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The Climbing Club • View topic - Pearly Gates

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:02 am 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:15 pm
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Jason, Brendan and I got in a good day of crack climbing practice last Saturday, including Jason’s first real gear lead (first one that had more rock than vegetation). We were joined later by Jasmine and Co., John P. and many more. Great group of people up there Saturday! Pearly Gates is THE place to train on moderate cracks in Washington. A perfect line-up of mostly 5.8 to 5.10 cracks within a couple hundred feet of each other (unlike the usual spread out nature of Leavenworth climbing). Our line-up included: No room for Squares (5.8 ), Pope on a Rope P1 (5.6), Cloud 9 P1 (5.8 ), Meathooks of Mercy (5.9?), Pearly Gates (5.10c), Loaves of Fun (5.8 ), and Celestial Groove (5.9+). All of these are great climbs, even Meathooks of Mercy (a 5.9/10 climb with zero stars in the guide book). It looks a little dirty, but has clean rock in all of the places that you need. I’ve climbed this one 3 times now and love it. I may not follow exactly the route in the guide book though (maybe that’s why it’s better than indicated?). I’ve been starting at Meathooks (good, tough hand crack) then heading slightly right onto an arête, then straight up to twin cracks that can be stemmed, ending at the chain anchors just to climber’s left of the P1 anchors of Cloud 9. Next time you’re up there, give this one a shot and tell me how many stars you’d give it. I’m giving it a 2 or 3 star rating.

After parting ways with Jason and Brendan, I met up with Josh K at the climber's bivouac area. We had grand plans for more climbing Sunday, but with iffy weather and a Josh still getting over a cold, we called it and headed back Sunday morning. I'd love to get out on real rock with you soon Josh! You're a gourmet car camping cook, but let's hit up the rock next time too!

Photos!

Warming up on No Room for Squares:




The start of Meathooks of Mercy: a must do next time you’re up there!


Celestial Groove! I finally led this one. I don’t know why it seemed so daunting, it is a fantastic route!




Jason has some MUCH better photos that I’m hoping he’ll add after he’s done processing them.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:46 pm 
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stick clip
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 123
First off, this was an awesome day of cragging! The density of high quality cracks is so great, I got lots of much needed practice (and I need a lot more).

Early in the day, as Val mentioned, I got in my first "real" gear lead on P1 of Pope on a Rope. Having led a half pitch of 5.easy here and 30 feet of 5.moss there, it felt awesome to get a full pitch of 5.6 on solid rock under my belt. I found this pitch actually quite enjoyable for its easy standard, and I believe Val and Brendan agreed. Bring the #4 camalot for the wide moves at the beginning, then cruise easy but exciting and generally protectable moves to the anchors. Val began leading the bolt protected P2 (5.10a), but understandably backed off due to very insecure, runout slab that I don't think any of us were too excited about leading or following. I personally question what is so fun about slab climbing, but to each his own I suppose. At any rate, I re-earned my forum handle by stretching out my lanky self to retrieve the draw that Val left hanging on the first bolt of the hell slab.

The nice part about this crag is that the crux of pretty much every single pitch route is directly off the ground. Thusly, after groveling for a while on the beginning of Meathooks of Mercy, I was able to enjoy some awesome, bomber jamming action on the upper section. Similarly with Celestial Groove, the first ten feet utterly kicked my ass (nice lead, Val!) and stellar thin cracks were climbed joyfully albeit not gracefully to the top out.

My take away for the day was that I really need to work on my footwork - more than once my feet peeled while I was overly focused on getting that perfect hand jam, and for this my skin has not yet forgiven me. As I get more and more tired, I begin to neglect my feet and ergo tire myself out even more - a vicious cycle.


Photos:

Val leading Loaves of Fun (which really is fun!)
Image

View of Icicle Creek Canyon from the crag
Image

Val again on Loaves of Fun
Image

Me contemplating the tricky start to Celestial Groove (before taking an extended series of embarrassing falls on the entrance moves)
Image

Maybe a couple more photos on the way, but my belay slave duties overshadowed many photogenic moments.

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"There were people out there putting themselves in places they weren't supposed to be…and I knew right then that I wanted to be there too." -180 Degrees South


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:01 am 
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UW Climber

Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 279
Congrats on the first lead Jason! Now I'm excited for a fall season of 'maybe I should actually try to get good at crack climbing instead of flailing around on the UW rock'.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:04 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:43 pm
Posts: 302
Looks like a great day of UWCC cragging! Nicely done Jason on the first 'proper' lead :)


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Duchess of Bearington
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:44 am
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Location: closer to josh, kris, and mel than craig
Jason, good work on both the leads and the beautiful pictures! Looks like a fun day out.


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:03 pm 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:09 pm
Posts: 64
Nice job guys. Pearly gates is awesome, I can't wait to get back there (maybe this weekend...).

How was the eponymous Pearly Gates? That was next on my list to try leading. I was a little confused by the guidebook, which said something like "After the bolt protected crux, the climb gets easier, but stays about the same."


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Pearly Gates is a great climb! The moves before the bolt are sustained and difficult, but there are plenty of options for pro if you take a hand off the rovk long enough to place it. The crux is super fun and once you figure out the move you'll find it to be the most comfortable spot on the rock. The climbing continues after the roof, but is easier than anything before the roof. Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Pearly Gates
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:30 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:36 pm
Posts: 142
I had a super great time! thanks so much for inviting me on my first day of real crack climbing. Both of you had awesome leads and I was stoked to have the opportunity to glean some knowledge from you two, and on such a beautiful day nonetheless. See you guys in January!

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