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Cragging at Leavenworthless
http://students.washington.edu/climb/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=52
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Author:  Stefan Sigurdsson [ Mon Sep 23, 2002 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Cragging at Leavenworthless

Dan Perrakis and I played on Castle Rock Saturday. We did the Fault, Catapult (1st pitch) and the Bone on the lower rock, then Canary on the upper. Fun stuff. A regular set of cams from finger to #3 Costalot and a set of wires does the trick. The Bone and the upper (step-across) pitch of Canary are a full rope-length each so don't lighten the rack too much. Include a fingernail-sized microstopper to protect the somewhat bouldery beginning of the 1st pitch of Canary. It won't protect you from grounding but it will protect you from trundling down the hill if you set it right.

We camped at Eight Mile with Dwayner and mtnrngr after running into those guys at Gustav's (@#$% $10 burgers but hey, the beer's alright). Dwayner gave us a cool topo hand-drawn on a napkin that would have been useful the day after except we lost it 5 minutes later. Apparently he guided at Leavenworth for a couple of decades, he knows those climbs down to the last crystal. Then bolts were discussed while mtnrngr and I grew glassy-eyed. I think the mutual agreement was that they completely disagreed that sport climbing is neither but then again I was spacing out at the end of all of that.

The morning after Dan had to pee so we climbed Snow Creek Wall. Luckily he had beer at Gustav's the night before so his bladder chased him out of the sleeping bag early enough to get first in line for Outer Space. Stroke of luck #2 was that the 3rd party on the wall was slow moving and receiving moral support from the 2nd party which therefore didn't move that fast either, so we had no stress. There were a lot of people that showed up but I think all the other parties turned around.

That climb is superb, the 4-5 cruxes are 10' or less and go at 5.8 and 5.9, but it's a long 6 pitches with a whole lot of incredibly exposed 5.6-5.7 - did I give that enough emphasis? I meant incredibly exposed. Yell-for-mommy exposed. It was too long and burly for me, I am psyched to be getting back into this stuff after having scared myself out of it in May but didn't have either the head or the muscle for leading any of the interesting pitches. Dan ropegunned, I was impressed. The climbing we did Saturday is a whole lot harder psychologically than what we did Saturday.

Some quantitative tidbits for all you schemers - we were at the base of the wall at 7:30 am and took 8 hours to finish. That was quite leisurely and we mostly weren't trading leads. We hiked up there at a grueling pace and still took 1:15 to get there, not the hour the guidebooks put it at. We had a bigger rack - 12 cams, probably two sets of stoppers, three hand-size hexes and four tricams on the smaller end. The crack pitches on the Shield leave you with literally an arms-length left of your 50 meter rope - you better hope you remember not to use too much of the rope for the anchor. Same thing with pro, we thought we had a lot but it all came in handy. There are no bolts at any of the belays or anywhere else on the route.

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