This weekend I went down to New Paltz, New York and attended the Craggin’ Classic event staged by the American Alpine Club. Friday night Jonathan Thesenga and Brittany Griffith (Black Diamond athletes) presented their slide-show but first they gave away some BD shwag. I got a shirt that was to big for me but still sweet, a plastic pint cup that is not bio degradable but Brittany assured me it was reusable, some BD stickers,¬† The first ascent of SUPERCRACK DVD, and free PBR cans…
The slide-show was great, very informal with questions asked during the presentation, and a full on discussion about Tepui, Venezuela. I wrote an article about Mikey Shaefer, Jonathan Thesenga, Brittany Griffith and Kate Rutherford establishing a free-line up the steep east face of Acopan Tepui, so actually meeting these guys was pretty exciting. Their trip to Venezuela was inspiring to say the least. Their footage showed them trekking though some pretty unbearable conditions. The jungle was tight and hot, and hiking to the base of the cliff was a daunting task, up steep uncharted territory. But despite all the treachies of travel and work they accomplished their mission and successfully freed a new route.
It rained for Saturday’s Craggin’ Classic Competition, so unfortunately not many people showed. Potato and I got up from our campsite under the rain and made our way to breakfast burrito’s and waited out the monsoon. At 10:00 am the rain slowly dissipated and we hiked our way to the crag. We climbed 2 route’s “bloody knuckles” and “hands full of crap” they took us all day to climb (first ascents on both). These climbs were onsight attempts of climbing the most interesting aspects we could find, there was a lot of hang doggin’ down climbing, and run outs. These two climbs won us free memberships to the Mohonk Preserve, and a few chuckles from the crowd. The prizes were awarded at dinner on the second floor of Bacchus in DT New Paltz. Potato and I stuffed ourselves with all you can eat gourmet tacos, salad, fruit salad with strawberries, and free beer tickets. I slept well through the chilly spring night, full of IPA and chicken tacos.
Sunday was a chilly climbing day but fun nonetheless. I even ran into Brittany and her fellow climbers, and I had a chance to thank them again for coming out and telling us about her adventure in Venezuela. I highly recommend checking out their slide-show if it happens to be coming your way and if you are in New River Gorge, West Virginia area, you can meet up with them for New River Rendezvous this weekend!