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Bouldering in the Lights with Paulie Abissi at Cooper’s Rock State Forest

Bouldering in the Lights with Paulie Abissi at Cooper’s Rock State Forest

The Bouldering in the Lights Tour met up with Grand Rapids, MI native and local climbing gym operator, Paulie Abissi to shoot classic Cooper’s Rock State Forest boulder problems at night. There was one problem though. The park closes at dusk. We learned this on the first night when park rangers flashed their lights, sounded their sirens, and beckoned us back to our vehicles with their loudspeakers. We wandered back and spoke to the rangers. That night we strategized how we were gonna get our shots.

Paulie Abissi on Bizarro (V5) at Cooper's Rock State Forest, WV

Paulie Abissi on Bizarro (V5) at Cooper’s Rock State Forest, WV

On the second night we scoped out Helicopter (v5) and Bizarro (v5) at the Roadside Area.  With about an hour left of daylight we set up Bizarro. There was a crowd of locals getting in an afternoon shot. Everyone was enjoying the crisp temps and lighthearted vibe. As the sun dipped below the horizon Paulie sent Bizarro with little hesitation.

We moved as fast as possible  on to Helicopter just a few steps up the hill. By now the locals were heading to their cars. We were the last ones in the woods. Mid shot we both heard the sirens start. We thought for a minute. Should we finish up or come back. Paulie and I agreed it was best to wrap up and come back.

The next evening were set up at Helicopter. This time there were no locals around. The day had been mostly cold and cloudy. Paulie set up his pads and rehearsed the moves in his mind. I told him I was set to shoot and he sent.

About Kevin Riley

Kevin Riley has been a rock climbing and general outdoor enthusiast for over sixteen years, served as the associate publisher for Climbing and Urban Climber magazines, and co-founded the Denver-based non-profit, First Ascenders. He graduated from UMASS (Amherst).

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