Monday, February 1, 2010

About the February 2010 Header Photo

It seems that I have been spending a lot more time around the ocean than I have in the mountains. Thus my “summit” photo stock is slim to nil while I have an overabundance of new and recent “shore” photos waiting to be featured. So for this month I have reched far back into the archives and selected a scanned image from what was probably a Kodak Instamatic color print. That is why it is so grainy.

That’s me on top of the Gendarme, a twenty-five foot pinnacle that used to stand guard in the Gunsight notch of Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. It was a classic Seneca climb until it came crashing to the ground in the late 1980’s.

The Gendarme was only a 5.4 climb, but the protection was a couple of old rusty pitons along the short pitch and two or three bolts on top. The first move involved stepping off solid rock over what seemed like a hundred feet of thin air in order to gain the face. While the route was easy to lead, with good holds, the climber still looked down between their legs and saw nothing but a hundred feet of air between them and the rock ledge below until the small summit was gained.

The photo was taken with my camera by my climbing partner at the time, Paul Estler, on the occasion of my first ascent (I would climb it a few more times over the next few years), March 6, 1977. Those were the days!

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