It was raining friday; it's raining today, but yesterday was glorius. When we came home last night the car was quiet. It seems like no one ever has anything to say on the return trip home after a long day of adventure. Our day lasted just over 24 hours, so we were tired, but at the same time we were rejuvanated.
Grant, Joe and I headed out for a night out in the wilderness just after we got off work friday. It was a late start, but at least we were going. We didn't even let the rain postpone the trip, although if any one of the three of us had pulled out, all of us would have. None of us wanted to be that guy, so we went because of our pride. Linville Gorge was our destination, and we hit the trail head about 8pm. That left us about an hour of dusk to hike, find a spot, and setup camp. It rained the whole time, but only a light rain. We set up my tent, and then a lightweight tarp over it, this allowed for plenty of space to throw our bags.
Our camp was on the ridge, south of Table Rock. We were exposed except for some evergreens, and a huge rock formation. We didn't bother with a fire, and it wasn't long until all of us were in the tent. We fell alseep to the sound of rain hitting the tarp and Grant telling us a story about the time he farted, but no one in the group he was with was sure who did it-someone even blamed it on a nearby cow. Well, we knew that if the rain cleared the wind would pick up, so we were ready to do some quick fixes in the middle of the night. The first time a stake popped out Joe got up to fix it. The next time, I was awakened by the tarp flapping wildly, so I set up and yelled "We got a flapper boys". When I got out of the tent the wind was howling, but all I could see were stars, so I just took the whole thing down. I knew then that Saturday was going to be awesome.
When Saturday came we didn't even have to lift our heads to see the sunrise; it was right out our mesh front door. I woke up the fellas so they could see it, but all Joe said was "don't ever wake me up again". Grant looked out and was impressed, but he too turned over and went back to sleep. Well, I was awake, and so I rose with the sun. I was looking forward to getting on with the day, because we were meeting Ryan and Alejandro to hit up a multipitch climb further on down the trail.
When Ryan and Ale arrived we were just packing up, and after we organized our gear and grabbed a bite to eat four of the five of us head down to climb "the daddy", a five pitch climb that would take us way too much longer than it should have. Grant didn't climb because he all but broke his ankle when he rolled it running down the AT last weekend. One of the big reasons we were climbing was to show Alejandro what multipitch climbing is all about. Ale is from Costa Rica, and although he does do some climbing down there, there are no big walls. Needless to say he was amazed by Linville Gorge, and all the huge cliffs.
The climb took us about seven hours, and that was after the three hour hike it took to reach the face. It doesn't usually take that long to acend the climb, but we had a big group, it was Alejandro's first time placing protection, and we were just slow. We were having a blast sitting several hundred feet up on two and three foot wide ledges. Our only worry was Grant. We had told him it would only take us three hours, which was simply a gross underestimation. In reality it took us three hours to even get to the climb. We realized we were going to be late, but there was nothing we could do about it but hope Grant wouldn't get worried.
The climb was awesome, not real hard, but technical and long. When we reached the top we assumed Grant had simply headed back to the car, which is where we found him. When we saw him, he was several shades redder than when we left him. Turns out he took a nap on the top of the ridge, and didn't notice the sun because of the wind. He also had ran out of water about four hours ago, and ate all of his food before noon, but other than that and his building stress over where we were at, he was fine. We finished the day at The Italian Restaurant in Linville, and then headed home in silence. Tired but rejuvanated.