Little in this Universe is more gratifying than to watch your labors blossom into fruits, and then marvel as others turn them into something even better. That’s what happened when we in NRAC gazed on in wonder as volunteers, athletes, sponsors, spectators, representatives of the US Army Corps of Engineers at Summersville Lake, rescue divers, medical personnel, and a whole film production team converged on the lake Tuesday, August 23, 2016 for PsicoRoc, the first deep-water-solo climbing competition ever to be held on real stone in America. Did you miss it? No problem.
AKA:Try your luck for just five clams.
We didn’t think it would be that cool. We crossed our fingers and put in the hard work to make it happen, but none of us really thought it could be THAT cool.
Coming away from ten New River Rendezvous’ was tough on the mojo. After a decade of near flawless execution of the East Coast’s finest climber gathering, we listed about at sea for a bit wondering what to do next. It gave us a chance to refocus on who we are and what our goals are—to “preserve, promote, and conserve” our world-class climbing resource. So we set out tocreate some smaller events that would focus on service and community.
Someone hatched the scheme for a Yosemite Facelift-inspired Work Week, but one that would be so fun it wouldn’t feel like work at all. (Not) Work Week was born and a dedicated crew slayed the trail to Sandstonia last year. But we still needed to raise some loot for climbing hardware so Jay Young came up with the idea for a film festival. Of course, the film festival would come right at the end of the (Not) Work Week and we saw our little events start to morph into something much bigger. We just can’t help ourselves.
In late October, 2013, large boulders blocking the road appeared on Propp’s Ridge Rd. and the old railroad grade that parallels the Meadow River on its south/west side. These boulders have effectively blocked vehicular access to the Meadow’s Southside Crags including Area 51, The Other Place, Orange Wall, Mud Hueco, Brilliant Pebble, Rehab Crag and the crags along Glade Creek, which parallels Propp’s Ridge Rd.
For NRAC, and locals, this came as no surprise. Land ownership along the Meadow and Glade Creek has been in a state of flux since long before climbers began to explore the Meadow River cliff line, which they did on foot, hiking in from Highway 19 along the railroad tracks which were still in place. It wasn’t until 1999 that the tracks were pulled up and climbers began to drive in and park along the Meadow River to access the climbing areas. For those around at the time, the easy access had a too-good-to-be-true feel to it, and losing it wasn’t an issue of if, but when.
Immediately after the roads were blocked, representatives from NRAC began discussions with land owners, the National Park Service, the County Commission, and others to explore options that would allow for continued access to the climbing resources along the Meadow River’s Southside crags.