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The Climbing Club • View topic - Tieton 4/28-29/12

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 Post subject: Tieton 4/28-29/12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:59 am 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Tanya and I teamed up for a weekend of climbing in Tieton. We immediately ran into Kris, Mel, Adam and Amelia. It seems like we can always find friends at crags these days, or make new ones, which is one things I love about cragging in Washington. My past few trips to Tieton have been for just a few hours while passing through, just long enough to get an appreciation for the sand-bagged ratings here and leave feeling defeated (but happy as the area is beautiful). This time we’d have all weekend to get a feeling for the rock, the gear placements and finally get in some real climbing here. We started out with a warm-up climb on Rough Boys (5.5), not a bad warm-up, but not your typical easy ladder climb 5.5. Next Tanya took the lead on Western Front (5.3), a very fun climb with jamming and an interesting mantle move. This was one of Tanya’s first trad leads and she liked it. Next, I put up the steep hand to fist crack, Mush Maker (5.7). As the name implies, tape up for this one! Once you have tape, the jams are solid, but the climbing steep enough to get a good pump by the top. From here you can top rope First Blood, a wide 5.8 crack. This was a tough 5.8, there are features most of the way (I guess that’s why it still gets the 5.8 rating), but there were sections of technical arm bars and knee bars too! Meanwhile Kris led a 5.5 nearby that required you to overcome a roof on trad gear, yeah 5.5... and set up a top-rope on Ignorant pursuit (5.9) that we all got a ride on. Tanya, having had a taste of crack climbing and trad leading went for another lead on Slacker (5.4), again with some exciting moves for a 5.4. Adam led the excellent finger crack, Orange Sunshine (5.10b) and we got a TR on that, fun, balancy, then a final 10’ pumpy finger crack to finish it off.

Kris and Mel took off to spend the rest of the weekend with Kris’s folks, and Adam and Amelia shared their awesome free campsite with us. I guess Windy Point campground doesn’t open quite yet and if we walked in, we got the whole place to ourselves. We took a huge campsite next to the river and went to work on a ridiculously nice camp dinner and followed by an equally nice breakfast the next morning. In fact, Tanya and I brought half of Fred Meyer’s produce with us to Tieton (don’t shop hungry).

The next morning, we went to the Bend. I tried to warm-up on People, places and Things, an off-fingers 5.8. It had completely kicked my ass two years ago, I still came off this thing feeling defeated, but at least it went much better than my 1-long hang-dog last time… from here we could TR the 5.10a, Libretto. So we got in a two-for-one on this. The two-for-one is something that I always look out for in order to maximize my climbing at the crags. Next we moved over to Eat a Peach (5.7), this was a very enjoyable 5.7 hand crack and a great lead with good gear placements and clipping stances. We pulled the rope once I was done and Tanya gave it a go on lead too, clipping my gear as she went. She’ll easily place her own pieces next time, but one thing at a time, this was quite an “intro” to both crack climbing and leading on gear for one weekend. From here, we got another two-for-one and top-roped the 5.10c stemming and finger crack, Living in the City. Excellent Climb! We finished the weekend on the area classic 5.8, Ed’s Jam. Tanya took the first wandering pitch and established a gear anchor below the long hand-crack, then I made my way up using nearly every piece I had on me. Awesome climb! We easily descended using one rope by walking about 200’ to climber’s right and using some rap anchors that are easy to reach at that point.

Now that I’ve had a chance to spend a little more time here, I’m thinking that this could make a really fun UWCC crack climbing outing. Perhaps if we got a handful of trad leaders to hang top ropes and people with some experience climbing, but not much experience crack climbing could try these out. The area would be good for a medium-sized group. Even the easy cracks require more jamming technique than the stuff that we have at Vantage, the area is much less spread put than Leavenworth, most are single pitch (so top ropes are easy to set), and it is not nearly as crowded as Vantage or Leavenworth. Let me know if you’d be interested in helping out leading these climbs (or following) and perhaps we’ll put together something like this in the fall this year.

I didn’t take nearly enough photos, but here are a few of the area:

Camp at Windy Point:


Amelia leads Eat a Peach:




Adam and Amelia near the top of Ed’s Jam:




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 Post subject: Re: Tieton 4/28-29/12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:22 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:01 pm
Posts: 115
Location: UW, Seattle
wow- sounds like some stout grades.
good times- i can't wait to get out there. especially that i live in olympia now. it's probably the closest crack climbing destination. maybe index is closer?

i'm game to head out there sometime after the 25th of may.


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 Post subject: Re: Tieton 4/28-29/12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 187
Location: Seattle
Yay, great work! Those are some fun climbs! Valerie, I totally agree with your assessment about the quality of the crack climbing at Tieton. I think it is far superior to Vantage, and I just love how you can neatly slot the big hexes in those wavy, undulating cracks. I've only climbed at Tieton twice, but I think it is one of my favorite places. Tape gloves are essential!


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 Post subject: Re: Tieton 4/28-29/12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:41 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Nate: Yeah, the grades there a weird. I thought that a couple 8's were crazy hard, but the mid 10's seemed ok (or at least not a lot harder than the 8's).

It's probably ~3 hours from Oly. Same as Index, so It'll probably be your local crag when Index is wet. You'll also have the strange local cliffs: Fossil Rock and McCleary cliffs (I grew up in oly).

Heather: you're right, this is a place for hexes! I wish I were faster at placing these, I don't have a great eye for it after learning to lead in L-worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Tieton 4/28-29/12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 187
Location: Seattle
Oh let the cow bells ring at Tieton.... :)


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