We went to bed early Friday night (9:30pm guys. We are becoming old.) so we could get up early and go climb at Crowder’s Mountain with a Meetup Group we joined. One of the guys we met at an Inner Peaks Meetup Climbing Night had taken over the group and planned an outing to Crowders – about 30 minutes West of Charlotte – so we decided to stay in town to participate.
It ended up being a perfect day to be outdoors – temps in the 50s and 60s, with cloud cover to prevent from getting too hot.
We decided to start off on the backside of David’s Castle and after the steep hike along the Backside Trail (tackling the 336 wooden steps like pros!), we were ready to set up a temporary camp at the base of the wall.
The first route tackled by the group was Ooga Chocka. We had 4 people in our group, but there were so many climbers out that is was easy to meet others and have interesting conversations.
Once the group finished Ooga Chocka, we headed over towards The Fortress for the group to work on Finger Crack and Big Crack. I got to practice my lead belaying skills, while another guy in the group got to practice his placement settings for Trad climbing.
This area was filled with so many climbers with amazing skills – I throughly enjoyed watching a group of lead climbers tackle a beautiful overhang.
We brought Moose along with us, and she proved to be a great crag dog with only a few “I don’t want to climb over this rock” moments. She is an amazing adventure partner, and I love being able to take her on these adventures – especially since depriving her of her homeland.
Speaking of Alaska – the past week has given me a serious case of FOMO! Valdez (my favourite city in Alaska) just hosted an amazingly successful Ice Climbing Festival and the Iditarod is coming up. I also keep running into other people who lived in Alaska as well – I was on the phone with a lady raised in Anchorage on Friday, and some of the climbers we chatted with on Saturday used to live outside of Fairbanks. We figured it out when I asked if their dog Juneau was named after the city or the God. It was the former.
Walking back from The Fortress, we chose to go the shorter (but more difficult) path along what seems to be an unofficial trail. (The blue spray painted dots and the fact that it isn’t on the park map is what tipped me off.) If you’re up for a challenge, I say follow it from the overlook for a top-of-the-edge adventure that has steep drops off both sides.
If you’re in the Charlotte area and interested in meeting other climbers (especially if you’re relatively new to it, or looking for a partner), check out the meet up group. They’re trying to plan a lot of activities so that there is something for everyone, and it is a perfect setting for tackling something new and asking questions of the more advanced members.
How do you work on learning new skills?