Projects Fall the New River Gorge as the Rendezvous Aproaches

posted by dpm on 05/11/2010

Last weekend, Mikey Williams, guidebook author and local celebrity, found the temps needed to send his “Mega Proj’ 3” during a cold snap that sent West Virginia shoppers clambering for new sweatshirts at Wal-mart.
 
 
 
 He dubbed the route Trebuchet.  Mikey explained, “A Trebuchet is a medieval catapult that slowly lifts heavy objects up into the air before slinging them violently towards the ground. That is kind of describes the route perfectly.”
 
 
Trebuchet ascends the center of the Cirque, a gently arching expanse of Endless Wall with a consistently steep pitch. The route extends an existing 13b by climbing out an improbable roof after a mediocre shake. The consistent nature of the route and brilliant movement will certainly make it a classic. This timely addition (the New River Rendezvous is May 13-15th) and Mikey’s other recent addition, Mono Loco at Beauty Mountain bring the number of established routes 5.14a or harder in the New River Gorge to eight. Many other equipped projects beckon an ascent including six more bolted projects at the Cirque, three equipped lines in the Coliseum of Summersville Lake, The Pebble Project at the Meadow and Hoax for Clocks, the route that almost fell to Sharma last year.
 
On the other end of Endless Wall, North Carolina climber Pat Goodman fired off a longstanding project dubbed Archarya on the same crisp day that Mikey fired his test piece.
 
Photo courtesy of Dave Sharratt
 
Archarya is a gem that ascends the line left of Thieves in the Temple at Fern Buttress. Pat spent several days on the line over the last year and a half. Unlike many hard traditional lines done in the last decade, Pat top roped Archarya only once to make sure it would "go clean" before assaulting it from the ground up, destroying two cams in the process while repeatedly falling on the shallow horizontals.
 
 
Photos courtesy of Dave Sharratt
 
Those wishing to test their meddle on this traditional New River test-piece should bring a bag of power. An unprotected 5.12 section leads to the first piece of gear and the V9/10 crux before diving into technical and “somewhat run-out” 5.11+R arête climbing.  “I don’t know man, I tried that move and I couldn’t do it” said fellow climber Mikey Williams about Archarya. “It’s hard. I think it could be 14a, but what do I know.”
 
With the New River Rendezvous around the corner and companies like Evolv and Sterling sending their “A” team roster of athletes, many of these routes will be repeated and hopefully new ground will be broken. Stay tuned.