Time flies in Kentucky...
Have a look at the last 2 weeks.
I've already run through my first two boxes of bolts-- bought two more today. When the weather has not cooperated for climbing, I switch modes into sinking metal. I'm really pleased with my new additions thus far, now I just have to finish climbing them all! The stone here is so well suited for climbing it's almost strange. Lines of pockets, sculpted holds, inspiring features and brilliantly colored walls. I've cleaned a few new routes with nothing more than a tooth brush. Choss certainly exists however (like most areas it's probably 90% choss), but the sheer amount of rock overcomes this statistic.
We've been touring the landscape, taking notes, talking around and making friends. The potential for new routing here is staggering-- the primary obstacle remains to be access and many zones are far too sensitive to even have a peek at. Hopefully, with the tireless effort of the RRGCC and the local and traveling communities alike, we can continue to respect, secure and expand the incredible climbing here in Eastern Kentucky. As I said after my first visit here in 2009, I strongly believe this is America's greatest single pitch climbing resource... and there's a whole lot more where that came from.
With the arrival of some cooler temps I've revisited the Vader Project at the Darkside with some renewed stoke. First day back on the route I managed to do all of the moves-- completing a heinous boulder problem at 2/3 height that I feared to be impossible (at least for me). Over the next few days I continued making progress with better and better links, inspiring some confidence but also absolutely ruining my skin. My skin has had a rest now and tomorrow I'll return to this beast of a climb, hopefully with improved power. This has proved to be a seriously worthy opponent-- the hardest route I've ever tried. Regardless of it's difficulty, or of my success or failure, it's already proven a great learning experience.
The Vader Project takes the blank section of immaculate stone to the left of the obvious chalk line (Return of Darth Moll)
Scott comparing Bourbons
We toured the Buffalo Trace Distillery on our recent rest. It's a rad way to spend a rainy day and some of the best value for your money entertainment anywhere (it's free).
Alright... off to climb. Hope everyone out there is enjoying the fall!