Three-Sport Weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains
After Stephane’s returned from a week-long shift at our old stomping grounds in Los Alamos, we packed up The Hungry Hippo (a.k.a our new pop-up camper) and took off for some outdoor family time.
On the drive out- super cute!! I can only imagine how heavy it is though. But cute, nonetheless.
We drove straight to Love Gap, a small crag in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. A very nice little guide, available here for those interested in checking it out:
Super easy approach but the climbing was not my favorite.
Thanks to the locals for compiling this great guide!
On the very short approach trail to Love Gap crag.
Hanging out while mama climbs
More cool bugs with many legs.
Practicing my swing
Hugo’s turn! There was a lot of rope drag so we had to attach a second rope to him so we could help pull him down.
Stephane finished the afternoon leading this monstrosity – “undercling slab” – line 14. Yikes.
There’s a beautiful mountain home at the access point for Love Gap crag. The owners put up this sign to welcome people to park on their land in order to access the climbing area and trails for hiking/birding. Thank you owners!
Blue Ridge Mountains!
Wild camping is hard to find out on the east coast, apparently. At least where we were, there was none to be found. We stayed two nights at Devil’s Backbone campground, quite the compound: complete with brewery, distillery, outdoor stage, and a cidery across the street.
Gian pretzel and tasty brews @ Devil’s Backbone Brewery.
All aboard the Blue Toad Express!
Corn hole and playground @ Blue Toad
The next day was a two-sport day: I ran up Humpback Rocks, pictured here (I grabbed this image from the internet as I don’t run with a phone). 1000 mile up in 0.7 miles! Then a more gradual, longer switch-backy descent to complete the loop. A nice climb and fun run. My legs were sore and it was SO nice.
After my run, Hugo and I dropped Stephane off for a 12 mile, 2000 + ascent along the Whetstone Ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hugo and I found a small waterfall and played along the Irish Creek while we looked for Stephane’s exit point and waited for his arrival.
There were so many of these trees with purple buds – beautiful!
Meanwhile, up on Whetstone Ridge…
Temps mid-fifties, great for a ride.
Amongst the mountains
Sampling Blue Toad ciders
Back at Devil’s Backbone. We scrounged up some wood for the campfire and the boys rode their bikes to the brewery to pick up beer, fries, and a giant pretzel. The definition of glamping.
The next day we checked out the climbing at Wintergreen, just up the road from our campground. The hike down the trial to get to the climbs was fun and had some steeper sections with ropes to help lower safely.
Our fearless leader putting up some fun routes for us to enjoy!
Nearing the top of Happy Cracks.
Hugo starting up The Crack. He did a great job on this climb, although he lost his shoe at one point.
Oops! Shoe off. Time to buy this kiddo some climbing shoes!
En route home: very tasty pizza @ Lampo Neapolitan Pizza in Charlottsville.
A fun escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Next time we’re hoping we can find some more peaceful camping but overall a great three-sport weekend and we’re always happy to find some mountain time, wherever we can.