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The Second Franklin Traildaze and Crankfest
Submitted By: Andy Laakmann on Apr 28, 2008

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Scheduled on May 23, 2008

The Second Franklin Traildaze and Crankfest

Friday, May 23 through Monday, May 26, 2008

Just like the First Traildaze of Labor Day '07, this event will be a combined trash clean-up, trailwork, community, and climbing event for those climbers who already know, love, and frequently visit Franklin, for those who are just finding the city and crag, and for those who are newcomers to the sport and area and would like to learn more and/or participate in preserving this beautiful, privately-owned piece of WV and climbing history.

Franklin is more popular than ever thanks to a guidebook author who never contributed a second of time working on trails nor a dime for the impact he created with his inaccurate, ill-advised guidebook to a privately-owned area. With the crowds that guidebook has attracted, the closing of Nelson Rocks Preserve, and last summer's drought, the fragile environment of the Gorge is under more pressure than ever.

We'll have a quick afternoon meet-n-greet on Friday, May 23rd around 1 p.m. at The Parking Lot Wall at the end of River Gap Road for introductions, route beta, a preview of the weekend's goals, and/or local camping information.

Can't make it Friday? No sweat... we'll be back Saturday morning by 9 a.m. with breakfast, which will consist of strong coffee, green tea w/honey, and breakfast burritos, veggie and carne', with all the same information.

The goal will be to accomplish most of the hard work by early Saturday afternoon (picking up trash, eliminating fire rings, and completing the bulk of the trailwork) leaving more of the weekend to get acquainted and climb Franklin's amazing assortment of routes.

Sunday we'll finish off any final details or overnight brainstorms, hold a brief lunch-time raffle (see below) and then get back to the business of climbing, swimming, hiking, and generally just appreciating Franklin Gorge.

For the first time this year, this is an Adopt-A-Crag event, so there will be free water bottles, stickers, and goodies for the first 30 registrants (yep, nothing is too good for the AF). is also supporting us for the second year in a row, so we'll be tossing some of their swag out, as well, and raffling off more of it to raise money for anchor replacement and future events. This will take place on Sunday afternoon, just after lunch, so that anyone who doesn't have Monday off can still get some climbing in and get out of town in time to avoid arriving home at midnight. We will also be having a "Best Picture of the Event" contest, with the prize being a hoodie suitably stylish for tooling around town or attractiing envious stares at the crag.

Saturday, Sunday lunch and dinner will be potluck/BYO. There will be a donation-optional pancake breakfast on Monday, in the Parking Lot. Anyone wishing to contribute meals, gear, t ools, or funds can contact Michael Gray in advance by phone at 304-358-3330, or by email: . Ditto w/questions on camping, which will be available in the thousands of acres of nearby National Forest, further down the Gorge (great opportunity to meet some of the local good ol' boys late that night), and/or at Nearby Thorn Springs Campground, just S of Franklin off Rte 220.

Please register on the Facebook Franklin Climbing Adopt-A-Crag 2008 site if you are planning to attend. This will be the official site to get info, post pics for the Best Pic competition, and generally chat about Franklin and other WV/VA climbing areas we'd like to work on in the future.

Comments on The Second Franklin Traildaze and Crankfest Add Comment
By Ronin
From: Smoke Hole Canyon
May 16, 2008
Wow... it's like deja vu... this is JUST LIKE the event I submitted, sometime back in April... except that it has Andy's name on it... Oh, well... at least it got submitted.

Hope to see some of you folks there... maybe even the guy who almost copied my text from word for word when he posted the Franklin area on this website without including any route beta or mentioning it was private land...

Speaking of which, to better facilitate trailwork and hardware replacement, the main crag will be closed to climbing Saturday and Sunday, except for those participating in the actual work. Sorry, but it sucks to be trying to repair the trail and have a group walk right through your work every ten minutes, or trying to replace face bolts and/or top anchors and have some Falcon Press-totin' noob stand at the base and shout stupid questions about how soon yer gonna be done, Dhude.

(And before anyone starts snivelling about their rights, read the last line of the paragraph before again. This is private land. You don't have any rights.)

The River's Bend area will still be open, but you'll need to park on Lambert Hill Rd, just N of Franklin on 220, and walk in to use the Tyrolean. Don't f*ck around up at the cabin or you could cost everyone access (and I will hunt you down and throw you a beatin' til your mama won't know you if you do.)Don't block the road, change clothes, or do anything else stupid at this location... the main WV state trooper HQ is about fifteen minutes away, and if they tow your car it will be in Petersburg, from which location you WILL NOT retrieve it until Monday morning after 9 am, and for which you will pay a loverly $10/mile (28 miles) and a fee of 50.00 for storage.

If you are coming, and bringing your dog (please don't, but I know that is wasted breath for most climbers), then at least bring a leash, or you and your mutt may be asked to leave by the only guy with permission to even be on this land in the first place- me.

Anywaaaaaay- we'll be having a blast, rain or shine, Friday night through Monday morning; throwing out swag, handing out free food, raffling off some stuff from, Valley Guiding Services, and the Punishers, talking smack around the group campsite fire ring every night and doing as much climbing as time, weather, and the affects of our trailwork permits.

Ya'll come...
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
May 16, 2008
You submitted it, which means it was emailed to me. So I posted it. Up until a few weeks ago, that was the only way events were submitted. The form emailed me, and I posted it. Chill out.

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