Sunday, May 11, 2014

Rockfest 2014

Two weekends ago, the Mid Atlantic Climbers hosted their annual Rockfest stewardship event, which for the past two years has been at Rocks State Park in Maryland.  This year they decided to go big, and held it at regional bouldering hotbed Coopers Rock in West Virginia.  Over 80 volunteers came out to work on a variety of projects throughout the park, including re-gravelling a parking lot, painting, clearing brush and fallen trees, trail improvements, and graffiti removal.

My group started at the Picnic Table area, cleaning years of caked chalk off the Mushroom boulder.

It stayed clean for almost two hours!

I also spent a few hours clearing trees that had fallen in Hurricane Sandy, and worked up a huge appetite for the highlight of my weekend... a huge table full of pizzas provided by Pies & Pints.

We were scheduled to work for the rest of the afternoon, but with most of the projects already completed we were free to climb until reconvening at the camp site for dinner from Black Bear and kegs from Mountain State and Chestnut.  The traditional Rockfest rain hit that evening, but we were still able to watch Almost Alpine and give away a ton of raffle prizes.  Asana was an especially big contributor to the evening, loading the table up with chalk bags, hats, cinch bags, chalk, and even donating a Pro Spotter pad.  Their gear also made a great bed for me that evening when I decided against setting up my tent in the rain.

With clear skies and nicely dried rock the next morning, everyone enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast cooked up by Solid Rock Climbers for Christ to fuel them for a day of hard bouldering.

I had gotten in a bit of bouldering on Saturday, but was too tired from dragging logs to get much done.  At least, that was the case at the end of the day when Charlie and I were trying to knock off most of the Picnic Table climbs before dinner, and I was actually having to work at problems that I can normally warm up on. Earlier, after several laps on Mad Butcher Traverse, we went to the cave to see if I could finish The Disguise. Unfortunately none of my attempts to stick the crux throw paid off, which I'm pretty sure is because I was actually letting go in anticipation of falling.  At least Charlie got it, so if nothing else I got to experience a vicarious send.  While big moves aren't my thing, I love how delicate the rest of the problem is.

He also made Mountaineer's Route Direct look good, skipping the low left sloper entirely to lock off on the small slot and make a huge bump to the good pockets.

Sunday I had big plans to climb Coral and a couple others that I'd been wanting to do in cool weather, but my lower back was feeling one wrong twist away from a bad pull.  Rather than trying to push through it and risk injuring myself for the summer, I (mostly) stayed off the rocks and just enjoyed watching my friends climb. Charlie made quick work of several classics, including Allusionist and Death Block, and I was especially excited to see Chris take down Roof of Death.

A great weekend all around, and being able to get out a few days later to finish my slab project at Bushwhack, I was glad I had taken it easy that Sunday.  Let's just hope that level of maturity stays with me as things continue to warm up.  Looking forward to getting back to Coopers though, and especially want to take a shot at Love Ta Hate if anyone wants to work some tall slab scariness with me.  

In the meantime, getting ready for an early lunch and a few climbs with my mom.  Wishing all you other moms out there a happy Mother's Day!

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