Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last Leavenworth Day

Last Wednesday I decided to be irresponsible and head out to Leavenworth with Kyle for the day. It was a tad chilly, and mostly wet, but we still found plenty of things to climb on and had a wonderful day. We started in the warm sun at the Pretty Boulders, which was really all that I needed for an awesome day - clean, crisp granite, blue skies, and nobody else around.
Blue Skies Smilin' At Me
The day only got better... after the Prettys, Kyle and I headed up to the Bond Boulders to try our hand at Pierce Brosnan. While chalking the problem up, my toothbrush knocked a tiny piece of rock out of the crack next to the crux hold, and what was a terrible 1.5 finger divot became a terrible 2.5 finger divot. Needless to say, this tiny change was all that I needed, and I sent the problem in a few tries. Kyle sent in two tries, having only played on the climb on one prior day - good job Kyle! Though I wish I had been able to do the climb in its slightly harder original state, I think this "new" hold makes the problem flow better. It definitely makes it less tweaky... Either way, I had wanted to do this climb since first seeing the boulder three years ago, and it made a great last-minute send of the fall season.
Pretty GirlKyle Gettin' PsychedPierce Brosnan
After the Bond Boulders, Kyle and I headed back up canyon to the Cotton Pony Pointer, which Kyle did on his first try of the day. Nice job again Kyle! This is a short, powerful three-move climb leading to a surprisingly tenuous topout above a scary drop-off, and is another example of an obvious boulder that went unclimbed until Johnny decided to walk up to it and figure it out.

We finished our day back at the Pretty Boulders, where I sent Pretty Boy in a handful of tries. Pretty Boy is a height-dependent semi-dyno that had stymied me a few years ago, and I had never been back. This time, with Kyle's encouragement, I managed to stick the tiny crimp and complete the problem. For a short, simple one-mover, Pretty Boy sure is good. After that, we did a cool-down circuit at the Carnival Boulders, where Kyle quickly sent Joel Campbell's short and scary problem Mr. Joel's Wild Ride. Good job yet again Kyle! We finished the day at the Swiftwater Cave, where Kyle put in some 99%-close send goes on the center line, as well as logging a few funny falls. I had always bashed the black cave at Swiftwater for being musty and having a drilled hold, but it is SICK. The cave hosts four or five solid links, all of which are 20+ movers on a 60-degree wall. At some point I'll post a full write-up of all the lines in this cave - who knows, it may be this winter if it ever stops seeping...
Kyle At Swiftwater

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gold Bar Access Plan

The DNR has just made their recreation plan for the Reiter Foothills Area (encompassing the bulk of Gold Bar bouldering) available, and you can find it here. The plan is the last document referenced and covers some 61 pages. Interestingly, the only reference to climbing in the entire document is a tangential reference to climbing in Forks of the Sky State Park, home to the Index River Boulders and Hagakure.

I plan to write a short comment and submit it to the DNR by the public comment deadline on December 4, as well as attend the public meeting on November 18 in Monroe. At the very least, the DNR needs to be aware that climbers are using the area and are essentially "hikers" in terms of our environmental impact (we won't tell them about the mid-height platform rigged up to protect Johnny's 40-foot problem J-Boogie). I will post the comment on this site before I submit it, and I welcome comments. If other people want to submit comments, I think it would be more than appropriate... just keep in mind that you are representing our wily herd of kittens to a governmental agency - respect and restraint are key. I'll post further updates here as they are available.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home Wall

Since the weather has been dismal on the West side, and was even crappy in Leavenworth this past weekend, here are some pics from our home wall. I bought some more used holds last week and installed more T-nuts, so the wall is pretty much filled-in at this point. I also spent all day Saturday installing a low-tech rain deflection system (i.e. blue tarps), which allowed us to have a nice session on Sunday despite a steady drizzle. Sadly, the tarp system had failed by Monday afternoon, rendering the wall soggy and slimy again. I'm sure I'll get it fixed in due time... and hopefully I'll be able to post some real climbing pictures, too... Pics are of John Stordahl:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leavenworth Pics

Here are some pics from last weekend in Leavenworth... the proudest send of the weekend was Drew Schick's strong effort on Pierce Brosnan at the Bond Boulders. Nice job Drew! Hopefully the weather will hold out for a few more weekends so I can get back to this one...

Max On A Fun Upper Forestland ProblemCole Attempting The "Tornado Project"I Think Cole Hurt HimselfMe and Max on Pierce BrosnanDrew Schick Sending Pierce Brosnan

Monday, November 2, 2009


For NW Granite's 100th post, I thought that I would share some pictures from Jess Campbell's Halloween party in Peshastin. Last year's party was a blast, and this year definitely lived up to the expectations. There was fire, fun, and even a group of international visitors (well, American students from UBC in Vancouver). And just as last year, there were plenty of costumes: here are the highlights:

Cole "Ron Jeremy" Allen (AKA Professor Nonsense)Ryan "Bavarian Person" PaulsnerIssac "I Keep Getting Older, They Just Stay The Same"Drew "Ribbit" SchickMe + Cortney (Flintstones)Joel "Julio" CampbellJens "Punk Rock" Holsten (Note the Leavenworth climbing reference)Ryan "Blind Melon" OlsonJohn "Metalocalypse" StordahlAnd, last but not least, Jessica "Cruella DeVille" Campbell