Sunday, October 25, 2009
First Rumbling Trip of the Season
I finally made my way to Rumbling Bald yesterday and my wife and I had one of the best climbing days in a while! After dealing with the worst traffic I've ever seen in Chimney Rock, we pulled into the nice, new paved Bald parking area. After so many years of climbing there and being used to the drive up the dirt road, I can honestly say that this was nicer...the only problem is that now it is over run with folks that normally wouldn't have gone up the old dirt road to begin with. We had intentions of heading out to the Middle and Far East boulders, but when we got there, we realized that the place was still covered in poison ivy. But, you couldn't tell from the parking lot that it really wasn't prime bouldering season at the Bald yet...the place was packed and busting at the seams. Luckily, most of the folks seemed to be at the West Side and not the East Side. We encountered quiet a few Bald gumbies that had no clue where they were or how to get to where they wanted to go. There were SOOooo many folks wanting to go to the Far East for the "plethora" of V0-V1's, but didn't realize how tough it is to travel through the East Side and actually get all the way out there. I gave trail directions, for the easiest ways I've found to get out that way, to 2-3 different groups...but, all of them ended up circling back around past us 10-20 minutes later, lost and confused. Ahh...the beauty of Rumbling Bald in full swing!
On much better notes, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, the leaves were brilliant and the temps were good for climbing. As mentioned, we had planned on heading out to the Middle and Far East, but we ended up just staying around Breakfast and Politician instead. Katy had never been to the East Side, so everything was new for her. She had never seen the location of so much of my blood, sweat and tears last season...Morning Star, a V7, one of my proudest sends. She took a couple of pictures of me on the route, and they are posted above. While in the Breakfast area, I sent a few new routes, including Around the Horn V3 and Microchip V5 (according to the grade change on the Rumbling Bald Bouldering site). This was only my 3rd or 4th V5 at the Bald, so I was pretty excited about this tick. Even more impressive was Katy, my wife, on her own little sending spree. She has been projecting a few V1's and V2's in the Bearfields and Jedi, but yesterday she sent 3 V1's in the Breakfast area before heading over to the Politician area and sending Trifling, a V2! I was so impressed by how hard she climbed and how committed she was to finishing some of these routes...makes me proud to be married to this fine lady:) After the Breakfast area, we headed over to the Politician area and I sent a few more new routes, including a fun ride up the Pleasant Arete, a V2. Hill of Beans, a V4, was another good tick for me on the day...helped me to "bat for the cycle" to use a baseball term (a V2, V3, V4 and V5 in one day). After we both climbed at the top of our game, we were satisfied to head home and enjoy some apples we picked up along the way...finishing up a great day at Rumbling!