Seneca Rocks, WV
April 5-7, 2019
Troop 1128’s April 2019 campout was a three-day climbing trip to Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. Seneca Rocks used to be a place where the army trained in assault climbing as it has many different places to climb with much variation in difficulty. Now, however, Seneca Rocks is a popular place for beginner and expert rock climbers to test and improve their skills.
On Friday at 4:30 pm, we assembled in the Andrew Chapel parking lot. At five, we left to Seneca Rocks, bringing along 25 scouts and 8 adults assembled in to four patrols. Usually we would leave on Saturday, however we needed to be at the base camp at 7:30. This meant we would have needed to leave at four in morning on Saturday because the drive was three hours long. So, instead of waking up so early, we figured it would be better for everyone to just leave on Friday and spend an extra night at Seneca.
We arrived at around eight o’clock and set up camp at a campsite less than a mile away from the base camp at the rocks themselves. The site was luxury for many scouts as most of the trips that we go on have campsites with no running water, no showers, no bathrooms, and no gravel pads for tents; this site had all of those things. Since everyone had eaten dinner before we left, there was no cooking to be done. The only thing that needed to happen was setting up tents. We then promptly went to bed as we had an early wake up to prepare for the next day.
On Saturday we woke up around 6:30, an hour before we needed to be at the base camp. All four patrols made breakfast and finished in under an hour, so we were able to make it there on time. Once we arrived at the base, we separated into two groups of climbers; beginner and intermediate. The beginner group had most of the troop, around twenty people while the advanced group had only about twelve. Each scout then got their own gear from the base camp and carried it on the hike up to the cliff. The beginner and advanced groups hiked to separate locations, the intermediate grouping having a shorter but more difficult hike. Once we got there, we began to climb by getting in to groups of three. One person would be climbing, one person belaying, and one person backup belaying. At the intermediate side of the mountain, only a couple people were able to make it all the way to the top of all three climbs, and I am told it was about the same story at the beginning side. The beginner group combined climbing a repelling from the same general area. After a few hours of climbing and lunch at the bottom of the climbing cliff, it was time to head back.
The intermediate group had fun repelling down a couple cliffs and then hiking the rest of the way. The beginner group got back by hiking down the way they had come. Once back at the base camp, we thanked our guides and walked back to the camp. We then had some time to relax before making dinner. All four patrols cooked their dinner, and let me just give a shout-out to Charlie and Ethan for cooking me some of the best hamburgers I have ever had. After dinner, almost all of the scouts played cards until it was time for bed. Everyone was happy to get to bed after a long day of climbing.
The troop woke up at around 6:30 again and made breakfast. After everyone finished breakfast, we packed up and got ready to leave. We had to wait until nine to leave because we had to wait for another car to come and we could not be at the church until twelve, so some scouts started up another card game while we waited. Once it was nine, we all headed in to cars and drove home to Andrew Chapel. We arrived right at twelve, perfect timing, and headed home to relax for the rest of the weekend