Devo's Climbs

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rock Climb: Leavenworth Cragging - May 7 & 8, 2011

Spent the weekend at the family cabin with Rosann and Chad and got some climbing in. Weather was ok: brief periods of warm sun mixed with cool, breezy overcast patches and an occasional spittle of rain. Nothing to keep us off the rock though. We began Sat morning with some easy routes at Hobo Gulch in Tumwater Canyon - Slowpoke and Mulligan Stew, both 5.7. We took a break when some rain came in and ran into Viktor K. who was doing some trail maintenance nearby.

CRAGGING AT HOBO GULCH:






After the rain subsided, Rosann headed back to the west side while Chad and I went into Leavenworth to pick up some groceries. On our way out of town we noticed it was sunny in the Icicle and decided to check it out. First we drove to Eight Mile Campground and witnessed the devastation of the recent mudslide, then we stopped at Icicle Buttress where Chad expressed an interest in climbing R&D. I'd always wanted to climb Cocaine Crack and that's how our afternoon objective was decided. We approached via Cocaine Connection (5.7), then I prepared to lead Cocaine Crack (5.10a). My interpretation of the guidebook led me to expect a hand-sized crack, so I constructed my belay anchor and set my rack up accordingly. But once I'd gained the upper crack I could see the remaining thirty-foot crux section was actually a wide finger crack. With most of my finger-sized gear either in the car or in the belay, I managed to place a few nuts and my remaining .5 and .75 Camalots as protection (along with a uselessly flared #1, which I didn't even bother to clip). The runout was a tad spicy, but the finger locks, while sustained, were excellent - a thrilling pitch! I exited left under a roof past some loose flakes to a large ledge and belayed Chad up. From there we continued to the top via the final two pitches of R&D (5.6). Other than the forceful breezes regularly encountered on the Buttress, it was a sweet climb.

On Sunday we hiked up to Peek-a-Boo Tower in the Icicle and climbed the first three pitches of Yard Art (5.9).

CLIMBING YARD ART




Chad then performed some solid work on Lawn Darts, a super thin 5.10a slab pitch.

CHAD LEADING LAWN DARTS






After rappelling Lawn Darts I led us to the summit of Peek-a-Boo Tower via the West Face (5.9). This was the most enjoyable pitch of the day - a fun romp up gritty golden granite with exciting exposure, a bit of blue collar wide crack, then steep bolt-protected face climbing on jugs leading to a delightful arête finish. It reminded me a lot of climbing Higher Cathedral Spire in Yosemite.

CHAD ON WEST FACE, PEEK-A-BOO TOWER


Hiking down from Peek-a-Boo we stopped by Keen Acres crag where I got a lead in on Keen Acres (5.9+). Unfortunately it started raining as I reached the anchors and Chad wasn't "keen" on climbing slippery slab, so we called it a day and hit the road.

More photos: Leavenworth May 7 & 8, 2011 photo set on Flickr »

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