Spring has officially arrived early in Leavenworth this year, and the past few weekends out there have been truly sublime. The snow has almost entirely melted at most areas in Icicle Canyon, but the north-facing slope across the creek is still snowy and frozen. The weather has been sunny but temps remain in the 40s and 50s and the stone is clean, dry, and gritty. Climbing in Leavenworth this time of year is startlingly, uncannily perfect... Even after seven springs' worth of surprises, the beginning of the bouldering season in Leavenworth caught me off guard yet again this year. I hope everyone else is getting out and enjoying the feel of crisp granite!
As usual, there has been a bit of new development over the past few weeks. Cole Allen put up a difficult new climb at the Pretty Boulders, Last of A Dying Breed, which climbs the uphill right arete of the large boulder 50 yards uphill from the Pretty Boulder. This past weekend, I revisited an old roadside area 0.3 miles before Eightmile Campground with Cortney, Johnny G, and Lauren, which yielded a number of high-quality new problems, including two new testpieces: Kelly's Bulge and Johnny's Bulge. The Bulge Boulders are visible roughly 75 yards above Icicle Road and have probably been visited, briefly, by everyone who's spent any significant amount of time exploring for boulders in Leavenworth -- highlighting the importance of revisiting those old areas that didn't seem to have any problems three or five or ten years ago. Go back and check them out again!
Work continues on the new Leavenworth Bouldering guide, but progress comes slowly, and the steady pace of development keeps the denominator growing... In the meantime, everyone should feel free to email or message me for directions to any area I mention here. Here are some photos from this spring:
Johnny on Johnny's Bulge
(Please forgive the Urban-Climber-esque shots while I learn how to use my remote flash...)
Cortney Warming Up at the Carnival Boulders
Miles and Cole on Last of A Dying Breed
Cortney on Pac-Man
Joel and Geoff on a Project at the Pretty Boulders