Monday, September 3, 2007
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Over labor day weekend I joined my sister and a bunch of her friends form the OMC (OSU Mountain Club) for a long weekend of climbing in Leavenworth WA. We had a great time climbing. Again this trip was a new experience for me in the world of climbing. One reason was that this was the first time I had really ever climbed on granite and the other reason is this was the first time I had climbed any 'trad' climbs. Good stuff. We were lucky enough to have gone up there with Greg, a friend of Jodie and Jeremy's whom I have climbed many times with at the gym. Greg was kind enough to take the time to lead most of the climbs for us sense he knew and had the gear to climb 'trad'. Greg was also patient with us and helped teach us some of the tricks to crack, slab, and trad climbing on the granite. Thanks Greg!!!
The country up around Leavenworth WA is very steep and rugged. Every where you turn there is another rock to climb. I took Friday off and met my sister at her house then we headed over to Greg's where we crammed our gear in the back of Greg's car. We were off on a 6 hour drive to Leavenworth WA. Traffic was good until we got on HWY18 and traffic came to a stop we ended up having to turn around and find another way. Apparently there had been a 4 car pileup and that had just happened. After a bit of a detour we were moving again. We found the camp Rob had grabbed, no help from Rob's signs.
The next morning when I got up, the number of tents had doubled over night. I guess people were showing up all through the night. I'm surprised any of them found us in the dark. After a sleeping in a bit we had a quick bite for breakfast and some bribing to get Greg's car out of the crowded parking area, we (Greg, Jodie, and I) were on our way to find a good easy crag to climb.
We hit the 'Alphabet Rock' first. Our first climb turned out to be a little more than a simple warm up.
Greg leading 'Meat Grinder'
Myself working on 'Meat Grinder' (thinking "this seems harder then a 5.8")
When I gave up and came down, Greg said "oops, sorry I think this is actually a 5.10a." Not a 5.8 like we first thought. Because I didn't finish the climb, it was up to Jodie to finish cleaning the gear off the route.
Jodie on 'Meat Grinder'
Jodie, don't stop now you're almost there.
Greg getting comfortable while on belay for Jodie
Jodie intently waiting for me to fall while on belay.
There ended up being one nut that Jodie couldn't get loose. So Greg had to climb it again to retrieve his gear. Meat Grinder was a fun climb. I just wish I could have finished it, maybe next time.
We then moved on to the climb we thought we were doing the first time. 'Dog Leg Crack' a 5.8. This climb was much more my speed. Though still tough, having never climbed any cracks before.
Me climbing 'Dog Leg Crack' 5.8
Jodie climbing a slab (nothing much to hold, just pure friction)
After a good day of climbing we made a quick run into town to check out the gear shop and fill the water jugs. We then headed back to camp and spent the evening hearing everyones war stories from the day.
The next morning Jodie Jeremy and I went with Rob and his lady friend, and let Greg and a couple of the other guys go climb a 7 pitch route called 'Condorphamine Addiction' a 5.10b (just a little out of my league, though Greg tried talking me into giving it a try. Maybe next time.). Our group headed to 'Domestic Dome'. I was a little sore from the day before, so I opted out on the first climb. By that time it was starting to get warm so we headed over to 'Muscle Beach' for a dip in the river. After cooling off in the river we went back to the 'Alphabet Rock' and set up some top ropes and messed around for a wile before heading back to camp for the evening.
Jeremy working on 'Dog Leg Crack' 5.8
Back at camp that night everyone was telling about the adventures of the day. Exousted I headed for bed somewhat early and was asleep in no time.
We got up early Monday in order to get a little climbing in before we needed to head home and be back before if was too late. Greg, Jodie, Jeremy and I hit up 'Castle Rock' for our last climb. I ended up getting some good pictures of Jodie on this climb.
Jodie rockin' the climb.
Greg climbing time-lapse
The view from 'Castle Rock'
We decided to hit the road in order to get home before it got to late. The decision to go back HWY 97 rather than HWY 2 turned out to be the right one. Just after we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon Greg got a from Ian saying they were stopped in traffic on HWY 2. I think we all had a great weekend I know I did.
Until next time...Have fun, and be safe in all your adventures.