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That rock got bitch slapped by some bad ass beta

August 31, 2011

While the East Coast got battered by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, northern West Virginia managed to (almost) stay dry.

The climbers: Art, Esten, Priscilla, Bob, Eric, Jackie, and Pepper
Guests: Brian, Rob, Ben and Kirby
Hydration: Talisker 18, Stone Ruination, 21st Amendment Back in Black, Blue Moon, Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Bier Ale, Hair of the Dog

Black Scar

Ben on Black Scar (V1 HB)

With a desire to get out of the city and subsequently escape Irene and her strong winds and downpours, a group of DC climbers headed out to Coopers Rock for the weekend.  Upon arriving in WV early in the morning after a late departure, Esten, Priscilla, Pepper and Arthur set up camp at Chestnut Ridge and after a few drinks they finally called it a night at 4AM.  The next morning, after the usual camping breakfast of bacon (and egg burritos), they headed to the boulders to meet up with some Sport Rock friends; Rob, Ben, and Kirby.

As usual the day was filled with equal amounts of bouldering and hydrating.  But, most importantly, it marked the return of FRS-ten and his beloved pitbull Pepper to Coopers and outside climbing after a month hiatus due to his middle knuckles being 3 times their normal size.  Now that they were back to being only 2 times their normal size, Esten has been taken off the injury list and put on the “able to climb but gimpy” list while Arthur was re-added to the gimp list due to failing shoulders; however, he continues to climb.  The major events of the day were Esten returning the rock that had been dug up from under Ship’s Traverse back to its rightful place and Priscilla sending Ship’s Mantel (V2) and A Touch of Tango (V2).  After the day of bouldering and hydrating, Esten, Priscilla and Art returned to their Chestnut Ridge campsite for a delicious dinner of lamb shoulder with a side of lamb-fat fried polenta and julienned carrots & sauteed spinach.

Ship's Mantle

Priscilla sent Ship's Mantle (V2) on Saturday.

Bitch Slap

Brian made some good progress on Bitch Slap Arete (V5). Now, if he would only climb outside more than once a year...

Having survived the storm, Bob, Eric and Jackie drove out to West Virginia on Sunday for much less gloomy weather.  And despite losing power and having a completely dead cell phone, Brian miraculously woke up on time to make his once-a-year appearance outside of the climbing gym.  After warming up on the aptly named “Warm-up Boulder” in the Roadside Rocks area, the crew hiked over to the problem that Eric had been dreaming about for months: Bitch Slap Arete Variation (V5).

Before that day, it was thought that the only way for a shorter person to send Bitch Slap was to use a sharp and painful finger slot near the top.  But, as usual, Eric defied the mere mortal man’s beta and had no use for the tape wrapped around his fingers.  Here is the video you’ve all been waiting for:

You may wonder what was with the screaming banshee at the end of that video.  Well, it was the culmination of Jackie’s summer-long battle with Roundhouse (V5).  Esten’s accounting of the event:

“Jackie did the whole problem perfectly the first try, then turned into a liquid and poured off the top.  Hit the mat and gave the dirtiest look and said F*** you, then stormed off.”

So basically, Jackie didn’t send Roundhouse because halfway through the problem she transformed into Alex Mack.

Ship's Traverse

Jackie on Ship's Traverse (V5) after Bob gave her the beta.

At least Jackie had one small victory on an otherwise frustrating day.  Before the Roundhouse tragedy, the crew spent some time flailing on the wet-as-usual Tomb Raider Roof (V7) and then on the Ship’s Prow boulder.  After stealing a countless amount of beta from Bob, Jackie was finally able to give back to the cause by figuring out the last move on Ship’s Prow (V5).  Of course, that was only after Uncle Beta skilled her on the middle of Ship’s Traverse (V5).  Happy to have worked out the moves that had been eluding them, both Jackie and Bob left with a new resolve to finish up those old projects.  Priscilla also made some great progress on her project Ship’s Traverse Variation (V3).

And finally!  Someone sent the Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Bier Ale, which had somehow survived, battered but intact, through various trips this summer.

(And yes, if you were wondering, almost every classic problem at Coopers is a V5.  That’s just how it is.)

Here is Art’s photo album from the weekend:

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