Archives for November 2009

Ben & Bolts on Gilbert's Rock

Ben Williams

If you’ve ever climbed Gilbert’s Rock and wondered, “How did those bolts get in the rock, and who checks them?” This is for you.

History: Steve Longenecker and several friends were the first to climb Gilbert’s, then known as Tater Knob. Steve placed many of the bolt sets and discovered many of the routes on the rock. Gilbert’s is an integral part of our climbing program today, and Falling Creek still manages the rock’s usage.

I had the opportunity to go with Ben Williams to help and observe just how to check the bolts.

Checking a set of bolts.

If you don’t know what a bolt is, I’ll tell you. Mechanical Bolts are large screws that are tapped into a hole that has been drilled into very hard rock. When the bolt is screwed in, and tightened down, a sleeve around the bolt expands inside the rock. This causes the bolt to be held firmly in place. There are many different types of bolts used in climbing, but you get the basic idea.

This is a close-up of a set of bolts.

Our job was to check the tightness of the bolts and make sure they are still firmly in the rock… Well, that was Ben’s job, anyway. Mine was to belay him and take pretty pictures.

Lady Bug!

While we were up there, a swarm of Lady Bugs descended on us. They were yellow, orange and red. Our shirts and pants were covered by the time Ben was done checking the bolts.

Steve Longenecker is a legend in the local climbing community, having pioneered many first-ascents in the southeast. He currently presents Falcon Shows for camp, school groups and other local organizations. He created and teaches the WEMA program.

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Kentucky to Tennessee

Yates made his way south from Cincinnati to Lexington on Wednesday, where Amy and Darren Duzyk hosted the Falling Creek Camp movies for the first time. Their son Connor, who will be returning for his third summer. He was a big help to Yates in answering questions from the parents and boys interested in learning more about camp.

Photo from the camp movie show in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lexington, KY

Taylor Ward, an FCC alumnus from the 80’s brought his son to share his great camp memories. Clay Willet, a top Falling Creek staff member and long-time camper, came by also to offer his support. Clay is a senior psychology major at the University of Kentucky and grew up in near-by Louisville.

Continuing south, Yates met a number of new families in the Chattanooga area on Thursday. Beth and Alan Janney hosted the FCC movies for their first time.

Beth, however, is no stranger to the camping world. She was a long time camper and counselor at camp Merrie-Woode, having made “captain rank” as a camper and served as the sought after “leader of the docks” while on staff. Their son Cole will be coming to the June session for his first summer at Falling Creek Camp.

We want to thank the Duzyk’s and the Janney’s for their support in hosting Falling Creek movies in their homes.

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