East Coast Delights

November 21, 2011 at 22:08 | Posted in Rock Climbing | 3 Comments
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I had the great fortune of visiting a few excellent outdoor destinations in the Appalachian Mountains last week in New York, Georgia and North Carolina. Out East for my sister’s lovely wedding, after the weekend of festivities ended, I headed to upstate New York for two days of climbing with a friend of a friend in the Shawangunks. We managed to pull down 6 pitches each day swapping leads on climbs up to two pitches and ranging from 5.8- 5.10b/c. The “Gunks” is a great climbing destination and despite receiving much traffic there are endless routes and the ability to jump onto them off a carriage road that runs along the base of the climbs. With the New England foliage a burnt orange color and the near full moon rising each night over the eastern horizon we had two exquisite days of climbing new routes and pulling down on some great rock within two miles of the “Big Apple.” My most memorable site was from the belay ledge of Bonney’s Roof where I stood with the roof overhead running right into the adjacent wall. To the left the roof led to an overhanging arete where Nick was sky lined as he led up and out with the autumn colors spread below and away to the eastern horizon where in the paling glow of dusk the bright moon began its ascent over the night. Without camera, I will have to return equipped someday to repeat this awesome climb at the 5.9+ grade and snap the photo which will continue to grow in its immensity in my mind.

After visiting a couple more days with family in the area, I flew to Atlanta for another five days with a couple different friends. Joe picked me up in the middle of the night from the airport and we got home to his place in Athens at 5:30 a.m. passed out for a few hours and then went for a walk along Panther Creek to wash the bad night’s sleep out of the system. The next morning we were off to the Tallulah River Gorge for the first of two days of paddling this gem of a easy class five small river/creek. With the flow at about 600cfs the first day and then pumping up to 750 cfs the second day we enjoyed good weather and fun camping in the Georgia Mountains, at the south end of the Appalachians. The Tallulah is know for its 70 foot slide rapids Oceana which always packs a punch midslope with the “Thing” a giant rooster tail thrown up by an underwater rock ledge. After blasting through the left side of the the thing 50/50 you end upside down in the hole at the bottom of the slide. I had a better ride the second day staying to the center of the left rooster tail entry and finding smooth water the whole ride downhill. The first day I was a bit left and dropped off the ledge with a decent jolt to my back which left me vulnerable to the things power and I was swept over and upside down in the pool at the bottom. Other than one other role at teh top of the Gauntlet and a swim of the 40 foot slide at Bridal veil by our paddling partner Jake, we had a smooth trip down the gorge both days.
Brian picked me up at the parking lot after that and took me north to the outward bound center in Brevard N.C where we spent two days climbing the beautiful Looking Glass dome in the Pisgah National Forest. With four pitches the first day including the Nose route and Dumdeedumdum at 5.10c we had a great intro to climbing Looking Glass with Brian’s OB friend Ryan. He loaned us the rack the next day and Brian and I headed back to climb the first pitch of the Sundial Crack and then onto the first pitch of Sensimilia at 5.9+ my best lead in the Pisgah. We then got rained out and headed to Asheville which might be reckoned to the Missoula of the east if you wanted to compare. With a nice river running near town, great mountains and trails nad outdoors right out your door, I was certainly enamored with this great southern town.

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