Friday, October 1, 2010

About the October 2010 Header Photo

Looking back, I do not know how this scene, featuring Seneca Rocks, WV, has not appeared at the top of my blog before now. Sure, I featured part of Seneca as the March 2010 Header Photo, but that part of Seneca, a formation known as the Gendarme, no longer exists.
I first climbed at Seneca in the fall of 1976 and climbed there rather steadily the next three and half years. I have climbed off and on at Seneca ever since, but not often enough or as often as I would like or would have liked.
Unlike West Virginia’s New River George or New York’s Gunks, Seneca offers a true summit, the south summit. Once a climber attains it, the only way down is to rappel. Comprised of the same rock as the Gunks, whereas the Gunks lie horizontal to its bedding plane, offering long horizontal cracks, Seneca lies perpendicular its bedding plane, offering long vertical cracks, some a hundred feet long.
Because Seneca lies perpendicular to its bedding plane and rises from the surrounding area like a knife blade, it offers two main climbing faces, the eastern face which gets the morning light and the western face, pictured here, which receives the afternoon and evening light. The depression in the center is the Gunsight notch, where the Gendarme used to stand.

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