No alpine adventures to speak of this week due to a heavy work load and a trip to the Incredible Hulk on the way (I leave L-town tomorrow!). I did however squeeze in a few nights at the crags and bouldering sessions with my brother. He had never climbed outside before (he had pulled on plastic a couple of times) and I think I may have planted a seed. He seemed to really enjoy himself and I was impressed by his quick learning curve and natural ability. So impressed in fact that I took a bunch of video of him crushing. Look forward to some of that when I return from Cali...the kid was hiking v4 his first day ever on rock for goodness sake!
In the thick of it...Dreams of Kashmir
Taking a break from the mountains allowed me to visit a favorite local cliff called Rat Creek Dome. Rat Creek is rad because you get to wade a raging river, enjoy a typical Cascade bushwhack, and climb in a secluded, beautiful zone. The experience goes beyond just grabbing the holds which is just the way I like it.
When I first visited the cliff I noticed bolted/mixed routes all over the face, but found the most appealing line to be lost in the middle of it all. Later I found out that the line I was looking at had been tr'ed in 1993, but never lead. I relished the challenge of technical moves and thin gear. Choosing to skip surrounding bolts that I could have clipped also upped the anti, but I was committed to following a natural passage up the face. Dreams of Kashmir climbs 35 feet of unprotected patina edges (don't hit the deck!) before an incipient thin crack abruptly begins. The next section climbs out a bulge and slices an 85 degree face. Thin, balancey moves define this climb. You sneeze and your off. At the crux, you must hold your composure and fire in a questionable, upside down blue alien and a small hb off set, both of which are hard to wiggle into their crazy little pods. You then climb above the questionable gear and execute a very thin (almost a slab crux) sequence. You've gotta keep your mind in it and not think about those widgets far below. I make 4 placements (I place two pieces together at a few spots) in almost 90 feet, so the route is definitely heady. Max headed out and took some nice shots so get hyped and try a repeat! See ya next week with Hulk pics!
Crux sequence on DOK