Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"FACE OF 1,000 PITONS"

While attending Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in the fall of 1973 I went with a group of fellow Marietta students on a camping and rock climbing trip to Seneca Rocks in Seneca, West Virginia.

After we arrived we camped at the base of the mountain and slept in sleeping bags before our assault of the rock cliffs of this famous Monongahela State Forest site. The three hundred foot cliffs of Seneca Rocks from a distance look like the side profile of the late Senator Hubert H. Humphrey.

On our way up to our cliff climbing adventure we passed a climbing route known as the "face of 1,000 pitons" as there were pitons driven into the rock wall of this climb literally every inch or two. This climbing route was used as a practice rock climbing area for some of the American soldiers who fought in World War II in the mountains of Europe.
Check Spelling
After climbing to the summit of the Seneca Cliffs we were treated to a spectacular view of the fall foliage of the forest canopy in the valley below. We all had fun as well rappelling down from the top of the cliffs. Rappelling is done by easing your body into a perpendicular position to the cliff while holding on to your climbing rope with one hand holding on to the rope in front of you while the rope is wrapped around your back with your other hand holding the rope slightly away from your back. You then jump away from the rock wall by pushing your feet away from the rock and feeding the rope with your lower hand to control your descent.

You have probably seen this maneuver in some of the action movies and television shows where people bounce off cliffs or buildings. It is a somewhat strange feeling but fun to rappel off cliffs and make believe you are a "ninja" or "Spiderman". I was "pleased as punch" to have had this experience. It really "rocked".