Seneca with Turtle

In October of 2004, Apryle and I decided to go to Seneca for a weekend. Somehow, we managed to pick up Todd McCormick, then a freshman at Pitt. Todd was pysched to get out on his first multi-pitch outing, and Apryle was all fired up to try some 5.8s at Seneca. As for me, I had an old grudge to settle with High Test.

Apryle started off leading Conn’s East Direct, probably the easiest 5.8 at Seneca. She sent it with no problems, and we found ourselves at the base of Alcoa Presents…one of the toughest 5.8s at Seneca. Todd was in his glory, and we noticed that with his helmet on he posed a striking resemblence to a Turtle.
Apryle fired off Alcoa like it was her job, freaking out for a second at the crux, but pulling through for a classy 5.8 onsight trad lead at Seneca, her toughest lead yet. Turtle struggled to follow, but managed to drag himself to the summit with ego mostly intact.

After a quick lunch, we rapped back down the east face and I racked up for High Test. A year earlier I had foolishly underprotected the first 15 feet of the climb and fell, taking a 30 foot factor 2 screamer straight past the belay ledge. I was unhurt, but definitely learned a lesson. This time I stitched up the bottom section, found a crimper that had eluded me on my previous attempt, and climbed the rest of the route without much difficulty. A stout 9, though, for sure!

After that, I was feeling strong and solid, so I decided to take a run at Pollux – a tough 5.10 finger crack on the lower east face. I pulled through the bottom section without difficulty, placed a big stopper to back up a fixed piece, and hauled myself up to the flexy flake that marks the midpoint of the route. There I fell, a clean 10 foot whipper. Lowered to the ground, shook out, at gave it another go…only to whip again. I think I whipped off that climb 5 times before I made it through the crux, utterly pumped. I took the falls in good form, though…lowering off and starting again from the ground up.

I haven’t climbed quite so hard since that weekend in 2004…

010 Apryle On Conns East Direct
200 Phil Leading Pollux
150 Phil Leading High Test
140 A Happy Turtle
060  Lou and Krizan on Conns East
130 Seneca Summit
090 Apryle Leading Alcoa Presents
180 Phil Leading High Test
190 Phil Leading Pollux
030 Turtle Following Conns East Direct
040 Apryle Leading Alcoa Presents
070  Lou and Krizan on Conns East
170 Phil Leading High Test
210 Phil Leading Pollux
050 Lou and Krizan on Conns East
080 Phil and Turtle on Conns East Belay
020 Apryle On Conns East Direct
120 Turtle following Alcoa Presents
160 Phil Leading High Test
100 Apryle Leading Alcoa Presents


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

Sea kayaking paddling the inside passage expedition kayaking expedition inside passage inside passage 2009 sea kayaks how to choose an expedition kayak touring kayak touring kayaking Image 01 Image 02