Drew on Yellow Fever
A ray of sunshine casts itself over my wood, slatted floor. I sit up in my creaky bed, realizing the snow must have stopped. Outside my front door a silent world stands frozen in winter. But the storm of yesterday has lost its gusto, only whispy clouds over the desert east to remind the land how it was smothered in icy white crystals. The mountains stand out sharp against deep blue skies, north faces webbed with runnels and dark, black stone. I fire up the espresso maker and dial up my friend Drew. "Hey man, it's too nice. I can't go to work today." His voice is sleepy, but he too wants to climb through this wonderland of seasons. Soon, we slip around icy roads, craning our necks to catch a glimpse of high south facing slopes. In the canyon depths the dark cold of winter builds, but higher in the sun, the rocks stand their ground. We see a route shining in warmth above the iron gray Wenatchee River. Not even a water streak on it's steep flanks. We scamper over verglass covered granite eggs, kick dirt up a sandy gully, and then finally traverse into the sun and over to an exposed belay perch under our chosen route. "It's called Yellow Fever," I say. "It looks bouldery," says Drew. I shove off the belay, clipping bolts and stabbing at crimps. The 5.12 moves don't lend well to easing in to the day, so I ease off the rock, falling through steep air. We each warm ourselves with sequencing before redpointing the route. Already, the sun dips behind Icicle Ridge and our day is done. Short, but sweet, I'm thankful for any dry move this time of year. We coil the rope and stuff our packs with harnesses and draws. A tough cold slowly reels the hillside in. We slide down the stiff gravely slope, laughing at our fortune. The final hurrah of the rock season perhaps? I look higher on the hill where the sun still shines. I don't think so.
A clash of seasons: November in L-town