West Virginia – wild and wonderful

After an unintended rest-day, as we waited for the level of the New to drop to the perfect level for Surprise Wave and it was dropping steadily and quite slow for the last two days, but then suddenly it plummeted down and we did not make it to the wave in time and instead we once more drive to Bubby City on saturday the 19th of May. This time we walk in to the “Beer Wall”, which features some very beautiful sport-routes. To warm up we climb some very familiar sounding routes, beeing a bavarian, like “Micro Brew” and “Near Beer”. The last route was “St. Pauli Girl” (5.10b = 7-) which has a few difficult moves to start with and finishes with a great overhang!

On the next day we paddle the New River Gorge Run at a level of around 5,5 foot. There are some new playspots in, like Lower Railroad, Ender Wave and Greyhound Wave. The so called Ender Wave is quite nice at this level, so we decide to hike in the next day and do some park, hike and play. On the way through the forest to the railroads we even meet some deer.

After two exhausting paddling-days we decide to take a day of paddling and go climbing at the so called “Bridge Area”, more specifically on the wall “Bridge Buttress”. From top of some of the routes you can see the famous New River Gorge Bridge.

Wednesday the 23rd of May is a special day for two reasons. First of all it is our friends Charlies` birthday and we do a birthday-run down the New River Gorge and secondly we witness an expedition going down the Gorge with a huge self build wooden boat.

LINK: http://www.nps.gov/neri/historyculture/batteaux-on-the-new.htm
Everybody was calling them just the “Bateau”-guys (their official name was “The Marshall Expedition) and they were accompanied on the river by many fans, spectators on rafts, kayaks and even on SUPs. The expedition was also funded by the National Geographic and if you want to know more, read on here or watch this video on vimeo.

On the next day I had the chance to paddle the Upper Gauley with a group of video-boaters, great fun! During the following night it rained loads and the next day the New has again more water (around 5,8 feet) and we once more try our luck on the Ender-Wave.

After another New River Gorge Run (which one definitely can`t do enough of ;-) ) we get into more climbing at the Endless Wall and the Bridge Area. In the hole New River Gorge are over 1.600 climbing routes, a
As our last highlight on our Fayetteville-stay we went for some park & huck at the Kanawha-falls! This is one of the greatest park & huck places I have ever visited, where the Gauley and the New River flow together.

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