Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home Turf

Well, it's been a while since I made a report, but my reasons are valid. I've been climbing like a maniac since I got back home! Leavenworth is currently offering a variety of climbing conditions that I can't help but sample every moment I am not working. The last 10 days it's been ice for breakfast (the ice is gone now) and rock for lunch. Check it.

Max in the morning:

Max in the afternoon:

I also made a winter solo effort on Outer Space. Even after a few successful climbs this winter, I wasn't suprised to fail...back to normal winter climbing in the Cascades! I did my best in full on conditions and that's what counts. It's always confidence inspiring to bail off an icy, snowy wall. I climbed well and got myself out safely. It was a good day. I wish I could have captured the "white ghost" spindrift avalanches that were pouring off the face (and pounding me!). They were very impressive. In the 2.5 hours I was climbing it snowed four inches. Wow!

Another fun outing was an afterwork mixed climb up Eight Mile Buttress with Max. I would guess we climbed about 1500 feet on ice and rock. The features were cool, the air warm, and the ice wet, but we still had fun. Good to practice climbing in all conditions.

And finally, but most intensley was a new route out near Banks Lake. Jessica and I have been tinkering on a beautiful bluff above the lake, cleaning suprisingly nice cracks and enjoying the great scenery. Jessica climbed an awesome crack she had been cleaning with one of the best topout views ever and I made a lead of a route I am calling Scream. It is a very nice, solid mid 5.11/11+ (grades are hard to pin down) crack and face climb. So why the abrasive name? Well, mostly because I am an idiot. I racked up at the base of the climb but forgot to bring THE KEY piece. With the right gear Scream is a very serious line, definetely in the solid R realm, but when I discovered that I had forgotten the saving piece near the top of the climb, I entered X territory. Now, I like to be scared, control my fear, and climb above my gear, but all of the sudden I was in a very serious situation, a bit too serious perhaps. To make a long story short, I screamed in primal fear as I finished the route's last pumpy moves. So if you want to make a repeat, bring TWO green camelots! I hate to make the route seem like something it is not. It does require a certain boldness, but is certainly managable by those who enjoy heady climbing, just make sure you've got what you need.

The climb:

The self portrait on top (funny face, but I was traumatized!):
And the beautiful sunset that calmed me down:

Thanks for checking in!

1 comment:

Annika said...

Nice update.... I am beefing up on climbing lingo :-) awesome pics!!! Miss you bro!!!