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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Road Trip day 7: Climbing Seneca Rocks Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, WV, Friday, 22 July 2016 11:00pm

My sister Anaka met up with us this morning (she arrived last night, but we were already asleep). We met up with our climbing guide at 8:30 and spent the whole day climbing.

It was amazing. I've been climbing outdoors a handful of times, and, while it's been fun, this was the first place I've felt like I would come to regularly if it were reasonably close. The quartzite feels really good on the hands (solid, but rarely sharp), the formations have a lot of variety, and the views are spectacular. We couldn't have had a better day, weather-wise. Warm, but breezy, so we didn't get too hot, but had lots of sun for views across the valley.

This was my first time doing multi-pitch climbing, where you climb partway up a rock face, stop on a ledge, pull your ropes up, and climb further. We did two three-pitch climbs with a short scramble between them, which got us up to the summit of the south peak (also a first for me to reach a summit!).

The first set of three was pretty straightforward, so we opted for a slightly more difficult set of three for the second. That turned out to push us pretty well. There were a few spots where it took several tries to figure out how to do it. That's pretty routine for us in the gym, but it's a different feeling when you're halfway up a mountainside. We all made it through, though.

We rappelled down the east face (another first!) to a larger ledge where Anaka did a couple more climbs (and I tried one, but couldn't get the first few moves), and then hiked out. The only downside was that, due to a misunderstanding early on, Anaka and I had left our comfortable shoes on the west side of the mountain, so we had to hike out to the road in our climbing shoes, which is bad for the shoes and very painful for the feet.

We picked up some pizzas at one of the general stores in Seneca Rocks, and returned to our cabin and had a well-earned soak in the hot tub. Great day overall.

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