Devo's Climbs

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rock Climb: Givler's Crack, Keen Acres

After our trip to Smith Rock was washed out, Kurt and I decided to salvage the weekend and drove from Smith to Leavenworth on Saturday hoping for better weather. Unfortunately it began to rain shortly after our arrival, but we decided to pitch camp and see what the weather looked like Sunday. When we arrived at the free campground at Bridge Creek, we ran into Dallas and Mark who had been instructing a group of Mountaineers. We joined them for the evening and sat around the fire, talking and eating until 10pm.

Givler's Crack (5.7)

When we woke, the clouds were low but the rain had stopped - a promising sign. After we had eaten breakfast and struck camp, we hiked up to Givler's Crack. There were two other parties at the base when we arrived, but we weren't in a terrible hurry. Besides, one of them had brought a black lab named Mojo, so I played with him while waiting our turn.


I led the first pitch: an awkward, flaring lie-back crack. I pumped myself out placing my first couple pieces so I downclimbed back to the start and rested a bit before giving it another go. Kurt led the classic second pitch: 180 feet of enjoyably moderate 5.7 crack. By the time we topped out, the sun had come out and it was balmy. The hike down was hot.





Keen Acres

After lunch we headed over to Keen Acres. Located just east of Duty Dome, this large slab offers several mixed climbs from 5.7 to 5.9+. I began by leading Keen Acres (5.9+) and felt it earned the rating. The climb entailed 100 feet of alternating thin crack and face moves. Placing protection in the cracks was tricky, and though the face was protected by bolts, the moves were not obvious and required some experimentation to unlock. I rested on a bolt at the crux and realized I had used all 10 of my draws with one more bolt to go before reaching the anchor. I constructed a draw from some spare 'biners and a sling and finished the route. Upon descending, we found that the rap straight down is more than 60 meters, but if you rap diagonally to the left edge of the slab you can reach the ground. I then led Kilt Lifter (5.8), which wanders along the left arete. This was an enjoyable jaunt of mixed climbing with several nice moves and good protection. We finished with Kurt leading the 5.7 on the far right of the slab. The crux comes right off the ground and the only protection is a tiny horizontal crack, so bring a micro-cam or be prepared to solo it to easier ground above.

Kurt and I were back in L-worth about 7pm and headed home, hoping to make another attempt at Smith in the Fall.


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