Just as the year before, the endless rains and absence of sun west of the Cascade Crest left me yearning for an escape out to the sunny east-side, if only temporarily. I was able to pique Scott's interest at the very last minute and together with Craig, whom Scott also invited, we left the land of strong coffee and gray skies for greener pastures...metaphorically speaking.
This time we would avoid "The Feathers" entirely, preferring instead to focus our attention on the longer and much more classic routes found at Sunshine and Millennium Wall. We found few people playing hookey from work on this fine Friday morning, and, save for maybe three or four other parties we encountered, we had the area to ourselves. We warmed up on "Peaceful Warrior" (5.6). A few feet off the deck and I found myself flailing to clip a bolt. Wow! It's been a long time.
Scott started out leading "Vantage Point" (5.8 - sport, 11 clips). A nice long route! Craig and I then both climbed the route on top rope. I got pumped out just before the top. How many months has it been since I last climbed rock again?!
Scott then led "Stroken' the Chicken" next (5.6 - trad). Craig and I followed the route on top rope again. We all concluded that the crux moves above the chockstone felt somewhat more difficult than a lowly 5.6.
On to the Tilted Pillars area. Scott, our fearless leader for the day, led the very enjoyable "Chossmaster" (5.7 - sport), contrary to the less than inspiring name given, to a mid-point belay.
I finished off the remaining half-pitch from the belay to the top of "Chossmaster". I was starting to feel more myself again. By the way, the entire route can be climbed with one 60m rope, thus eliminating the need for belay halfway. Not much time left but we still wanted to check out Millennium Wall. Once there I lead the very easy "Little Red Rooster" (5.6 - sport) and "Play and Win" (5.9 - sport). Scott than wrapped up the day leading "My New Hammer" (5.10a - sport).
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