Yesterday I stopped down at Northwest Branch after work hoping to beat the rain and get in a little rock time before heading up to the gym. I might have been successful had I not walked all the way down to Long Wall, still hopeful through increasingly frequent rain drops, but of course as I reached my destination the skies began to open up and I had to be content with a good walk through the woods.
The park had actually fared better in the hurricane than I had expected, though it was still visibly affected. With reports of the river rising to 10 feet at its peak, my fear was that the stairs built during the Access Fund conservation team's visit would be wiped out, but at least those turned out to have been spared. Debris was piled up in several places though, both against the boulders and on the trails, and several spots now looked more like beaches than riverbanks.
Fortunately, Sandy was at least considerate in the timing of her arrival, showing up less than two weeks before an already scheduled cleanup event. Next Saturday, November 10th, the Mid-Atlantic Climbers are hosting their final Adopt-A-Crag event of the fall season at Northwest Branch. Registration begins in the parking lot at 8:00 that morning, with work running from 9:00-12:00. Afterward, stick around for a gear raffle and some climbing with new friends. If you haven't been to NWB before, now's the perfect time to check it out!
Also, for anyone planning to climb there who hasn't seen the updated guide I've been working on, check it out over on mdguides, along with several others from our area. There's still a bit missing from it, but I'm hoping to find time for a few more updates before next weekend.
Hope to see everyone out there!