Monday, July 12, 2010

Seattle Climbing Weekend

This past weekend Fras and I were both free of other obligations and hadn’t hung out in a while, so we decided to hold a climbing symposium. We initially thought about trying to complete one of our high mountain objectives for the summer (which include the full north ridge of Mt. Stuart in the Cascades and a route on Mt. Slesse in BC), but some internet research indicated that these routes likely still had a lot of snow so we decided to stick to warm, dry rock with a weekend based out of Seattle. Fras drove down Saturday morning and we met at 11am at the Sultan Bakery on Highway 2 (where we fueled up with giant cinnamon buns). We then continued through Goldbar and parked at the base of the approach for the bouldering there. After the hour long sun-baked slog up the logging road we finally made it into the cooler conditions of the forested area where much of the bouldering is. We spent the day sampling Goldbar’s finest, with some of the highlights being Tetris (V2), Silver Slippers (V3), Lichen in (V4), Samurai (V4), and The Doja (V7). Fras managed to crush The Doja while I did not, and it remains on my list of projects. Here is a photo of me on The Doja:

It is a great problem with nice athletic movement, steep climbing, and a safe landing. Bouldering wrapped up around 7:45pm, so with the hour long walk we were back at the car by 9pm. We stopped at La Hacienda in Goldbar to sample some small town Mexican food and some small town service, with our food taking about an hour to come out. It was still good when it finally did come out and the staff was friendly so it wasn’t too bad, but if you are in a hurry I might recommend an alternate dinner venue.

Sunday morning Emily and Ben came over at 7:15am for a Tour de France party, and we all ate Top Pot donuts and waffles while watching Lance Armstrong’s hopes for an 8th Tour de France victory disappear faster than an apple fritter placed in front of Max. We managed to pick ourselves up after this disappointment, and at 10:00am Fras and I headed off to Little Si for a day of sport climbing. The original idea had been to get on Propaganda, the classic Little Si 5.12c, but after some uninspiring sensations during our warm-ups (perhaps from 8 hours of bouldering the day before?), we shifted our attention to the lower end of the spectrum, doing a 5.10c, a 5.10d, two 5.11b’s, and a 5.12a. We made it back to Seattle in good time since Fras didn’t want to get back to Vancouver too late, wrapping up a great weekend of climbing.

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