Saturday, September 7, 2013

Livin' local

It's closing on two months since I got back from Colorado, and another fun school year has started.  This semester I get to be both teacher and student, as I take an online astronomy course to fulfill part of my continuing ed credits.  Funny how I used to dread the start of fall classes, and now I'm so excited about the material that I'm already a week ahead on my work.  It probably doesn't hurt that I can pour myself a pumpkin ale as I study!

Since my return I've gotten to spend a lot of time going out and revisiting favorite boulders, checking out new ones, and even hitting some that I'd always meant to get back to but had never made time for.  A couple days ago I had the day off for Rosh Hashanah, and went up to Rocks State Park, a place where I'd love to spend more time but am always deterred by the thought of beltway traffic.  I was pleasantly surprised how accessible most of the boulders were, thinking that the approaches would be more overgrown than we found them to be.  I put in several good burns on the Right Cross Problem, but quickly realized that what I had thought to be allergies was actually sickness, and I found myself too drained to get any more climbing in. Looking forward to getting back and finishing it up though, and especially excited to try Moby Dick, which now looks far more doable than I ever remember.

With my friend Jeff briefly in back the area before moving out west, I took the opportunity to check out some of the boulders down on the Potomac that I'd been meaning to visit for a while.  We didn't really know what anything was, but the scenery was gorgeous and there was plenty to do.

I've also spent a good bit of time climbing around Frederick recently.  Our trips to Bushwhack have felt really good, especially watching new friends quickly put down some of our favorite problems there.  I also managed a brief visit to the Acre, but only had time for a quick run up Beehad before we drove to another boulder down the road that Dan wanted to check out.  It would already have been an exciting problem, even without the rattlesnakes on top.

We fit in a few good sessions at Sugarloaf too.  Approaches are still bad for a few of the boulders I'm itching to get back on, but it's been fun to check out more of the stuff up top.  One of my favorites has been a little compression overhang just below the overlook.  A great little climb, even if it did rip the rubber off the back of the shoes that had been resoled just two weeks earlier!

And now it actually feels like fall.  Temperatures cooling, leaves crunching as I walk, and projects waiting. For now, I'm off to show Ilchester a little love at the first Adopt-a-Crag of the season.  For anyone who hasn't been to one, they're a great chance to come out and take care of our local resources, all while making new friends and getting in a bit of climbing at spots you might not normally make it to. The Mid Atlantic Climbers have four more scheduled this year, so come on out and see for yourself!

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