I met up with Avi R and his crew (yes, Mitch did go climbing outside in preparation for his first real climbing trip in April!) First project of the day was Vulture (V7). The second hold had recently broke, which may have made the first move a little easier but not the crux (in our opinion). Rock conditions were as perfect as they could be, and Mario Max got the first send. This gave the rest of us motivation to keep trying, and I and Wario Max sent too. Wario Max (aka Shark Max) kept trying because he couldn’t leave without Maxing out the boulder, even though he basically ripped open all of his tips. We failed in getting any photos or video though.
Then, Eric bloodied up Tomb Traverse (V4) and the Maxes kept trying the heinous top out of Gin and Juice (V9). Wario cut up his fingers so much that he had to take the next week off. Mario was super close but his shoulder started to hurt and he decided to save it for his trip to J-tree and Bishop this week. So, what else is there to do on St. Patty’s Day than car bombs at the boulders? Or mini car bombs if you’re a chugging wimp like me.
Yesterday, Esten, Art, Eric, Wario Max and I met up with Chris and Stu, and also with Mike and some others for a bit. The day started with a lot of sending. Max kept working on Gin and Juice, but still was having trouble with the slopey top out. Enter Art, who placed the flask of Scotch on top of the boulder. And boom! First V9 for Shark Max!
Meanwhile, Eric was working out his crazy (as usual) beta for Tomb Traverse (V4) and sent shortly after. I’m pretty sure there was still blood involved though. Next, we went to work on Casanova (V6), and Eric and I used being short to our advantage and sent that one. Art, after saying he was only going to send V0s, re-sent Casablanca (V3).
A bunch of us made attempts at Chai Wallah (V3), but only Eric sent. As I’ve said before, V3s are super hard here! And after watching Eric on the last move and top out, I can’t say that I wanted to keep working it.
Then, the large group went over to Creekside Traverse (V6). Stu, Eric, Max and I were all making it to the end but the top out was harder than it looked. Personally, falling off of climbs while standing up on the top out is my specialty. I don’t know what was wrong with everyone else. It will remain a project for next time.
Max, having already sent his goal for the day, decided to peace out and Art and Esten had about zero motivation. Art had sent his one climb for the day already. Then Mike, Chris and Stu left as well. I was just exhausted from the weekend. Eric, though, remained motivated enough to give Vulture a few more goes. Maybe next time he will decide on which shoes are best for that climb since it seemed to be an issue that day. We were so out of energy that we didn’t even stop for beers on the way home. Then, it snowed. Welcome to spring!
Here are the rest of Art’s photos:
Full Problem List (by area and order of appearance):
- North Mountain – Daily Dick Dose, Fern Roof, Mexican Chicken, Wonder Dyno, Lobster Claw, Baby Martini, T-bone Shuffle
- East Mountain – Hobbit in a Blender, Hector in a Blender, Dragonfly, Something Different
- East Spur – Better Eat Your Wheaties, New Religion, Walrus in a Blender
It may have been cold, but thanks to things like hand warmers, body warmers, soup, tea, and down jackets and booties, a large group of us were able to take advantage of some pretty perfect conditions at Governor Stable twice this past week.
Climbers: Eric, Max M, Jackie, Paul, Shane, Esten, Max W, Hunter, Nate, Nick, Olya, Harmony, Ryman, Dylan, I’m probably forgetting someone since we had so many people…
Presidents Day was a lot of folks’ first time at Governors, so us vets gave them the tour. Nate basically crushed everything we tried. We started at the end, where Paul, Nick and Nate sent The 45 Stand (V7), Max sent Slopey Dom (V5), and Eric almost Hulk smashed the boulder that Slopey Dom was on. I gave everyone a beer challenge since the only people I knew personally who had sent The Gathering (V6) were me and Maria. Eric and Mario Max took up the challenge, and as you all know, beer is a fantastic motivator. I lost. Twice.
Next we went to the Juggernaut Area, where Nate and Max M sent Juggernaut (V5) and Max also sent Jugarete (V6). Some others might have sent Juggernaut but I don’t really remember. Many of us ended the day trying Moby’s Dick (V5) at the end of the day, which is not the best idea for such a tiring climb. Unless you are Nate and crushed everything that day. Once upon a time I had worked out the beta, but I hadn’t tried it in a long time and forgot it. Pretty typical. There was probably a lot of other things climbed, but the group was pretty large so I kind of lost track. We ended the day with some food and beer at Bullys.
The next Sunday we headed back with an even larger group. For some reason most other Mid-Atlantic climbers didn’t get the memo that the rock conditions were perfect, so it was kind of alright that we brought the whole gym. This time we went to Moby’s early and Max W, Paul and I sent it. Eric and Shane sent Mushroom Cap, one of the hardest V3s ever, after much effort over multiple sessions. I swear a lot of the 3s at GS are harder than some of the 5s. A bunch of the guys worked on Soul Face (V9), but no luck on the pretty bare top. Mario Max did get his proudest GS send though, with Knead It (V3, but as I said, V3 is a hard grade here!), which Wario Max and Hunter sent too. I hear there was much fist pumping involved.
Part of the group then went back to the 45 Boulder, where Paul (on his first try of the day) and Nick both sent their first V8s with The 45 Sit!
The week before I had tried The 45 Stand (V7) but kept getting about 1 inch from sticking the dyno. After pondering how I could possibly jump higher for a whole week, it somehow happened and I finally sent the problem.
Next, we went over to Apex (V4) and Low Ride (V5). There were a bunch of sends on Apex, but nada on Low Ride. It’s a tough one. Meanwhile, the other part of the group was working on Herr Right (V7), which Nate sent. We then went over to the Gin and Juice Area, a part of Governors we hadn’t really explored before. Some of the group did Swamp Foot (V2) and some of us decided to basically kill ourselves trying No Bedlam (V8) and Gin and Juice (V9). Those top outs are rough! Well, at least we have some new projects for next time.
As the sun went down, Nick sent Cobra (V5) while drinking a beer. There may have been some other beer, scotch and wine consumed, as per usual. And then we went to Bube’s Brewery, where the projects didn’t end. We decided to order some Chernobyl wings, made with ghost pepper sauce. If one eats 12 of these, that person gets a free t-shirt. Our waiter challenged us to a free beer for the first one of our group to finish two – a much better reward. Esten won. Eric challenged me to eat two, period, and I would get my beer back from his climbing challenge. I won. Or might have actually lost. I should’ve learned from my previous ghost pepper incident. It took them quite a while to figure out how to split our check. Maybe they just wanted us to stay for the gender-bending karoake. But luckily, we got out of there before any of us was forced up to the mic.
On the way home, Max asked if 45 Stand was my proudest send, because I had tried it a bunch last year and completely failed – so sending it was a sure sign that I had actually improved as a climber. It got me to thinking, because “proudest” send isn’t necessarily your hardest grade. After some thought, I think I decided that mine was Tranced Out and Dreaming in Ibex about 2 1/2 years ago. It was exciting because it was my first V6 (and I had tried it and not sent the first time I went to Ibex), but it was more so my proudest send because it proved to myself that I was not only back from my ACL tear the year before but overcame the injury enough to be an even better climber than prior to my knee surgery. What would you consider to be your proudest send?