This weekend BK2BC organized an excursion involving hiking, camping, a gorgeous sunrise, and a full day of rock climbing. With many beginners among us in the group, BK2BC was led by certified guide Dustin
from Advanced Rock Craft, based out of the Gunks in NY State. He made the trip to lead our climb.
Our excursion started on Saturday afternoon, meeting up at the Appalachian Trail (AT) trail head just off of I-80. Once we were all accounted for, and packing lists were reviewed, we began our trip into the park. With a 5 vehicle convoy, we drove deep into the heart of the Gap, heading toward our hiking start point.
We staged our cars, gave one last check for equipment, and started our hike. Our goal was to make it up top before sunset so we could enjoy it from the fire tower. A short while later we were cresting the last hill and the fire tower was in sight. We had reached the top, and just in time to enjoy the sunset.
After watching the sun set, and admiring the beauty, we set up camp for the night. We had an abundance of new gear from Madera Outdoor, and Eastern Mountain Sports that we were testing out for the first time. Everything worked extremely well, and we slept like babies.
After a mere 4 hours of sleep, we were and at 'em, breaking down camp and packing all of our gear before sunrise. We hiked the half a mile out to the fire tower, and began making breakfast. We climbed the tower and stood on different levels, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rising sun. I was standing on the lowest tier (not bc I'm afraid of heights), and as I checked my watch to see what time it was, I heard the first "wow" from the top tier of the tower. A second or two later, the next tier emitted the same awed sound. this continued right on down the fire tower. a moving experience for those who were yet to experience it. Most of us have been out past sunrise, but few of us have actually "seen" a sunrise.
We ate breakfast, and began our trek to meet our guide, and then move on to the crag.
Dustin arrived, and we had the basic standard introductions. We discovered that none of us had climbed Rick's Rocks before, so this would be a new experience for all of us.