Developing near virgin North Carolina rock can be described in one word: dirty. Lichen grows everywhere and every route literally has to be cleaned and cleared as you go. Luckily we came prepared and our rack included one of those steel bristled BBQ grill brushes to hopefully make easy work of a dirty job. But even with the right tool for the job it was still a hassle but we went there to climb and the hassles that come with untrodden territory were not going to put a damper on the day.
Ben wanted to climb some virgin rock and soon found an odd flaring crack that opened to a right facing dihedral. He made quick work of the awkward but easy start and then had the distinct pleasure of battling a licheny dihedral. Armed with the brush he let loose and a flurry of black snow came raining down on me. Now with clean rock for his hands and feet he popped out left of the dihedral and scrambled to the anchors that he and Wes installed prior.
I followed and was quite surprised at how good the rock was. On the route there was nothing rotten and the rock still had that fresh grit feel that gets polished off as more and more people grab the same handholds and use the same feet. If you’ve ever climbed at Laurel Knob then you know that fresh grit feel I am talking about.
The route is not finished because there are definitely options to continue up but while we’re still exploring the under-developed wall the shiny new anchors seemed like a good place to stop.
All in all it was probably 60 feet of 5.7-ish climbing that just oozed adventure.