Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Leavenworth Bouldering Guidebook

One of the first things climbers usually ask me is if and when I will do another bouldering guide.  The 2007 Central Washington Bouldering book is somewhat outdated at this point, due to the rapid pace of development in Leavenworth and, to a lesser extent, Gold Bar.  I usually tell folks that it's a little more complicated than it seems, as Sharp End Publishing risked a substantial amount of money to print CWB, and rightfully put a 'non-compete' clause in our contract to protect their investment – I can’t do a new book until enough copies of CWB have been sold.

There is also a tricky calculus about when the 'right time' for a new book is.  I underestimated the trajectory of the areas’ development when I began work on CWB, but I think the book also helped to inspire a renewed interest in the area that has in turn fueled the rate of development.  And with the development of new areas in Leavenworth actually continuing to increase into 2012, at the rate things are going a stand-alone Leavenworth guide will be obsolete in as few years as CWB was.  But still… there are so many new problems that people should be able to seek out!  And so, after an overabundance of deliberation, I have decided to write a stand-alone “Leavenworth Bouldering” guidebook. 

(totally fake mock-up Sharp End prepared at my request) 

Leavenworth Bouldering will be published by Sharp End Publishing sometime early in 2014 (depending on how CWB sells in the interim) and will be a full color, top-flight production like Jamie Emerson’s Rocky Mountain National Park & Mount Evans and Phillip Benningfield and Matt Samet’s forthcoming Colorado Bouldering: Front Range.  I think I’m qualified to write this guide because 1) I have a lot of work already banked from CWB, and 2) I'm close with many of the folks developing new areas in Leavenworth and have earned their trust that I will treat the area respectfully in print.  CWB included 35 Leavenworth boulders/areas; Leavenworth Bouldering will include at least the following 34 new boulders/areas, as well as many new problems in existing areas:

Tumwater Canyon
The Last Unicorn
The Canal Boulders
The Beach Trail Boulders
The Drip Wall Boulder

Icicle Canyon
The Bond Boulders
The Grain Boulders
The Moudra
Fern Gully
The Airfield
The Locksmith Boulders
The Domestic Boulders
Muscle Beach
The Multiplication Table
The Cotton Pony Pointer Boulders
The Dock & The Whip Boulder
The Rat Creek Boulders
The Upper Rat Creek Boulders
The Unearthed Boulders
Joe’s and Keri’s Boulder
The Free Site Boulder
Drew’s Orange Boulder
The Beaver Boulders
The Jessica Campbell Memorial Arete Boulder Problem Boulder
The Nurse Boulders
The Chaos Boulders
The Upper 420 Boulders
The Scab Boulders
The Sloping Lady
The Grandview Boulder
Mighty Mouse

Mountain Home Road
The Butter Boulders
Premonition Boulder
Geronimo Boulders
Full Time Night Woman

I understand some people will be put off by the timing of the book, and also by the fact that I've decided not to immediately update the Gold Bar portion of CWB.  On the first point, timing, it’s simply out of my control; anyone is welcome to contact me through my Facebook or Vimeo accounts for beta about the above-listed areas.  With regard to Gold Bar, I think it’s the right decision to put off a stand-alone guide to Gold Bar until the access situation is solidified.  Our vehicular access to the area was recently revoked, and hike-in access could be put at permanent risk by a high level of traffic, which an expanded guide would only make worse.  And as with Leavenworth areas, people are always free to contact me for beta about where to find specific Gold Bar problems.

I welcome any information people have about new Leavenworth areas, and I will do my best to make sure the guide is a complete, high-quality, and useful resource for the Washington bouldering community.  If you have any info to share, please be in touch!  And happy climbing!!

Kelly Sheridan