Sunday, August 24, 2008

Skyline Ridge Video

I just finished editing a video of our trip to Skyline Ridge several weeks ago. Climbs shown include Johnny on The Self, me on Nunchucks of Fire, and Johnny on the first ascent of the area's prize, No More Time. The quality of these lines, especially the first and last, speaks for itself... Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Equinox Wall

I went to the Equinox wall for the first time with Kyle, Benjit, and my buddies Ryan and Sam from Colorado last week. Located near the infamous Devil's Rock Garden in Mount Vernon, the Equinox is a steep sport wall that was 'secret' until, well, I found out about it. Benjit recently bolted the majority of the routes, even though there are Bryan Burdo routes there dating from the early 90's. The crag is similar to Nason Ridge, as it is a single-pitch overhung sport crag with 10-15 independent lines, but the rock is way better. I had heard talk of this crag for a while before visiting, and I have to say the reviews are not unfounded - It's the best sport cliff I've climbed on since Rumney, for sure.

Though the Equinox wall is photogenic and even has a great photographer's boulder, I didn't manage to take that many pictures in between wanking on the wall's easier climbs. With Ryan behind his lens and Kyle and Benjit in serious project mode, Sam and I were forced to try and make a respectable showing for Team Boulder Climbing... which we sorta did. We warmed up on a beautiful yellow face on the far left end of the cliff, redpointed Kyle and Benjit's short warm-up route, and then I tried Johnny Rocket, a difficult climb with a short crux that was established earlier this year. Needless to say, I didn't get that far during my first try on the route, but I'm psyched to get back.

Here's Benjit attempting his lower extension to the sustained Black Magic

Ryan Olson trying to de-pump after the crux of Johnny Rocket for his successful flash ascent

Kyle trying to climb the lower section of his link-up project as well as he can...

The venerable self-portrait

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Our plans to head up to Squamish this past weekend were foiled by poor weather, so Cortney and I decided to head over the mountains to climb in Leavenworth. We stopped at the river boulders on the way there to spot Joel on Hagakure and do a bit climbing. It was a gorgeous day, but definitely a bit warm to try hard on the frictionless stone. I got completely bouted on Chutzpah and set around to moping while Joel got psyched and climbed a newish hop-start slab where the lower sand levels had exposed a starting ledge.

Here's Joel stretching for the lip
After that we headed over to Leavenworth, taking a scenic route off of Steven's Pass and looping around Lake Wenatchee. We camped on the ridge above town and awoke to typically gorgeous scenery. We met up with our friends Rob and Lorin, who recently moved to Seattle from Boston, at the Mad Meadows parking lot and spent the day playing on fun moderates there and at the Beach area in the Tumwater Canyon.

The trademark 'view from Mt. Home Road' picture The gratuitous Sleeping Lady photo

Lorin on The Pocket at Mad Meadows
Cortney's flapper from The Pocket. Ouchie!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

North Cascades

This past weekend Joel and I went back to the North Cascades to do some hiking and bouldering. We stopped near Washington Pass on Friday afternoon and hiked to Blue Lake, an easy two-mile hike rumoured to pass "numerous large boulders." The hike was quite nice, but we were glad we didn't carry our climbing stuff with us. I think we have a different definition of 'large boulders' than the writers of the classic 100 hikes guides... after that we explored for boulders near the Washington Pass lookout, finding nothing too noteworthy.

An ancient pine by Blue Lake

Liberty Bell from the open meadow by the lookout

We bouldered the next few days on some new boulders as well as some we'd tried before. I managed to complete the FA of Square One, a tough overhanging problem I had flailed on a couple weeks ago. The crux revolves around establishing a really nasty one-finger ring lock, then using it for a long bump. Naturally, I didn't manage to get any pictures of myself on the cilmb, but here are two of Joel figuring out the fingerlock before getting the second ascent. The next pictures are of Joel on a new problem, a project, and some scenery. It was really good to get away for a long weekend yet again...

More Skyline Ridge

Here are some pics of people and dogs from Skyline Ridge last weekend.

Cassie enjoying the snow
Ivy and I
The monkey site
Johnny and Joel starting the day
Cortney at the ridge top