United States
South Fayette

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    • Day 16–21

      New River Gorge (West Virginia)

      September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      The first national park of the trip: New River Gorge!
      What a beautiful place.
      We stayed 5 nights and went bouldering every day. The area is very diverse, some boulders are in dense forest, others are right in the riverbed, some accesses are only a few minutes, others took us more than an hour just to get to a single boulder we wanted to try.
      All in all it was great and quite adventurous. When I asked the Ann Arbor crew about bears in the area, they said we wouldn't see any and that we were more likely to step on a snake looking for bears! Well...turns out they were right. On our last day we went to the Meadow Top area, a beautiful boulder field next to a cliff with a dense rhododendron forest. It was early in the day and there were no hikers or other climbers around. We were struggling through the thicket when I suddenly heard a scream from Birte. "Snake! Snake! You almost stepped on it!" I froze, then slowly turned around. I still couldn't see it. Birte had stepped back a few meters. The snake seemed to have frozen as well, so I took a few more steps away. Now there was a snake between Birte and me, blocking the way. It was a copperhead, easily recognizable by its copper-colored head. Luckily I missed it by a few centimeters. Maybe I even touched it lightly. But we were lucky. It was already half grown. The babies are more dangerous because they cannot control how much venom they use when they bite. This one didn't bite, but froze, which is their way of hiding and trusting their camouflage (which is really, really good...I just couldn't see it, even though I knew it was there!) Well...we survived! Birte took a detour to get back on the trail. We went to the boulder "Egyptian Root Canal" (V5) and Birte climbed it!

      There is so much to say about this place, but I will try to keep it short.
      Fayetteville, the small town in the National Park, is really cute with lots of outdoor and antique shops, cafes and restaurants everywhere. It has a very nice and outdoorsy atmosphere. Most of the people here are either rock climbing or kayaking.
      The campgrounds were all free and we met very nice people everywhere. At one campground, an African-American family with a huge old RV (like in the movie Little Miss Sunshine) stayed next to us. They were really funny. On the morning of my birthday (unbeknownst to them) the father was singing gospel songs at the morning campfire, using a hammer against the stone wall around the campfire as percussion. It was beautiful to hear. It reminded me of the chain gang songs of the convicts in old western movies.

      My favorite boulder was Pizza Slice (V8). A perfect line along the arete of a 45° overhanging triangle block in the middle of the river! We were lucky to get there on Thursday, as we learned from a kayaker the next day. From the end of September to the end of November, the dam is open from Friday to Saturday to lower the water level of Summersville Lake. One day later, the line would have been unclimbable! Perfect timing!
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    • Day 8

      New River Gorge Bridge

      April 30, 2023 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Nach dem Mittagessen fahren wir unter der New River Gorge Brücke hindurch, eine Stahlbogenbrücke über den New River in der Nähe von Fayetteville in West Virginia. Mit einer Bogenspannweite von 518 Metern war sie von ihrer Fertigstellung 1977 bis zur Fertigstellung der Beipanjiang-Eisenbahnbrücke im Jahr 2001 die größte Bogenbrücke der Welt. Mit 267 Metern über Grund ist sie die zweithöchste Bogenbrücke der USA und allgemein die dritthöchste Brücke des Landes. Aufgrund ihrer Höhe ist die Brücke bei Base-Jumpern sehr beliebt. Am dritten Wochenende im Oktober findet der sogenannte „Bridge Day“ statt, bei dem die Brücke für den Autoverkehr gesperrt wird. Während des Bridge Days sind Fallschirmsprünge von der Brücke erlaubt, ebenso finden Abseilvorführungen statt. Nach einem Unfall 1993 wurden Bungee-Sprünge von der Brücke untersagt.
      Bisher starben drei Base-Jumper beim Sprung von der Brücke.
      Auf dem Wasser ist der Fluss im Nationalpark vor allem auch für Rafting Freunde interessant, da er teilweise wirklich abenteuerliche Stromschnellen hat.
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    • Day 16

      New River Gorge National Park

      May 12, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      We took our time this morning as it is another travel day, drove from Cincinnati to New River Gorge National Park in WV. It was 4pm when we got there so we still got to go to the visitor center, see the movie and take a short hike.Read more

    • Day 135

      New River Gorge National Park

      May 1, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

      The new river gorge is an impressive display of beauty and the beast. The green hardwoods are thick and plentiful. The river was at flood stage and roaring throughout the canyon. The bridge that spans this gorge is the largest single arch bridge in the western hemisphere.Read more

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