I have been burning the candle at both ends this week, so you get a brief write up from climbing in WV a few weeks ago. Worse yet, I had this post all written except for the photos, and then I pressed “back” in my browser and lost it.
Isaac was keen to go rock climbing while in WV. On our last day there, Friday July 3rd, we hiked north on Rocky Ridge to an isolated sand stone outcropping we had spotted a week or two prior. We planned to do a few climbs on that rock, and then work our way back to the larger rocks farther south where we usually climb. The outcropping sloped up gently on one end. On the other end, a large chunk of the sandstone had split away from the rest of the rock. The resulting two foot wide gap was sculpted with iron minerals. Both ends of the gap were climbable. On the end closer to the trail, part of the outer rock had completely fallen away leaving a somewhat textured face. A foot-width crack on that face made a modestly challenging climb. My mom and I also tried to climb the smooth outer face.
We alternated setting up a top belay vs bottom belay. Isaac liked the top belay because he could be anchored in and lean over the edge to take pictures of the climber. The bottom belays were shadier. Our little rock outcropping occupied us for all day. I don’t know if I would come back, but it was fun to try out something new.
Since it was the first day of a three day weekend, we expected the trails to be busy. Around 10AM we started seeing a steady stream of hikers pass us on the trail 100 yards away. Most of them just hiked by, but some came over to see what we were doing. It is awkward trying to share a public space, and wishing people would stay six feet away. There were so many people hiking that we met another person we know, and we saw two other groups headed to climb the bigger rocks back south. In the ~35 years we have been hiking Dolly Sods, we have never seen anyone else climb the rocks we call the Medium Rocks. By the time we hiked home for the day, there were so many people on the trail that we had to fall in line, and we opted to wear our masks for the hike out.
The next day, flying home, we took a detour to go see the bigger climbing area nearby — Seneca Rocks. Link to the flight pictures.
The track needs some editing, which is too much effort for tonight. Check back later.