Rachel Scheffe attempts to onsight Gemini Crack Left, a classic 5.10c gear route at the New River Gorge, West Virginia, in tribute to the late,
legendary first ascentionist Cal Swoager.
On February 28, Cal was soloing an easy route at Coll’s Cove, Pennsylvania to hang a top rope when he slipped. His loss was a huge hit to the local
community and the climbing world at large.
Rachel and friends were climbing and shooting video for a memorial film called Son of Thunder: In Memory of Cal Swoager. She had three cams
placed in the flared crack: a 0.5, a 0.3 and a 3. When she fell, the number 3 blew first, followed by the 0.3, but 0.5 kept her off the deck.
“The fall was probably close to thirty feet,” says Chad Heddleston, who took the video, “but Rachel wanted to jump right back on. I can be heard (sounding
like a huge jerk) after the fall telling her to sit and take a break at least because she ‘is going to hurt tomorrow.'”
Rachel was completely unharmed in the fall, but since it was just a morning session for her, “She called it a day after the fall and headed off to work,”
“Definitely could have been worse. Her belayer, Jeremy Fox, can be seen putting his arms up and bracing for impact!!”
Happy Friday and stay safe out there this weekend.