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Last Updated: June 13, 2020
Leavenworth - Bruce's Boulder, Barney's Rubble and Icicle Buttress, May 2002
We stopped at Gustav's for burgers and beer the following a soggy weekend at Colchuck Lake, and discussed doing some rock climbing in the Icicle Creek canyon for the remainder of the day. Agata, Scott and myself were pleased to find the weather down low reasonably dry and pleasant.
We first set up a couple tr's at Bruce's Boulder. Afterwards, we all very much enjoyed the lie-back flake at Barney's Rubble just across the road. We then located a bolted route somewhere in the vicinity of Icicle Buttress (Egg Ons - 5.10b?) and Scott made a heroic lead with some very thin holds to the top anchor. Agata and then myself climbed the route on tr. The climbing was very enjoyable and in some way we felt redeemed for the stupid rain-fest we had endured up at Colchuk Lake.
Leavenworth - Little Bridge Creek Rock, Alphabet Wall, and Eight Mile Rock, May 2002
Another action packed weekend of cragging in Leavenworth was in the forecast. Scott, Alison, Craig and Todd somehow located our dispersed tent-site somewhere beyond the end of the Icicle Creek Road early on a Saturday morning. We briefly discussed our plans for the day and decided to first explore the climbing at Little Bridge Creek Rock.
Scott started out by leading "Arete" (5.8). We then all climbed "Slab" (5.8) and "Arms Control" (5.10a).
On to Alphabet Wall. I led a route we named "Gaper Dreams" (5.5). My first trad lead.
Eight Mile Rock was next starting with "Mickey Mantle" (5.7) and followed by "Twin Cracks" (5.8).
Leavenworth - Castle Rock & Icicle Buttress, June 2002
After a warm and relatively uncrowded afternoon climbing the Feathers (Vantage), Agata and I drove to Icicle Canyon to secure a camp spot for the night and climb some Leavenworth Rock for the remainder of the weekend. We would end up making our first multi-pitch trad climbs together.
We awoke late in the day and endured several hours in the sweltering heat at Clamshell Cave where we climbed some short trad routes. We both agreed to spend the next day climbing some multi-pitch routes. I had previously been advised to check out "Saber" on Castle Rock. Returning to camp, we saw a couple climbers high up on Icicle Buttress and determined that they were climbing R&D, an easy 5.4, four-pitch route. Along with Saber, it had to be done. R&D would be our first stop that next morning.
The first pitch was super easy, but I was soon to learn the true meaning of heinous rope drag. Agata had to climb the pitch practically off-belay in order to free the rope. Fortunately, pitches two and three went much smoother. Pitch four was the most enjoyable with fun cracks to work with.
We ended up spending several hours doing R&D. Next stop: Castle Rock. Agata had difficulty climbing with a pack on earlier and so chose not to bring it with her up Saber. As a result, no photos were taken while on the route. Saber starts to the right with an interesting stem move above the lower crack in order to gain the base of the main crack. I led up to a very thin ledge with rap slings and setup a very feeble anchor that I'm far from proud of and belayed up Agata. This couldn't be the "obvious ledge" could it? With Agata belaying, I led out up the quite exposed blocky slab to what was undeniably an obvious ledge complete with industrial-sized anchors.
From the ledge the route follows a blocky chimney to easier climbing above. Just as rope drag became tough, I spotted a couple bolts and stopped to set up a belay. The remaining pitch to the summit was low fifth and fourth class. We walked off the back and descended from Logger's Ledge back to the parking area. We were satisfied with having completed both routes and felt the experience had opened up other more interesting rock climbing opportunities for us.
Tom and I intended to climb the West Ridge of Stuart. We awoke that morning at our Ingals Lake camp to whiteout and later snow. The West Ridge would have to wait for another time. There was warm sun to be had in the low-lands and so we opted to salvage the day by enjoying some Leavenworth rock. It seemed like Icicle Canyon was also in the clouds, so off to the Peshastin Pinnacles State Park we go with high hopes for sunny weather.
My first lead up some route on Dinosaur Tower was on very crumbly 'rock' and demanded my full attention. It pays to bring the guide book!
We descend the trail back down to the base of the Martian Diagonal route. I lead the first two pitches of fun but very easy friction slab climbing. About half way up the second pitch Tom starts complaining about the lack of purchase with his hiking boots. In the end, I have to lower Tom back down to the first rap bolts and we both rap off and go home. Time to get a pair of rock shoes!
Leavenworth - Castle Rock and Eightmile Buttress, July 2002
Escaping the cube-farm for a day, Agata and I set out for some more multi-pitch action in Leavenworth. We first stopped at Castle Rock to climb Midway, one of the earlier and more interesting of the moderate routes put up on the rock. Flipping through the guide book on the drive over to Leavenworth, Agata discovered another moderate (5.6) multi-pitch route on Eightmile Buttress named Tree Route. We decided to check it out as well. It was going to be a full day in what was sure to turn into an Eastern Washington scorcher.
The route up Midway starts up a chimney between Jello Tower and upper Castle Rock. Being new to chimney moves, I took my time working the interesting stemming problems up to the top of Jello Tower.
The 2nd pitch was very interesting, with an airy step off of Jello Tower and exposed moves higher up. I climbed up to the right, following hand cracks, traversed left into a chimney and had to cut the pitch short due to rope drag. I belayed Agata up into a very tight pocket in the chimney where I was standing. With two of us there, it was very crowded.
I squeezed myself through the tight chimney followed by easier chimney climbing and reached the obvious belay ledge a short distance above. It looked as if the climbing would get easier from here on out. The final pitch followed a large blocky crack then up along a fun hand crack on the slabby but well textured upper portion of Castle Rock.
As for the Tree Route, it starts out quite easy and follows flakes, cracks and easy blocky terrain. Because its easy one tends to put very little protection in the rock. I lead up to the crux move (pitch 3 or 4) and struggled with the off-width crack before realizing that I hadn't placed a single piece of pro in the rock below me. I cautiously downclimbed and decided to belay Agata up to a ledge below the crux move before attempting it again.
With Agata now at the belay ledge, we discussed our options. It was very warm, we were dehydrated, it was getting late, and interest was waning. The remaining pitch didn't look too terribly interesting...in fact, most of the route was somewhat boring. We decided to rap back down and go home. The 15/20 minute hike out on the loose and dusty trail wasn't altogether pleasant but we both made short work of the ice-cold beers waiting for us at the car.
Leavenworth - Sam Hill and Underhill, November 2002
Agata and I met with Scott (and others) in Leavenworth for some sport climbing action. Despite the frigid temps in the shade, we were all stunned by how comfortable an early November day in the Icicle Creek Canyon could be. We figured this would probably be the last opportunity to climb rock in Leavenworth before the snow begins falling. It is now Nov. 27 as I write this report and sadly (or happily?) there still isn't a trace of snow in the lower elevations. This has been an unusually dry November folks!
We climbed "Fuzzy Packs a Lunch" (5.9), "Can Blue Men Sing the Whites" (5.10a), "Groping for Oprah's Navel" (5.10b) and "Don't Forget Arete" (5.9).
Leavenworth - Trundle Dome and Clamshell Cave, May 2003
It was to be a weekend of snow and rock. Scott and I had satisfied ourselves of the snow after completing the Birthday Tour (WA Pass) the day before. So, off to Leavenworth to climb rock, meeting John at the Shell station in town before the short hike to Trundle Dome.
Starting out on "Sonic Boom" (5.9) and enjoyed the "bouldery start". We climbed "April Mayhem" (5.9) next. This one tore up my knuckles good. Better for smaller hands. We then moved on to "Finger Fest" (5.8). A really fun finger crack finished by some friction slab climbing.
Next was a very run out "Keep Clam" (5.8) at Clamshell Cave with Scott on lead. I guess there's a reason why the book advises doing this with a "top-rope". We also all led the enjoyable "Noisy Oyster" (5.7) and some newer and as yet unpublished route on the left side of the crag that felt something like a 5.9.
Leavenworth - Planet of the 8's, Clem's Holler and Mad Meadows, May 2003
Agata and I rendezvoused with Scott, Alison, John, Dan, and others the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend at the Upper Bridge Creek Campground outside Leavenworth. We would have Sunday to climb together. Only Agata and I stayed on through Monday and continued climbing.
We decided to explore the "Planet of the Eights" area first. We encountered some difficulty locating the crag, amounting to little more than wasted time.
We climbed the two left routes near the top of the crag. John led the left-most route, while Dan led the other route (both 5.8's). Neither route was particularly interesting.
We decided to leave the crag, but decided to check out "Poison Ivy Crack" on our way back down. Scott, myself, and John climbed the crack on top rope. Highly recommended!
Up next - "Clem's Holler". A short drive along HWY 2 and a relatively long approach hike brought us to the base of the crag. Scott, John, Agata and I climbed the two-pitch "Nettlesome" (5.9) route. Very enjoyable! We were running short on time, and so left after climbing only one route. There's an interesting 5.8 route just right of "Nettlesome" that I want to climb. Then, there's "The Javelin" - a bolted lay-back flake (5.9) that looks very enticing.
Monday morning, Agata and I decide to visit "Mad Meadows". After yet again more problems locating the crag, we finally reach the "Play Pen" area. I led up a bolted 5.6 route to a broad ledge and belayed up Agata. Above this ledge, we located and climbed two other routes - a 5.7 on the left and a 5.8+ on the right. Enjoyable routes!
Afterwards, we walked over to the top anchors of "Birthday Boy" (5.7), rapped down, and climbed back up. Not very difficult, but fun nonetheless.
Leavenworth - Castle Rock & Icicle Buttress, September 2004
It's been a while since Agata and I last climbed in the outdoors together. Putting my alpine climbing desires on hold for a change, I dedicated a September weekend to some casual Leavenworth cragging. Our mission - explore some new routes and introduce Agata to trad leading.
We decided to give Cat Burglar on upper Castle Rock a try. The first pitch seemed funky and difficult to protect and we quickly decided to climb the first pitch of Saber instead (first pitches on both routes end up at Saber Ledge). From the ledge, the route apparently traverses out to the right over on the "right margin of the ledge" to a blank face with mucho exposure. Protection was scarce and the route just didn't seem obvious to me. Once again, I opted for the familiar and climbed part-way up the standard second pitch of Saber so that I could traverse back over once above the aforementioned difficulties. Ending up just above Cat Burglar's tree belay, we climbed the remaining easy pitch to the summit.
Next day - off to climb R&D again! For variety, we decided to start via Cocaine Connection (CC). In actuality, we climbed a seemingly undocumented and lichen infested route with very old hangers just left of CC (there were water smears on CC).
Leavenworth - Castle Rock, Domestic Dome & Givler's Dome, October 2004
With some good beta, courtesy of co-worker Matt Robertson (happy retirement by the way!), we decided on another round of Leavenworth rock. Andy joined Agata and me for what promised to be a challenging (for me) weekend of climbing.
Back to Castle Rock, this time to be climbed from bottom-to-top like the mini-mountain that it is. We started with The Fault (a difficult to protect 5.6 chimney), then to Catapult (5.8) and finished with Angel (5.10-). Note that the Fault is not kind to followers wearing packs.
The cruxy moves below the roof on Catapult certainly got the blood pumping. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pull on pro at times. What better way to trust one's placements, right? Once over the roof, the difficulties ease off slightly, though, there's still some interesting climbing before one reaches a comfortable ledge.
Finally at the ledge with blocky, but, easy climbing above, I called down to Agata and Andy and asked if Catapult is a one or two pitch climb..."one pitch" was Andy's answer. With the rope coming tight on me about 15 feet below Logger's Ledge (60m rope), I knew Andy beta was incorrect (Kramar's book suggests two, or even three pitches). Thanks dude!
While belaying at Logger's Ledge, I met friends Aaron (forgot last name), Cory Groom and Dan Nacho (and girlfriends). With Aaron volunteering to lead the first pitch (crux), I jumped at the opportunity to climb Angel (5.10-). Lieback moves helped on the upper half of the crack. The crack itself isn't too greasy, but, the rock nubbins on either-side are polished after decades of ascents (poor for feet). I must have hung on the rope about ten times before making it up. A funky and very exposed down-climb gets one to the belay station. I led the remaining 5.7 pitch (best done as two pitches) to the top...very enjoyable! In the meantime, Agata top roped the South Face of Jello Tower (5.8+).
Next day - we decided to do a multi-crag/multi-pitch link-up starting at Domestic Dome. Agata led Underachiever (5.8) to the top of Domestic Dome (we bypassed shitty BS ~ 5.6 on the left). From there, we had planned on various other climbs starting with Rare Earth Crag, but, were disappointed to discover that the remaining routes I had listed aren't published in the first edition of Leavenworth Rock. So, what now? No more excuses...off to Givler's Crack!
The first pitch of Givler's Crack goes at 5.8...that first move is a real treat! The 2nd pitch was mostly 5.7 or less according to the guide.
Martin Cash and I climbed Orbit on a somewhat marginal April day. Martin bravely led all five pitches and I was more than happy to follow. With the exception of our first pitch (standard second pitch?) and perhaps the final two pitches, I doubt I'd have the balls to lead this route myself. The climbing felt quite sustained and exposed, pro was marginal at times and the belay "ledges" were tiny and uncomfortable. Still, a great route - one that I've long wanted to do!
We hiked the Snow Creek Trail a ways, until just before reaching a more forested section of the valley. We then descended to the creek and poked around for a good log to cross on. Having already missed the climber's path to the base of the wall, we simply kicked up the dusty slopes directly beneath Orbit. We soon found the belay tree beneath the first class 3/4 pitch of the route. We changed into our rock shoes here and scrambled up and left to the next tree belay (one exposed 5.6 move just below tree) at the start of the standard second pitch.
Martin carefully worked his way up the dihedral on the first pitch (climb face left of dihedral - 5.8...not dihedral itself - 5.10?). There's a red fixed cam in the dihedral - not be confused with pro your leader actually placed!
From a good belay, Martin lead up the easier second pitch, aiming for an obvious left-trending ramp. Then from a semi-hanging belay above the previous traverse pitch (better belay in brushy alcove directly above martin), Martin led up a short but intimidating slab and finger crack pitch to reach a good (but hollow) flake at left. With an exposed move working back right into a dihedral beneath a roof, Martin dissappeared from view.
I then followed up over the roof/arete of the third pitch (very exposed and marginal pro ~ 5.8+?). Starting up a dihedral on the fourth pitch, Martin worked up and right and disappeared behind a small arete.
The fourth pitch features yet more limited pro, but easier climbing save for a few cruxy moves over a bulge. There's a nice belay ledge here thankfully. From the ledge, the next pitch goes off to the right around a corner for some easy climbing on knobs to another big and comfortable belay ledge. The last pitch from this ledge (again, work right) to the top entailed mostly uninteresting low-fifth climbing, save for a funky off-width/flake thing that I flailed over (possibly better climbing left of final ledge).
The Snow Creek Wall welcoming party (goats) was waiting for us when we arrived up on top of the route. It started raining about 10 minutes after we reached the top. I particularly enjoyed the wet fifth-class downclimbing back to our packs!
The shitty weather forecast once again forced Eric and I to look eastward for weekend entertainment. Though I've heard lots of positive feedback concerning routes at the Pearly Gates crags, I've never actually climbed there until now. With rain most everywhere else in the Cascades, a casual April Sunday climbing at Pearly Gates was about all we could think of doing.
We started out climbing The Dog Ate My Topo (5.7) and continued to the top via slabby The Scene is Clean (5.8). We then climbed the second pitch of Milky Way (5.9).
Eric scrambled up and set up a TR on Loaves of Fun (5.8 trad). From there, we continued on to the top via Tool Time (5.9+ sandbag). Hiking back down the trail, I longingly eyed 4-star Celestial Groove (5.9+), but struggled in finding a suitable TR anchor. Next time...
Leavenworth - Peshastin Pinnacles and Clamshell Cave, May 2006
Pouring rain just West of the Columbia River had us running with tails between our legs in a desperate quest to salvage the long Memorial Day weekend. With today's exorbitant gas prices the futile 3-hour drive east added further insult to injury. Surely, if it's wet in Vantage, the entire state must be wet, right? Agata asks: "So guys, do we bag it or keep driving?" "We can go camping at La Push and catch some waves" I said half jokingly. As expected, the suggestion wasn't very well received. Rather than drive back home, however, we drove north to check out the rock at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park. Wouldn't ya know it, the sun was out when we got there!
Warming up on Martian Slab, we climbed Diagonal Direct and Martian Diagonal.
He hiked over to Austrian Slab next and started out climbing Slakin' (5.8) followed by Lichen Delight (5.9).
We then hiked on over to Sickle Slab and considered climbing Windward Direct or Windward next, but as it was getting late in the day and a thunderstorm just east of us threatened to make an advance, we called it quits. Next time.
After a night of debauchery at our super-secret camp spot near the end of the Icicle, we hiked in for a few hours of cragging at Clamshell Cave starting with Clamshell Crack (5.7 - uprated from 5.5??). Finally, we wrapped up the afternoon climbing Fourty-Four Fifty (5.9).
Leavenworth - Pearly Gates and Trundle Dome, May 2007
In what has now become an annual Memorial Day Weekend event, Agata and I rendezvoused with Andy Ball and friends at our "Super Secret" camp spot near the end of Icicle Creek road. So as to restore some equilibrium to this notorious party weekend, Agata, Jill, Andy, Ryan, Beth and I decided to include some sport climbing in our itinerary. We spent Saturday climbing at Pearly Gates and Sunday at Trundle Dome.
The weekend wasn't without some drama mind you, though not the kind you may be thinking of. Our ever-inquisitive Jack Russell Terrier, Ozzie, managed to fall into the fast-flowing aquaduct that crosses the Snow Lakes Trail. Had I not been there and jumped in after him that very instant...well, I'd rather not imagine how that would have played out. Oh, a word to the wise - do not put an unopened can of Tecate in the bonfire...unless of course you want to blast your friends with a shower of hot ash and coal. Wow! The explosion was a fair bit bigger than I had anticipated. Sorry guys!
Started out climbing The Dog Ate My Topo - 5.7. We then traversed to the left edge of the ledge and I led the second pitch of Milky Way - 5.9.
Next we climbed nearby The Scene Is Clean - 5.8. Following this, Agata and I rapped off the upper anchors for Tool Time and I climbed the second pitch of that route on TR - 5.9+ (I can't seem to figure out the move over the bulge).
We all climbed Sonic Boom on TR - 5.10- followed by top roping April Mayhem next and spent a fair amount of time hanging and grunting our way up the jam crack - 5.9.
With plans for climbing classic 6-pitch Condorphamine Addiction (CA) on Condor Buttress, Martin and I set out from Seattle for Leavenworth on a day that proved to be marginal at best (weather-wise). Having already climbed CA before, Martin wanted to first check out some routes on nearby Bathtub Dome. In the end, the rain finally caught us and we barely managed a few routes on Bathtub before running for shelter.
Hiking up to the base of the crag, we somehow got above the first tier and ended up starting our climbing on the second pitch of New Fixtures (5.7).
Our next objective was to climb The Drain (3-star, 5.9), but the runnout to the first bolt was more than either of us were comfortable with. It was mostly slab/face climbing to that point and so protection opportunities were virtually non-existent. What to do? Martin handed me the rack and I went left and led up some combination of Toilet Trouble and Rub-a-dub-dub (5.5/5.6) to the top of the crag. We did a double rope rappell from the The Drain chains and Martin climbed the route on TR before it started raining in ernest.
Agata and I again ventured east of the crest to escape the lousy we(s)t-side weather. We rendezvoused with Kerstin (my sister) at Johnny Creek Campground on a Friday night and settled in for a relaxing evening by the bonfire. The occasional sprinkle that night and next morning convinced us to once and for all bang-out a handfull of 3-star routes at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park.
Started out on first pitch of Martian Diagonal/Diagonal Direct (5.Easy and fun) followed by Diagonal Direct (5.8) with bolts and gear placements.
Next: off to Sickle Slab to climb Windward Direct - 5.8 bolts and gear.
Where to next? Dinosaur Tower to climb area classic Potholes! Agata led the first pitch - 5.8 bolts and gear.
Off to the next 3-star climb on Grand Central Tower. Be sure not to disturb the rattlesnake resting beneath a rock near the start of West Face!
Found enjoyable climbing on West Face - 5.8 all bolts, fun! I wanted to traverse over to the anchors for Lightning Crack and climb the second pitch of that route (~5.7), but motivation was waning and cold beer was calling.
For the final climb of the day, Agata and I top-roped West Face Direct - 5.10a, friction slab. Another fulfilling weekend of Leavenworth rock in the bag.
Leavenworth - Domestic Dome/Rare Earth link-up, June 2007
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here, but crummy Seattle weekend weather once again sent us fleeing for greener pastures. Yup, back to Eastern Washington to soak in some sun and climb rock. What is it now...like, three weekends back-to-back? I guess you could say we're on a roll! Anyway, this time we sought out to complete a 'link-up' of sorts - one that we'd tried back in October 2004, but couldn't complete because the Leavenworth Rock edition I had at the time didn't cover many of the crags and routes beyond Domestic Dome.
Armed with Kramar's second edition, the time was finally ripe to give it another go. The plan was to start on Domestic Dome, climbing BS (5.6, one bolt and gear) followed by Snag Crack (5.7, gear). I had previously backed-away from Snag Crack, so completing this pitch was redeeming. From there, a short hike led to Old Piton Route (~5.8, bolts and gear) immediately followed by Rare Earth (~5.10, all bolts). We'd hoped to finish off by then hiking to the base of the next dome and climbing two pitch Fit n' Trim (5.8, bolts and gear), but time wasn't on our side for that. Nevertheless, a fun day out in the 'sickle. We'll be back for Fit n' Trim!
Leavenworth - Condor Buttress & Fish Wall, July 2007
If someone had told me earlier this year if I'd be climbing Condor Buttress in late July, I'd wouldn't have believed them. I generally consider the month of July better suited for those bigger alpine routes I've been waiting all winter and spring to do. Enter the non-summer of 2007, where the weather has consistently crapped-out each and every weekend. Faced with yet another rainy weekend on the west slopes of the Cascades, the time seemed right for Agata and I to take on a Leavenworth classic - Condorphamine Addiction. With seven relatively short and very well all-bolted pitches, the hardest of which are rated 10b, the allure of this alpine sport climb is hard to ignore.
I led the first 4 pitches but relinquished the fifth to Agata as she hadn't gotten a solid lead in yet. It conveniently ended up being one of the 10b crux pitches. I relinquished the fifth pitch to Agata as she hadn't gotten a solid lead in yet. It ended up being one of the 10b crux pitches.
We wanted to climb Heart of Gold (4p, 10-) the next day, but ended up farting around on Fish Wall instead starting with Crab Cakes (8+, bolts and gear). Agata then led it next. Finished up with Agata leading Sardine Routine (5.9, bolts and gear). Nice lead!
In Leavenworth for a wedding the weekend of May 31, Agata and I had our sights set on once and for all climbing Heart of Gold. While the Best Man and I climbed the first pitch of HoG and a couple routes on Fish Wall the day of the wedding, we were pressed for time and cut the day short so as not to be late. Someone was a bit hungover the next day (it wasn't me) and so HoG was set aside for some single-pitch routes at Keen Acres.
Started out climbing Inverted Firkin (5.8+). Also climbed Take Out (5.7), just to the right.
Then climbed Keen Acres (5.9+) and Kilt Twister (5.8).
Back to Leavenworth for a day of bolt clipping. We've both had a relatively late start to outdoor rock climbing this year and so some moderate conditioning climbs were long overdue. The Off Duty area offers a good assortment of climbs in the 5.8 - 5.10 range...the perfect crag for us to hone our slab and face climbing skills we figured.
We climbed Peckin' Time (5.8), Slap (5.9), the first pitch of Aquamarine (5.10a) and the first pitch of Off Duty classic Straight Street (5.9).
Leavenworth - Clems Holler/Puzzle Palace, July 2008
I promised Agata a day on the rock following my solo excusion on Clark Mountain the day before. Alas, we woke up late and groggy, but rallied nonetheless over rainy Stevens Pass to Tumwater Canyon to explore an area where we've only once previously visited. Guarded by a shorter than expected/remembered approach, Clems Holler and the nearby crags offer a good concentration of quality moderates.
Agata started the day leading Playin' Possum. We only climbed the first two 5.8 pitches, leaving the final gear and bolts 5.10a pitch for another time.
The description for routes at Puzzle Palace intrigued us, so off we went for an annoyingly loose and steep hike up to the base of the crag. Agata lead the steep but awesome Perplexus (5.10) - three stars!
The temperature at our trailhead bivy the night prior to our Serpentene Arete attempt was well below freezing, and remained comfortably below the 20-degree mark all that next day thanks to the arctic air which was in place over much of the state that weekend. The prospect of enduring that kind of cold on a large north-facing wall where the sun now remains absent until Spring gnawed away at my motivation throughout the approach. Unable to feel my fingers and my toes and feeling wholly unsecure scrambling along the snow-dusted ledge low on the route, I eventually decided I'd had enough.
We salvaged what was left of the short day climbing Canary on Castle Rock instead. Tod did a fine lead up the first 5.8 pitch with a stout finish onto Saber Ledge. The airy and classic step off the ledge at the start of p2 really gets the blood flowing and is easily the highlight of the route. Yes, a far cry from Serpentine Arete but at least now I have something to look forward to come spring or summer this year.