Other Sport & Trad Rock - Various

- Listed alphabetically by location (photos/captions ordered chronologically) -

darrington | exit 38 | index | lighthouse park | mazama | squamish | tieton


   Darrington - Exfoliation Dome (West Buttress), Oct. 2007

Exfoliation Dome is rather large granite dome south of the town of Darrington. Unlike other nearby features of interest to climbers, Exfoliation Dome is a distinct peak unto itself. It is apparently the most difficult 4,000-foot summit to attain in Washington State. The easiest way to its summit is a 9 pitch 5.8+ alpine rock climb – The West Buttress (aka Blueberry Hill). MC had already climbed the route on two previous occasions, and was very accomodating to climb it once again with me. (Photos: MC, SV)

* Some text copied from Martin's SummitPost.com report.

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Wet slabs on the approach via the infamous Granite Highway.
View of Exfoliation Dome from high on Granite Sidewalk.
Looking back from where we stopped to rope-up with Liberty Mountain at left and Big Bear Mountain at right (with Green Giant Buttress just below). Windy Pass lies between the two peaks.
Pitch #1 - 5.5 (Martin) - Scramble up the offwidth then keep moving up low angle face and cracks until a ledge at the base of the obvious left facing corner. 130 feet

Pitch #2 - 5.7 (Sergio - not pictured) - Lieback up the corner and turn to the roof and undercling it to the left (fun!). Continue up by jamming and liebacking up the low angle dihedral (starts as 5.7, then gets eaiser) using the crack at your feet for pro. Continue all the way up to the ledge with the tree to belay. 180 feet
Pitch #3 - 5.8+/5.9 (Martin) - This is the crux pitch, and used to be rated 5.8 until a big flake fell off in 2004. Climb the right facing corner on the right side of the buttress. Clip the 2 bolts where there is no crack, then stem and face climb up the thin dihedral. Continue a short distance up along the dihedral and build a belay where a good stance is found. 120 feet
Pitch #3.5 - 5.7/5.8 (Martin) - This is a short pitch intended to mitigate rope drag on pitch #3. Continue up the dihedral from the aforementioned belay, then make a bouldery move up and left to regain the crest of the arete (this move felt harder than any moves encountered on what's refered to as the crux). Continue a short distance to a nice belay station by some bushes.
Pitch #4 - 5.7 (Sergio) - This excellent pitch is long and varied. Climb the 3" crack then turn the corner to the left. Chimney up behind the flake then climb directly up the middle of the face via a series of angling crack and flake systems. Belay from the ledge with a tree (may have to simulclimb for a few feet to reach).
Pitch #5 - 5.5 (Martin) - Climbs slabs and corners up the buttress crest. When Martin ran out of rope, he had me break down the belay and simulclimb. I joined him at a belay by a tree in a left-facing dihedral on a large slab. 200+ feet

Pitch #6 - 5.4 (Sergio - not pictured) - Finish climbing slabs and belay at the big ledge in the trees (aka Blueberry Terrace). 80 feet
Nice view of Big Bear Mountain, Three Fingers, Mount Bullen and Whitehorse Mountain left-to-right in background, with Three O'Clock Rock visible at center-right in foreground.

We traversed the ledge climber's left over class 2 terrain with one short, but exposed class 4 section until able to see around the corner. Keep traversing until the rock gets steeper and look around for a good spot to build a belay station.
Rapelling Rainman.

Pitch #7 - 5.8 (Martin - not pictured) – Climb up occasional cracks with short bits of brush and lichen-encrusted rock to gain the slab above. Use every opportunity for placing gear as protection is limited on this pitch. Martin encountered some route finding difficulty and stopped to belay me up about halfway through. He continued on lead for the second-half of the pitch for a short distance before running into yet more bleak terrain. At this point, we were running short on time, and with the short days already at hand, I wanted to spare some daylight for the many rappels we had yet to do. We called it and made one long double-rope rappel back down to the far edge of Blueberry Terrace.
We poked around the edge of the ledge for a good while before locating the top chains for Rainman (Martin was cautious not to rappel Dark Rhythm as it is apparently notorious for getting ropes stuck). We made several double rope rappels from one set of chains to the next down the increasingly steep rock face.

True to form, the ropes got stuck about two raps from the bottom. After a futile attempt at climbing the stuck rope via prussic knots, I pulled out my knife and resigned myself to making countless very short bolt-to-bolt rappels with what little rope we had. Just for good measure, we decided to give the rope one final ‘oh please God’ tug with all the downward force we could muster. And don’t ya know it - the rope came free, but not without some collateral damage. The point where the EDK was tied shredded the outer sheath and a small part of the inner sheath to let the knot pass through the flake it was apparently stuck in. Epic averted – we re-tied the knot and completed the rappels. A short scramble back to where we stashed our gear and then we were off, hiking back down the Granite Sidewalk.

Martin and I traversed left into forest to bypass wet slabs on the lower half of the sidewalk. The going was surprisingly straightforward and occasional hints of a climbers path suggested we weren’t the first to go this way. Made it back to the car before long and back at the darrignton Shell station for cold Heineken just as it got dark! Now if only it weren't for that nagging desire to go back and tag the top of the peak's elusive summit...

   Darrington - Green Giant Buttress (Dreamer), Sept. 2005

(by MC)

Sergio and I attempted Dreamer on a marginal September day. We reached the base of the buttress after a 1.25 hour hike only to witness the horror of our route running with water. Instead of going home, I suggested we try something adventurous. I lead up a dihedral and some wet slabs to the right of the route and belayed. After that it was steep, wet slab or a mung dihedral that was running with water. Since the wet slab was virtually unclimbable, I led up the mung dihedral (probably Botany101 route?). I employed every trick in the book to get up that thing - stemming, chimneying, dirt pulling, liebacking, and shrub pulling...about 5.6. The only gear placement was excavated after some gardening with my nut tool, sending a torrerent of dirt down at Sergio. (Photos: MC, SV)

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Green Giant Buttress as seen on the approach.
Martin starts up the first pitch of Safe Sex.
Having fun trying to avoid the water smears.
A neat arete near Safe Sex.

From here we tried to traverse over to Dreamer, but found a 5.10 slab traverse with no pro. We were forced to continue upwards. I lead up another mung dihedral which became steep and choked with brush. I climbed up the shrub dihedral, hand-over-handing it on the steep smooth slab. Eventually I was able to traverse over to the Safe Sex anchor, finally getting a piece in after some very interesting sections to 5.7 100' above my last piece.
A 5.9 pitch?! My ass!

I lead up a fairly easy pitch on Safe Sex, but the next pitch, rated 5.9, was kind of a sandbag. Steep flakes and thin slab. At the top, I didn't see the anchor on the right side of the arete so I tried going straight up. This was like 10C and no pro, and I took a 25 footer on my last cam. I climbed back up and traversed over to the left but found this difficult as well. I had Sergio lower me to the left to a close-by Dreamer anchor at a small pedestal. Finally on route!
Climbing steep, hollow flakes.

Sergio followed climbing up to the last cam above me, falling several times (5.9 my ass). I lowered him off this cam to the anchor, figuring we could retrieve it on descent.
Contemplating the runout beneath the undercling flake.

On the next pitch, I lead up a steep flake. When it ended I was faced with a steep smooth slab move to get up to the undercling flake below the Blue Crack. Unfortunately there was absolutely no pro nearby. Rather than take a 40+ footer impacting a ledge and breaking both my ankles, I decided to downclimb and get lowered off. We bailed from here.
Rappelling Dreamer.
Our route. If you're into this sort of thing, good for you! Just a bit too much "adventure" for my taste.

   Exit 38 - Various, 2002 - 2008

Many a trip out to Exit 38 and once so far to Exit 32 since '02. Most e38 crags tend to be crowded and most e32 routes are beyond my abilities, but the area does offers a quick and dirty afternoon fix after a lame day at work.

Andy first introduced me to climbing at e38 by taking me up to The Peannacle where he set a couple top ropes for me to climb (probably just the 5.8 routes). At e32 Scott and I climbed classic Reptiles and Amphetamines (5.9) and a couple other nearby routes in the 5.9 - 5.10 range. Agata, myself and friends have climbed a number of routes on Substation and Writeoff Rock, but I only managed to follow Strip Clip (5.9) at Nevermind so far. We've climbed Underground Economy (5.9) and Jiffy Pop (5.7) at Deception Wall and all but one route at We Did Rock.

The area known as Far Side has seen a lot of new route development in recent years and features some of the best the area has to offer in my opinion. Gritscone is the obvious starter/warm-up crag in the area and is a good place to hide from the sun (though often overcrowded). A bit up the trail from Gritscone is Overhaul with a variety of stiff climbs,and a few moderates of which Slabbage Patch's Siamese Dream (5.9) is my favorite. At the Gun Show area, classic 3-star Endless Bliss with it's wonderfully textured slabs is never a disappointment. AG, I have also both led and climbed nearby Sinkerville (5.9) and the two-pitch 3-star Elation At The End Of Eternity (5.10-). At Interstate Park we've also climbed a few 5.8's - 5.10's at the Eastern Block area and the 9's and 10's at Off-Ramp. Finally, the steep and sustained 3-pitch The Plank (5.9, 5.10, 5.7) at Lost Boys (Neverland) is probably my all-time e38 favorite. (Photos: AG, SV)

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Agata clips a bolt at Writeoff Rock.
Climbing at We Did Rock ~ 5.8/5.9
More gripping We Did Rock action.
Martin leads past the wet slabs on Endless Bliss (Freeway Gun Show Wall) ~ 5.9-
Looking down from the chains at the first belay on Endless Bliss.
Yours truly leads Endless Bliss. This is by far the best route I've climbed at e38. The route can be climbed as two pitches or one (16 quickdraws in all)...two raps are necessary.
Agata finishes the final 5.7 pitch of 3-pitch The Plank at Neverland's Lost Boys.
Waiting-out the conjestion at the top of Lost My Marbles while rappeling off from The Plank.
The sun sets as we ready for the final rappels to the base of Lost Boys crag.

   Index Town Wall - Great Northern Slab (Twin Cracks), August 2002

After a lazy Sunday morning in August, AG, I both felt the need to go play out in the sunshine and make the most of what was left of the day. Needing a change of scenery, we decided to check out the crags near the town of Index. Being unfamiliar with the area, we settled on climbing what I think is the easiest route - "Twin Cracks" on the Great Northern Slab (5.6). Soon we were at the base of the slab trying to figure out how to get around the tough looking 5.8 fist crack. (Photos: AG, SV)

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We bypassed the short but difficult 5.8 fist crack pitch by scrambling up a gully to the right. Agata set up the belay and I headed up the silly 5.0 pitch to a ledge below the Twin Cracks. Enormous metal anchors indicate that you have reached the belay. The next (2nd) pitch was by far the most interesting and involved a tricky move to get in position below the twin finger cracks. Nut placements were painfully obvious and following the slanting crack system was really quite enjoyable. I set up a top belay for Agata at the chains directly above the cracks. With Agata belaying, I then set out for the final pitch to the top of the slab.
Agata nears the end of the final slab pitch.
Rapping back down the route. We then set up a top rope above the 5.8 fist crack and took turns climbing it. With much grunting and sweating, I eventually managed to sratch my way up and over the crack using lie-back moves instead of painful fist jams. The sunlight was now beginning to fade. We finished off our belay beers and called it a day. There's a lot more to be explored here and we'll be back sometime soon.

   Lighthouse Park - Various, August 2006

AG, I have both cragged at Lighthouse Park numerous times over the years. For those who live in and around North Vancouver, the seaside crags at lighthouse offer a few short, but fun single pitch climbs suitable for those too lazy or unmotivated to make the haul out to Squamish. If you fancy a casual afternoon of top-roping followed by a refreshing dip in Howe Sound, look no further. (Photos: AG, SV)

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Roped up at base of Double Overhang (10b/c).
Agata climbs Arbutus Tree (9).
Agata pulls through the crux on Double Overhang.
Typical top-rope scene at Lighthouse.
Lighthouse Panorama from top of crag.

   Mazama - Fun Rock, Sept. 2002 / July 2005

Feeling exceptionally lethargic the morning after our climb of Kangaroo Temple, we settled on climbing some sport routes over at Fun Rock (Sunbug Slab) in Mazama. I returned with Eric years later following a failed attempt on Reynolds Peak (we were turned back by wildfire burning alongside the trail). The area makes for a good warm-up (or warm-down) preceeding or following alpine rock climbs around Washington Pass. (Photos: AG, SV)

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Agata reaches the anchors on "Cream" (5.7) and continues on up to the top anchors for the 5.9 finish.
Reaching the top of "Cream".
Nearing the top of "Drive-By Nose Job" (5.8).

   Mazama - Goat Wall (Prime Rib), July 2007

Another summer weekend with marginal weather forecast for the west slopes, what a surprise! Wow, imagine that. What to do, what to do? No point chancing the 30% of rain on a certain Northeast Face in the Chilliwacks, eh Martin? May I suggest Washington Pass instead? Yes - a double ascent weekend, starting with a warm-up on Goat Wall's Prime Rib on Saturday followed by Burgundy Spire's North Face on Sunday. Done...sold! Um, well…except we had some issues with kitty litter rock on Burgundy and felt it wise to retreat after a near-disaster with the expando-flake © Martin inadvertently pulled off one of the lower pitches. Live and learn... (Photos: MC, SV)

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Goat Wall as seen on the approach.
Martin gets gripped near the finish of the first 5.2 pitch.
Martin starts up P2 (~5.8 for one tricky move at the 2nd bolt where the route steepens).
Following P2 - there's an intermediate station right before it gets steep in case you feel inclined to break it up into two pitches. A short hike then leads to base of P3, which goes up a ramp and slabs past a rap station to a belay station on a large ledge.
Climbing through the roof on P4 (~5.7). Once above the roof, continue up slabs then cross over a sharp crest/cheval and make a short down-climb to the belay station for P5.
P5 gains exposure immediately and can be linked with P6 which features a bouldery move directly up from the belay ledge (~5.8). The rest of P6 (seen here) cruises up easy slabs to a belay.
From top of P6, hike up and left to the base of a steep wall. Climb a long pitch up this wall (P7, ~5.8) to an airy belay at a small ledge.
Martin follows P7. P8 makes an easy, but exposed rightward traverse to the next station.
Easy slab climbing on P9.
Martin walks up slabs near end of P9 to the base of the final pitch. Methow River Valley in background.
The final pitch (P10) gains exposure right off the deck and features a couple bouldery moves to get up over the bulge (~5.8+). The key is to commit to the short, but airy traverse out left where hidden jugs are most welcome. The angle quickly eases after a move or two with the belay station lying just beyond.
Panorama of upper-Methow River Valley from high on Goat Wall.

In general, we found the cruxes all very well bolted. The route is equipped for single rope rappels - you can't see the station between P8 and P9 until you are on the rap. We took about a half hour on approach, about 4hrs on route and about 1hr to descend. Top it off with a refreshing dip in Methow River and dinner at Winthrop's Duck Brand for the grand finale! A big thanks to James and Josie for the room and board at their Winthrop home that night!

   Squamish - Various, Sept. 2003 / July 2004


We were visiting Agata's parents in North Vancouver again. It was to be a sunny weekend, and I lobbied hard to finally spend a day rock climbing in Squamish (we have previously only sport-climbed at the Smoke Bluffs area). I wanted to check out some of the classic (and overcrowded) routes on The Apron, preferably Banana Peel or Diedre. Both routes are rated at 5.8, though Diedre is somewhat more sustained. We decided to climb Banana Peel first (mostly 5.6 and under) to get a feel for the rock, and then, time permitting, climb Diedre.

We needlessly wasted time and energy hiking around the toe of The Apron, trying to find the start of the route. For the most popular routes on The Apron, the trail is certainly far from obvious. We eventually reached the start of both routes (both share the same first belay), only to find a guided party of four just starting up the first pitch (there was apparently also another guided party a pitch or two up on the route). Lame. Since then, we have returned to climb the crags at the Neat'n'Cool area. (Photos: SV)

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After an endless wait, I started up the first "pitch" - a super-short friction slab (5.6) to a tree belay. From the tree belay, Diedre continues up and left, while Banana Peel makes a level, rightward traverse for about a pitch-and-a-half along a horizontal fault (best done as a long simulclimb). We again waited at the next belay ledge for an eternity, while the party ahead of us seemingly climbed in slow motion.

The second pitch is another short, 15 - 20 foot friction slab (5.6) to another fault and tree belay. The following crux pitch (5.8), involves "wavy" friction slab climbing with nice finger pockets (a bolt protects the hardest move) to reach the base of a short vertical step/corner and a crack that offers good protection opportunities. Once above the step, the crack trends back left (seen in photo) to a solid tree belay.
Next, climb upwards in a small groove for a short distance to reach another small tree belay (it seems better to combine this and the previous pitch as one). Alternatively, one can continue a short distance farther and set up a belay in a small hollow.

Turning right, climb up out of the hollow and make a long and runout, friction-slab traverse (as seen in photo) to reach the bottom of a small dihedral (and your first opportunity for protection).
Climb up along the dihedral, turning left at the top (seen here), and climb flakes and slabs (set a cam in hole exposing the "hollow slab") up to the belay at a tree island (5.6).
The final pitch follows a shallow, wavy gully, then small flakes (seen here) to a belay at a large block (5.4). From the block, scramble up easily along more finger cracks to reach Broadway Ledge. Turning right, follow the ledge (some down-climbing) and find the trail descending forested slopes at The Apron's edge.
Agata coils in the rope as the sun sets over Howe Sound. What should have taken a few hours at most, took us all day, thanks to the frustratingly slow party ahead of us. Diedre, obviously will have to wait for another day. Agata was also less than thrilled...the constant waiting, the cold wind etc. I suppose I'll have to come up with something somewhat more "romantic" the next time her birthday rolls around.
We returned to climb that fine Squamish granite in July of 2004, on what was quite possibly the hottest damn day of the summer! Ugh!

We warmed up at far right on Clean Starts (5.7 -tr), and continued on up to the top via Neat and Clean (5.7 -gear). From the top of Neat & Cool, we top roped Cat Crack (5.6, but SUPER greasy), Flying Circus (5.10a), Lieback Flake (5.9), and Neat and Cool (5.10a). Here, Agata stops to rest near the top of Lieback Flake (5.9).
Crag-a-rama!

Neat and Cool with climbers on Flying Circus and Lieback Flake (left-to-right).

   Squamish - Various, July 2008


With aspirations for alpine objectives in the area, uncooperative and slow-to-improve weather forced a change in vacation plans for us poor souls stuck in Squamish, BC. Tony and Dave had already high-tailed it back home to salvage what was left of their time off from work while Aaron and I shifted priorities and focused on the obvious. A seasoned Squamish climber; in my eyes anyway, Aaron gave me what amounted to a grand tour of greater Squamish over the course of several days. From dirt bag-style camping on the spit, breakfasts at Whitespot, ‘reconnaissance’ of the Squamish River cable tram (i.e. a doomed attempt on an East Ridge of Alpha) and of course rock climbing, I saw a side of Squamish that I’d otherwise never have had the opportunity to experience.

While most areas were still damp from the previous day’s rain, Aaron and I first visited the one crag sure to be already dry and top-roped various crimpy slab climbs on Upper-Malamute. At Smoke Bluffs we climbed The Zip (a beautiful 10a finger and hand crack), Routes at Boulder Gully, Pixie Corner and Penny Lane. I climbed area classic Diedre once and for all and we swung leads on a 4-pitch sport route in Cheakamus Canyon called Star Chek. We basically tried to make the most of the situation, considering the low morale courtesy of weather-induced change of plans. Next time I'll let you talk me into those other crack climbs on the Apron and lower Grand Wall Aaron! (Photos: SV)

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Mamquam massif as seen looking across the bay from the Squamish spit.
Aaron nears the belay on Diedre's second pitch.
View from The Apron over Howe Sound with kiteboarders enjoying the late afternoon wind.
Aaron leading the fourth pitch of Diedre.
Bringing up the rear on Diedre's fifth pitch.
Aaron works the final dihedral moves on the classic fifth pitch.
Run-out with a sting in the tail - looking down Diedre's final pitch.
View of Tantalus Range from Cheakamus Canyon.
Climbing first pitch of Star Chek in Cheakamus Canyon.
Looking down the third pitch of Star Chek.
Penny Lane crack at right (5.9) with top rope on Crime of the Century (11b).

   Squamish - Various, September 2008


The weekend prior to our upcoming Yosemite and Tuolomne Meadows trip, Agata and I found ourselved back up in North Vancouver, this time to drop off Ozzie with her parents. The weather promised to be good, so we decided to squeeze-in another day of cragging with emphasis on crack routes. New to crack climbing, Agata performed admirably taking to hand jams and finger locks much quicker and more naturally than I ever did. It won't be long before she supasses me on all things to do with rock, assuming she hasn't done so already.

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Agata leads 3-star Laughing Crack (5.7).
Agata leads Smoke Bluffs classic Pixie Corner (5.8).
Preparing to rappel from top of Octopus Garden in the Shade (5.7/5.8 depending on what page of the guide you look at). Agata lead this cleanly, whereas I struggled and repeatedly hung on gear. Oh, and the bouldery start FAR from resembles anything in the 5.8 range and cannot be adequately protected (ie. a great ankle breaker). Fortunately for us, a party lowering off of nearby Pipe Dream placed a cam in a crack above the troublesome move so that it could be top-roped.

   Squamish - Raven's Castle, October 2008


Back up in Van. the weekend after returning from California, Agata and I decided to advantage of the unexpectedly dry forecast and sneak a final day of cragging before the rains again claim these northern lands. Up for something a little off the beaten path, we set our sights on the beautiful low-angle apron of friction slabs at the summit of the South Chief, with spectacular views looking west over the Squamish Estuary and the mountains.

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Agata leads the Archer's Arrows (5.8) with a finish on The Bow (5.9).
At the top Raven's Castle after climbing Slesse's 500 (5.9).
View from the top of the crag over Howe Sound.
Somewhat overexposed shot of Middle and North Peak with Mount Garibaldi in left background.

   Tieton - Various, Aug. 2007


In search of dry rock, Martin and I once again salvaged an August weekend by escaping to the desert. Not having climbed at Tieton before, I was grateful for the opportunity to have Martin coach me in the art of crack climbing. We set out from Seattle early on a Saturday morning and made our way to Yakima, then towards Rimrock Lake for a 'warm up' on Goose Egg Mountain's Ride the Lightning (5.9). With seven mostly bolted pitches and featuring a stellar gear lead up an aesthetic dihedral pitch, Ride the Lighting seemed a fine introduction to Tieton climbing. Following that, we'd spend the rest of the weekend climbing finger, hand and fist cracks at The Bend and Royal Columns. (Photos: MC, SV)

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Looking up at Goose Egg Mountain from the road. Most of the climbing appears to be concentrated on this steep, south-facing wall. We hiked a steep, dusty trail to its base and were sweating pretty good by the time were geared-up and ready to climb. Phew! It was going to be a scorcher of a day!
Martin climbs the first pitch of Ride the Lighting. The dihedral on the second pitch is visible at upper left.

I took the first 5.8 pitch and worked my way right into a shallow dihedral before continuing up on relatively well featured, but occasionally loose rock. The spacing between bolts seemed about right for the difficulty, that is until I was just two bolts shy of the belay anchor. Either a hold broke free, a bolt was removed or the route is sand bagged, for the moves directly beneath the second-to-last bolt were certainly not 5.8. An extra bolt or gear placement would have been nice! I made countless false starts before chickening out and having Martin lower me back down. Martin then climbed up to that same spot and suffered the same fate as me. Screw it - we bailed for the climbs at The Bend instead.
View of nearby Kloochman Rock from Goose Egg Mountain.
View of The Bend from the hike in.

Driving back down hwy12, we turned off at The Bend parking area, shouldered our packs and hiked up to the base of Ed's Jam.
Sergio flails up Ed's Jam (5.8).

I led the first short, easy pitch (assuming one can even call it that) to a belay at a pedestal directly beneath the classic hand crack for which this route is named. Martin then took the lead and gracefully jammed on up to the chains above. I had a much more difficult time of it and must have spent a good half hour flailing up the crack. Wow! Somebody needs to work on his jamming technique!
Martin rests on Pure Joy (10c).

Once on top, we hiked over to the chains for Pure Joy (10c), rapped down and climbed the route on TR. Martin and I both grunted and sweated our way up this tough finger and hand crack. This type of climbing is really physical, and I was pretty well worked by the time I reached the chains.
More flailing on Another One Bites The Dust (5.8).

After Pure Joy, Martin lead the aforementioned offwidth/fist crack, with me once again begging to be lowered and Martin refusing to do so. Especially on this route, Martin's large, fleshy hands definitely have the advantage over my relatively small hands. That's my excuse anyway, and with that we called it a day.
The following morning - Royal Columns from the bridge across Tieton River.
Sergio leading Western Front (5.3)...Jesus, just a humble 5.3?!
Stepping it up a notch - Sergio leads Rough Boys (5.4). Wow, is that hardcore or what?? Seriously though, the 5.3 - 5.5 climbing here feels like Exit 38 5.8s...right? Bueller?
Martin leads Mush Maker (5.7).

Once again, Martin styled up the route making it look much easier than it was. I only hung once this time, and the climbing certainly felt easier if I resisted my preference for face moves and simply jammed both hands and at least one foot in the crack.
Pleasant views of Tieton River Valley from top of Royal Columns.
Just another slacker climbing Slacker (5.4).
Last climb of the day - Good Timer (5.4). The marginal pro at the crux gave me some pause on this one, but as before, I found that jamming the crack rather than scratching for face holds made the moves much easier.
Looking down the Rainier Fork of American River Valley from Chinook Pass.

We called it a day early so as not to get home too late. Opting for a more scenic, albeit longer route back home, Martin and I returned to The Land of Espresso and Gray Skies via Chinook Pass.
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