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Leavenworth: Castle Rock and Pearly Gates
http://students.washington.edu/climb/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=6538
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Author:  BenPS [ Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:02 am ]
Post subject:  Leavenworth: Castle Rock and Pearly Gates

Just a quick trip report from last weekend, now that I'm done with the qual. No pictures unfortunately.

Jasmine and I headed out to Leavenworth last Friday and Saturday. On Friday we got up Castle rock twice, once on a Canary/Saber combo, and once via the route that starts with Angel crack, and has two pitches of 5.7 to the top after that. I really liked this second route. The start is a really nice thin crack problem. Hard, but protects very well. The next pitch Jasmine lead, which from my prospective was fun climbing, but had a couple sections that seemed a little tricky to protect. The last pitch was long and wandering. If I do this climb again I hope I can take a more direct line to the top.

On Saturday we checked out Pearly Gates. We had decided to leave Outer Space for another time, and this turned out to be a great crack climbing substitute. We climbed five great crack pitches, one after another. I don't have my guidebook on hand to check all the route names. A couple routes really stood out:

Cloud 9 has a fun steep hand crack start. The next section is wide, but has smaller cracks in the back so offwidth protection isn't required. Then more hand crack up to belay. The second pitch is a very nicely put together mixed route. Altogether a high quality route.

The highlight of the trip for me was the last route we did: Celestial Groove. The start is awkward and overhung. There are good protection options, but no good stance to place gear that I could find. But it was really fun climbing once I did get some pro in. After the start, there is a sort of steep ramp with a finger crack, leading up to a section of even thinner crack.

Anyway, thanks Jasmine for the solid partnering!

Author:  Jasmine Sandhu [ Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leavenworth: Castle Rock and Pearly Gates

Glad to hear the quals are done Ben, hope they went well. Leavenworth was good fun last weekend. I'm glad we went up to Pearly Gates on Sat even for half a day, it was pretty awesome - and great job leading Celestial Groove - I think that's definitely one of the hardest 5.9s I've climbed - I'd definitely rate it harder than a 5.9 .. it really is a beautiful route.

I was impressed with how methodically you've approached trad climbing - hope to get back up there with you soon!

Author:  Valerie Wall [ Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Leavenworth: Castle Rock and Pearly Gates

Nice job on Celestial Groove. That's been a goal of mine all summer. You are getting good fast!

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