Climbing in Colorado

A few photos from climbing in Colorado last October (trying to get caught up on 7+ years of photos).

Tara’s first time climbing in Colorado started on the First Flat Iron (direct route 5.6R). We simul climbed most of the 1,200′, which is a great way to shave a few hours off long and easier sections of climbs. After playing around Boulder for a day we met up with friends Alex and Brittany, and simul’ed the 3rd Flat Iron in just a couple hours (which helped them break their personal speed record on the 3rd by a decent margin). On this trip, my favorite climb was the Edge of Time (5.9), up by Lily Lake near Estes Park.
Enjoy the views.
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The First Day at Coopers

Poem by Dylan Jones – Photos by Gabe DeWitt

‘Twas the first day at Coopers, and all through the woods
The climbers were out trying to bag up the goods;
bouldering, climbing, Coopers Rock, Friends, High Ball, Mountaineer, Mountaineer's route, rocks, spring, State Forest, V5, West Virginia, WVSpotters huddled round the crash pads with care,
In hopes that success would ring through the air;Mountaineer, bouldering, climbing, Coopers Rock, Friends, High Ball, Mountaineer, Mountaineer's route, rocks, spring, State Forest, V5, West Virginia, WV, The toes were nestled all snug in their shoes,
While visions of moves in their heads they would cruise; Read more

Cheat River Interview

The following are my responses to a recent FOC interview about the upcoming Cheat River Festival…

What was it like growing up in the Cheat River Watershed?

It gives and it takes..and gives.

My entire immediate family comes from the Cheat River Watershed. My Mom (Kathy DeWitt, previously Overbeck), grew up in Albright, where my Grampa Vic was the post master and Grama Betty was a school teacher.

Aside – When my mom was a kid, almost every weekend there was a white water rafter or guide having dinner with her and her family.  Vic and Betty Overbeck (my grandparents) welcomed them.  Many boaters put in the river across from her house. My mom and aunts would would serve breakfast to the boaters at times at the Fire hall the Albright fire department.

In 1985, the Cheat River destroyed 110 of the 132 houses in Albright.. my mom’s house being one of them.

Fast forward to today, I frequent the Cheat River whenever possible…to swim along the Alley…

swimming in the rapids

…boat down the Cheat Narrows…

Cheat Narrows Rafting, Albright, West Virginia, Family, Friends

…climb above Devils Den…

Devils Den, Cheat River

….hike on the Allegheny Trail…

Allegheny Trail, Cheat River, Friends of the Cheat, Gabe DeWitt, TNC, The Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy Magazine, West Virginia, photo by Gabe DeWitt, spring

…or craw through some of the hidden caves…

Cheat Canyon, Beaver Hole Cave, Cheat River, West Virginia

… the Cheat Canyon is an old and special place on this earth for everyone to enjoy and protect.


What are the three best things about Cheat Fest?

The River

Albright, Allegheny Trail, Cheat Fest, Cheat River, Cheat River Festival, Events, Friends of the Cheat, Gabe DeWitt, Places, TNC, The Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy Magazine, West Virginia, photo by Gabe DeWitt, spring

The Music,

Albright, Blue Grass, Cheat Fest, Cheat River, Cheat River Festival, Events, FOC, Favorite things, Gabe DeWitt, Music, People, Places, West Virginia, appalachia, family, old-timey

and the People.

Albright, Allegheny Trail, Cheat Fest, Cheat River, Cheat River Festival, Events, Friends of the Cheat, Gabe DeWitt, Places, TNC, The Nature Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy Magazine, West Virginia, photo by Gabe DeWitt, spring


Read more

Instagram Takeover for AAC

I’m Feeling super stoked to be featured by one of the predominant climbing/outdoor organizations I follow (and proud member of). This week I got invited to takeover the American Alpine Club’s Instagram account.

Today is day 4 of the Instagram takeover, and I’m searching for something fresh to post… I went cross country skiing last night out to Coopers Rock, and I think one of those photos might be today’s bid for attention…we’ll see. I haven’t decided yet.

Coopers; Rock; Adventure; Night; Ski; Adventure; Adventure Photography; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Light Painting; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Places; Seasons; Snow; Trees; WV; West Virginia; Winter; adventure sports; cross country; light beams; night; ski; Instagram Takeover

A few days before I started the takeover, I ran some data query’s via the Instagram API on AAC’s account. Without digging too hard, I found a few nuggets of data that have really helped me maximize my outreach this week on the AACgram. I plan to write a how-to post on conducting your own Instagram Analytics using Excel and the Instagram API…so stay tuned for that in the next week or so.

Below are my photos thus far, Featured by American Alpine Club on their Instagram.

(update)- I did use the night skiing picture yesterday.

 

Tara Smith

This traveler has taken me to the highest mountain tops, and to the lowest deserts…together facing challenges and victories of all shapes and sizes.

The last two years with her have brought such amazing growth and happiness to my life…words can’t express it..

..Happy Birthday, to my partner in all our adventures!! Tara Smith

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Mountain Mama

Over the weekend, my friends John, Aira, and I decided to take an adventure to traditionally climb some unique West Virginia gritstone. We biked in 3 miles to the spot, and hiked down to the base of the 100 foot cliff.  Aira enjoyed the sun while John and I discussed who’d take the first lead on an unknown climb.

Mountain Momma

John began his rigorous stretching (aka yoga) in preparation for the first lead. Aira was still undecided whether she would climb or not, being 37 weeks pregnant. But, John made the 90+ feet of lieback flake look simple during his onsite of it, providing Aira the confidence to give it a show of her own on TR.

Mountain Momma

We decided the grade was at least a Seneca 5.7…based on the old school standards. Modern grading it would probably be a 5.9+. The crux for John and I was pulling the lie back roof, but for Aira the crux  was the first 8’…her baby belly made the thin 5.2 traverse quite difficult for her, which ended up requiring a short pendulum swing across into the start of the climb 😛

Mountain Momma

While Aira climbed, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to take some maternity photos for her…especially as she hasn’t had any taken yet. This impromptu photo shoot was one of my favorites. To get these shots I scrambled up an easy 5th class area of rock, and plugged a small cam into a crack for a little added protection while I was stretching out to reach the action. I was using a new 35mm 1.4 lens from Sigma, which created the sweetest depth of field. If you’re viewing these images from a smartphone, it’s hard to tell the detail, but Aira is tack sharp in each photo.

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Mountain Momma

Aira Burkhart, a true West Virginia Mountain Mama!!

John has the kindest smile..

Mountain Momma

2015 American Alpine Club Guidebook to Membership

I just had a photo published by the AAC, check out page 33 (slide 34)!

The American Alpine Club’s 2015 Guidebook to Membership

My photo

AAC, American Alpine Club, 2015 Guidebook to Membership.

A big thank Whitney Bradberry, Lisa Hummel and the American Alpine Club Southeast Region for helping make this all happen!

All the photos and stories are amazing…and West Virginia was well represented.

Here’s Dan Brayack’s photo of David Statler at the New River Gorge, with articles by Paul Nelson & Jeffrey Hearn.

Dan Bra

… also, check out page 15 for an epic photo of my friend Benjamin Eaton chilling out on a portaledge in Zion. (photo by Ken Klingler).

my friend

Here’s a link to the visual story of their climb up Moonlit Buttress..

It’s climbing season! No, It’s Boating Season!!

The plan was to go to the Rec Center and climb after work yesterday. A week ago, Morgantown was shut down from an overnight snow storm, and the days were an hour shorter. This week we gained an hour of daylight! Yesterday, it was pleasantly warm by contrast to days of late, but most importantly the rocks were dry.

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With the road into Coopers Rock closed until April 1st, Tara, Brian and I went to a more local spot with a few nice sandstone boulders.

 …it’s climbing season!

 

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Bouldering; Pioneer; Rocks; West; Virginia; photo; Gabe; DeWitt; March; 2015; 141; Brian Brotherton; Favorite things; Morgantown; People; Pioneer Rocks; Places; Sigma Art Lens 35 mm F1.4; West Virginia; bouldering; by Gabe DeWitt; climbers; climbing; rocks; space; sun; sunset

Bouldering; Pioneer; Rocks; West; Virginia; photo; Gabe; DeWitt; March; 2015; 147; Brian Brotherton; Favorite things; Morgantown; People; Pioneer Rocks; Places; Sigma Art Lens 35 mm F1.4; West Virginia; bouldering; by Gabe DeWitt; climbers; climbing; rocks; space; sun; sunset Read more