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One hot weekend at Coopers and Governors

July 29, 2011

We are a group of DC-area boulderers stuck in a place with a lack of many giant pebbles.  So we end up venturing out to West Virginia or up to Pennsylvania on an almost weekly basis.  Last weekend, we did both.

The climbers: Art, Eric, Max, Jackie, Seth

Meet Coopers Rock in West Virginia, probably one of the most underrated bouldering fields.  Saturday was a hot one, and the porous sandstone often drips sweat on some problems even as others are bone dry.  Some of us have been climbing here for years, but we still manage to find more projects.

Such Sunsets V9

Max on Unnamed V6/7

Max and Jackie’s most recent obsession has been an unnamed problem next to Such Sunsets (V6/7), a problem that would be perfect if there ever was such a thing as climbing tag.  The sit start’s crimps are perfect Jackie holds, and the subsequent long moves are totally Mad Max’s style.  Some day, it will go, but even after lots of Max screaming it was clear that it would not be Saturday.  Fall and cooler temps couldn’t get here sooner!

Roof Problem V4

Eric on Roof Problem V4

We then switched to the easier, but super fun and overhanging Roof Problem (V4).  All of us sent it, including Eric and Jackie for the first time.

Tomb Raider Roof V7

Jackie on Tomb Raider Roof V7

Next, we moved on from the Tilted Tree area to Upper Rock City, home to a longstanding project for Art, Eric, and Jackie.  Tomb Raider Roof (V7) is one of the best problems in the forest, but also one of the hardest to work on in the summer because it is rarely dry.   Saturday was no exception, and although we even resorted to cheerleading-type lifts to try to dry off the higher holds, the water won out.

Assisted Bouldering ...

Channeling our inner cheerleader to try to dry off Tomb Raider Roof

After working on some other projects in Upper Rock City, it was time for a West Virginia cookout and a night of drinking by a lake in Bruceton Mills.  The mountain men sure know how to make that moonshine taste good – the addition of cinnamon sticks works wonders.

Bella Left V1

Seth at Governor Stable on the Mushroom Cap Boulder

The next day we set out for our “local” (if you can even call it that) bouldering area number 2.  Governor Stable in Pennsylvania is only open to climbers until the end of August, so we wanted to get at least one last session in.  Static Seth joined us for his first trip there and it was not hard to convince him to climb the highball slab on the Pyramid Boulder.  The temps were even hotter than on Saturday, but Eric still managed to show what a manteling beast he is by sending Creekside Traverse (V6) – although probably not the way the guide authors intended!  We went to check out Pebble Wrestling (V7), but it was way too slopey for the heat.  But the guys left with a new project on the Mushroom Cap Boulder.  Hopefully we’ll get in another session at Governors before it closes for the year.

Here’s the full set of photos from the weekend taken by Art:

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 11:19 pm

    That last picture of Eric is the best…

  2. The Wizard permalink
    August 3, 2011 3:15 pm

    Hey guys, very cool blog. I just wanted to chime in about “such sunsets” at Coopers. The problem in the picture is actually just right of “such sunsets” and is an unnamed flake problem in the v6/7 range done a few years back. That climb is super cool and definitely worth doing. “Such Sunsets” is a few feet to the left of that and climbs a not so obvious line up small sloping edges/scoops. A few of the holds are pretty friction dependent so you might want to wait a few months for that one. Happy climbing.

    • August 3, 2011 3:31 pm

      Damn, I think some other people we know have made the same mistake. Can’t believe this one’s not in the guide – seems like an obvious line. I thought that start was way too easy for V9 😉

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