Bob Wray's Spring 2012 Blue Ridge Climb-In
This past weekend my daughter, Sarah, and I went to Meadows of Dan, VA for our first Blue Ridge Climb-in at Bob Wray's 40 acres of oaks, tulips and rhodies. As a self taught climber, it was my first organized group climb and it was great to meet and learn from so many experienced climbers. Besides our host Bob, others in attendance included Leslie (from VA), Wiley (from the Atlanta area), Sarah (from Indiana), Alex and Janice (both from Buffalo, NY), Greg, Marc, and Jim. We even had a special appearance from Ken Vangorder (aka Cecil Hemp) peddling his home grown ramps and Kno Knonsense Knot book.
Some folks arrived as early as Thursday, but Sarah and I didn't get in until after dark on Friday. By all accounts climbing weather on Friday was perfect, but rain was threatening for the rest of the weekend. Luckily when we woke up on Saturday morning the sky was still blue. Bob took us first timers on a tree tour through the rhododendron maze and Sarah and I decided our first climb would be in a ~90 foot tulip that Bob uses as his training tree. We were spoiled in that almost all of Bob's trees have a tag line or two in them so instead of spending 2/3 of our time throwing and setting lines, we were able to get right into the trees. Here are some pictures of the first climb:
After lunch Wiley was nice enough to demonstrate his yoyo setup and let me give it a try. Later he and I went out in search of a good climbing tree where I could practice a real yoyo ascent and hopefully complete my first tree-to-tree traverse. We found a great oak rising out of the rhodies and Wiley coached me through a fun and successful 25 foot traverse 60 feet above ground. What a great climber and teacher he is. Thanks again, Wiley.
Soon after gathering our gear it started to rain and with the forecast for rain the rest of the weekend we decided to head home instead of dealing with wet sleeping bags.
Thanks Bob for hosting a great event (and for the great food Saturday night)! Sarah and I really enjoyed meeting everyone.
There are a few more pictures at https://picasaweb.google.com/104169991047006250960/April222012