Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Yam, Garrett College

I'm in the Pitssburgh airport on the way back from doing a seminar and show at Garrett College, just over the border in Maryland. Garrett is an interesting school with a strong outdoor program, one of the few schools to offer various paddling and climbing certification programs. Part of my job yesterday was to go out to a new climbing/bouldering area with some of the students, I didn't think it would be all that great but it turned into a classic sunny fall day with stellar fall color in the forest canopy. The rock we went to is part of the ASI complex, which includes a kayaking course literally on top of a mountain. More on that some other time, but it's an amazing bit of technology. Anyhow, our rocks turned out to be excellent, with a wide variety of new boulder problems just waiting to be done. The students and I got pumped silly and shredded our skin, perfect. Days like that are a big reason I like traveling and doing slide shows, it was a great experience. I'll never look at the east-coast woods the same way again, there's a lot of rocks hidden out there!

We went up on Yam on last Sunday, but it was miserably cold, just above freezing and not generally sunny. A cold wind didn't help, but we managed to work pitches 7 and 8, pitch 7 is definitely hard, solid 5.12, excellent climbing with a very sustained section. I couldn't come close to redpointing with numb feet and hands, but it's all there. I just hope we get a sunny day to try the continuous ascent, and that we're fit enough to do it. Four pitches of mid-5.12 in a row is difficult for me, especially after a 5.13 pitch and another 5.11+ pitch. Pitch 7 is the redpoint crux for sure... The ground was frozen hard as we walked up, we're going to need some decent weather in mid-October to get this rig done.

Thanks to the Pittsburgh airport for the free internet, one of the few airports I travel through that offers that. I really rely on the net for business communication, it irks me to pay the $10 for the hour of net I use while waiting for flights, sometimes twice in the same day. So right on Pittsburgh airport.

Ok, my late flight is boarding now, back home tonight, hopefully up on Yam early in the morning!



Pete said...

Was up on Yam yesterday. Saw you were up there working 'Aerostar'(?) and then read the SENT in the register at the end of the day. Nice work fella!

Will Gadd said...

That sure was a fantastic, perfect fall day on Yam! We did indeed send, thanks! The "Aerostar" was actually my beat-up old van, grin, we're calling the route "Yamabushi."