Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seneca climbing

I'm going to just tell [most of] the day with photos and captions because every time I go to Seneca I'm following my partner all day. I prefer it that way because I 110% cannot place gear, and I doubt I will ever be comfortable and confident enough to do that. Seneca is what is referred to as "traditional" climbing, or trad climbing. This means that you place gear as you go (in cracks and whathaveyou) to protect you against falls instead of clipping into preexisting bolts & hangers. The anchors/shuts at the tops of climbs are established (or else you'd end up leaving and loosing gear to rappel down if another method (e.g., tree) wasn't available to rap from.

Because I'm content to follow a partner (who has all the trad gear I don't own, haha), I tend to not pay a bit of attention to the climbs we do. I'm told before we climb what they are, their grade, etc. but it slips my mind later unless it was a really incredible climb that I loved (i.e., Gunsight Direct - a really awesome arĂȘte climb at Seneca that I adore).

I remember very little about the 5 pitches I climbed - or was it 4? - but we did climb the east face (backside from the road) of Seneca to stay out of the wind; it was a cold May day (it snowed the day after). I can also tell you that the last pitch I climbed Sunday was crimpy and technical at the bottom and that the middle involved a lot of movements similar to what I had to execute climbing that damn chimney climb the weekend prior + a lay-back crack, and that I had to traverse at the end of the pitch in a manner that created a lot of swing-factor if I'd fallen. I moved much more easily through the start moves than I thought I would. The crimpy edges were sharp and hurt, but I powered through. The chimney-esque maneuvers made me thankful I'd climbed that damn climb the weekend prior. The crack took some pondering, but went easily once I committed. And I realized my fear about the swing-factor during the traversing, but before I could mull on that fear I committed to the traverse because in reality it was a series of simple maneuvers I was very capable of doing. Jeremy even admitted after I was safe on the belay ledge that he was a little concerned for me as I did it.

So, without further ado, photos! (I swear one day I will get out my DSLR again and tote it around. The point and shoot is just so much easier to bring along everywhere. Maybe a new lens for the DSLR would make me use it more....hrrmmm.)

Approach from hell
Seneca - east face
Bundled up in both my synthetic down jacket and Jeremy's
Don't jump, its a doozy
You can see WV's highest point in the distance
Cheesin' on the north summit
Prepping for rappel
Awaiting my turn to rap down
Common Five-lined Skink
Northern fence lizard
No lizards were harmed (me or the real lizard)
Bleeding heart
Working my way up the 3rd pitch of the day
Cheesin' - this was before Jeremy told me someone died on this climb a few years ago
He said smile, I grimaced
Tossing out the rope that was stuck on the ledge during the rap

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