Naturally, when I say “in Charlottesville”, it means that I am within reasonable range using my car. This past weekend was no different… I was up in DC for Aleya and roommates’ annual “3rd of July” party. It was also great to see Katie L. there. There I also met Patrick and Phil who were part of the crew for the rest of the weekend.
After the party and a few hours’ sleep, Aleya, Patrick, Phil and I drove to Seneca Rocks, where we met up with John. As long-time “crack of noon” club members, we started up Roy Gap road as the Sun was crossing to the other side of the formation.
Not surprisingly, there was already a group on our first choice route. What we didn’t expect was that we’d know the climbers who were on “Skyline Traverse”.. friends of Aleya’s from the Maryland rock gym. After some chatting, we decided to scramble up the much easier (and much less interesting) climb “Worrell’s Thicket”. Moving over, we spied a line of bolts which looked more interesting. So we split into a team of 3 (Aleya-John-myself) and 2 (Patrick-Phil), with the team of 3 climbing the bolted line, and the other team climbing “Worrell’s Thicket”, planning to meet at Lower Broadway Ledge.
The line of bolts forms T&T. John started up, reaching a belay without too much trouble. I followed, carrying the big pack (which turned out to be a pain, given the internal frame and oversized nature of the pack). Aleya brought up the rear, making it a group of three at the hanging belay. After another very short pitch, John transitioned to the “Kauffman-Cardon” route, which brought us to the ledge and reunited us with the almost-napping group of 2, who’d had a considerably quicker climb. A bit more discussion on the ledge and we opted to rappel off and head back for dinner, feeling satisfied with the day’s climb.
We relaxed in camp for a while, mostly waiting for the dutch oven dinner to finish (apricot-pineapple chicken). As this was the 4th of July, campers around us were launching fireworks and generally partying. In fact, things almost got out of hand when two neighboring campers tried to fight… fortunately their better halves managed to break it up.
Monday morning dawned and we were out of camp by 830, heading back up to the cliffs. This time headed for the west face, in the shade. Our objective was the summit this time, via “Conn’s West”. Aleya and I had done this route last year, skipping the direct finish in favor of the traditional finish. The direct finish is far more pleasant, and not really any harder. We split into two teams of two (Aleya-myself, Patrick-Phil), and headed up. After we’d all gotten up the 3-pitch route the next stop was the summit. After the quick scramble up we enjoyed the view for a bit before heading down.
After the 220′ rappel we moseyed back for pizza in town, then headed back to our respective homes.
Unfortunately I neglected to bring a camera (or a helmet! but I was able to borrow one of those), so I have no pictures from the trip.. However, Aleya has posted her pictures here. All the pictures in this article are from her. Enjoy!