This past weekend, NROC saw quite a bit of snow! One of our site managers, Gatan, wrote about his thoughts during this unexpectedly snowy day in late October:
Photo by Jason Cain
Mother Nature, in all it’s winter wonder, is upon us today. Perhaps a tad bit early for some of us creatures that call this place home, perhaps right on time for others. Nature and weather are forever unpredictable. The laws of nature and weather revolve around the sun. It is our relationship to the sun that is the only constant truth, and yet the sun itself is volatile and unpredictable. So, perhaps there is no constant. Perhaps we’re just along for the ride, adapting to the ever- constant changes of time and season, temperature and moisture.
What an awesome thing to behold, awesome not to shy away from, but to change with and accept. Like the trees that shed their leaves to accept the heavy snow, we too change our outward appearance. We grow with each passing season. Bearing the weights, swinging and swaying in the wind. We bend, we adapt and we grow.
The creatures of the North Fork South Branch are doing just that today. Waking up to a severe change in weather saying , “ Wow, check this out. Guess I’ll change my clothes and get on out there.” So, lets go check out the Canopy Tour and see what the trees are doing to adapt. Let’s change, let’s bend and let’s grow.
Because of the nature of the Via, a lot of the people who pass through Nelson Rocks are curious about the world of rock climbing. It’s rather easy to see why; the climb itself allows the otherwise inexperienced person to see views normally reserved for those with specialized training and equipment. Since the majority of the climbers we have come through the via are new to our world, we are constantly asked questions about various subjects, a lot of which are about gear. As the season draws to a close, I’ll try to cover a few things we are more commonly asked about.
Personally, I absolutely love gear; I’m constantly looking into different products for different applications. When someone asks a question about what kind of gear we use on the via, I honestly get giddy with excitement. Now, looking at all of the guides here at NROC, it’s easy to see a common trend amongst us all, Misty Mountain harnesses, as well as Five Ten shoes. The via can be very tough on gear, and for the guides who are out on it every day, durability and comfort are two of the most important qualities we look for when choosing what we use.
Misty Mountain has been making harnesses down in Banner Elk, North Carolina for years, and makes one of the best traditional climbing harnesses in the industry, called the Cadillac. It offers the most important traits for us, and considering that all guides here are climbers at heart, pulls double duty as one of the best multi-pitch free harnesses we can get. Their company’s commitment to sustainability, and the fact that they’re made in America make them my choice and the choice of most NROC guides- hands down. It’s very nice and convenient to work with a company that can give you exactly what you’re looking for in a harness, even down to the very color you want.
Here is a link to the Misty Mountain Threadworks page, call them up if you have any questions, they’re extremely nice people and will be glad to answer any questions you might have regarding the gear they manufacture, everything from the harnesses to slings and crash pads.
We recently received some feedback from one of our customers that was so nice, it made us blush! This is what Karen Johnson had to say about her experience at Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center:
Thank you NRP Staff!!!!!!
We had an awesome weekend, for me…the best weekend in my life!!!! But ..you ruined me! How can I ever “just hike” again????? LOL!!
It was the perfect, perfect day!
Adam and Kimmie, you guys are a wonderful guide “team.” I have already checked out White Grass and…well, you may be seeing me there this winter!
Gayton, Jim, Brian, and Kellee …you all are the best, when we come back we hope you are all there, and get to spend more time with you too!!!
Wish I could work there!
Karen B. Johnson
First of all, thank YOU for coming to explore NROC, Karen! We are so glad to hear you had a great time visiting us! And second of all, we want to thank ALL of our awesome customers for making NROC what it is today!
We recently encouraged everyone to share stories about their experiences at NROC. One of our staff members, Aaron, wanted to express how the changing season affects his personal experience. His story is one of many that we will tell, and we urge you to contribute your stories, as well.
Here is what Aaron wants to share:
As it nears the end of the season, it’s easy to look around and see how things have come full circle here at NROC. As the days go by the trees look more and more like they did when I first arrived here in February, gradually losing their leaves. It brings back the feelings I had back in the winter, when everything was new and fresh and all the guides were in preparation for the upcoming season.
Since then we’ve seen the leaves come and are now going, still giving us an absolute spectacular and constantly changing color show ever day. Along with the leaves we’ve seen countless people; both guides and customers come and go, as is part of the life we have here, and every day we see more and more people coming out to experience the rocks and the canopy tour.
It’ll be amazing to see what the next few weeks will bring, the colder temps will stay for good, and the leaves will soon be completely off the trees, the rest of us guides that have stuck around for the fall season will go off to our winter jobs at the various mountains both in the Canaan Valley area, as well as out west to various places. Only a few will stay the winter here in the North Fork Valley, but as usual, this place will never disappoint anyone with all of its natural beauty.
Last night, Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center accepted the 2011 Tourism Development Award, presented by the Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce. We accepted this award on behalf of our talented and dedicated staff. A big thank you to our staff members and thank you, Pendleton County, for being almost heaven.
To celebrate the arrival of a new season, we are offering some Fall-inspired deals! During the weekdays, we are offering discounted prices on both the Via Ferrata and the Canopy Tour. The Via Ferrata is $70 per person during Fall Foliage Weekdays and $75 per person on the weekends while the Canopy Tour is $80 per person during Fall Foliage Weekdays and $85 on the weekends. We’re encouraging you to embrace the new season and take advantage of our Fall Foliage Weekday Deals. Explore what Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center has to offer!
This is our ad that has been running on TV3 for the past couple of weeks, check it out!
Living in a quiet, secluded mountain valley, stories are a part of everyday conversation. I hear legends of the 10-point buck that got away when I go into any of the marts to pay for my gas. Last time I went in one, I heard wives tales of why the squash didn’t grow but the tomatoes did. People spit predications of the upcoming season based solely on the color of the wholly worm they saw on the sidewalk that afternoon. And always, the excited accounts of the first ascent someone had on a relatively unknown crag. The epic tales of bike rides that go deep into the millions of acres of wilderness that surround the valley or the half-gnarly, half-silly river trips down the beautiful canyons of the Potomac River.
Think of this blog as a campfire on the Internet. This is a place for telling stories. True or not so true, it’s the stories of a place that get told and retold that define and shape its place in history. They make a place last forever.
I’ll be writing stories and our guides and staff will be sharing pictures and tales. We would love to hear your stories as well. Tell me about the most memorable part of your via ferrata climb or canopy tour and be a part of the Nelson Rocks story. Email your stories and pictures to me at firstname.lastname@example.org