This video was shot and edited in May, 2014 during a short trip to the New River Gorge in West Virginia. Nick Duttle had an amazing trip to the New, completing his goal of climbing at least 10 routes rated 5.14 or harder. Hoax of Clocks was Nick's tenth 5.14 and he completed the climb on his second try. First ascentionist, Mike Williams, describes the route in his guidebook as, "One of the New's "last faces," this climb is historically significant as the first route to be legally bolted under the new management plan. Appropriately, this beautiful wall represents the final exam in Endless Wall face climbing." Local lore hints at the difficulty of this line. It is said that Chris Sharma and Jimmy Webb both failed to do the crux of this route on their respective visits.
This ascent is also remarkable in the sense that it happened on Nick's fourth day of hard climbing. On day 1, he sent another Mike Williams' route called Into the Sarlac (5.14b). On day 2, Mango Tango (5.14a), arguably one of the New's most beautiful routes went down,. On day 3, we headed to Summersville lake for an ascent of Journey Man (5.14b) at the Coliseum. The sweltering heat of day 4 was just a minor inconvenience, as Nick hiked up Hoax of Clocks (5.14) on his second try. This wrapped up one of the most productive trips the New has ever seen.
Many thanks to all the local climbers I met on this trip for their hospitality, help with the video, and their endless supply of motivation. It was truly a pleasure to spend my vacation at the New and I plan to come back as soon as possible. Huge thanks to Mike and Elissa Williams for their generous hospitality. And Laila, of course, for making some extra room on the couch for me.
Be sure to check out video of Mike Williams on the first ascent of Hoax of Clocks: