Friday, July 27, 2012

Gold Bar 7-21-12 and Craigslist

     We got together and made the hike up to Gold Bar last Saturday; the combination of summer growth with loss of easy access has really left the area pretty rough. It rained pretty hard the day before, and all the moss on top of the boulders left them soggy in some places. 
     Josh insisted on the "shortcut," which of course was overgrown with soaking briars and spiderwebs, and frequently required trail finding. Next time I'm taking the road in and just enjoying the long easy hike. 
     Once we got to the top and stopped sweating, the rock was somehow cool, grippy, and even better than I remembered. 

Warm up splitter boulder. 

Josh was proud of his southern spot technique, bud light style. As the clouds cleared the valley opened up.

There was even snow on the back side of the facing mountain.

Granite is so tricky to read. We thought this looked like a cool warm-up. Turns out it's powerful with thin fingers and bad feet.


We re-found this great slab that Leah may have gotten the first ascent of? The moss grows out here so fast you never know if something's been done before or if it's brand new. I think it helps keep people humble. I'm excited to come back later in the fall as the blackberries and young trees slow down and give us a chance. Hopefully the WCC can re-negotiate access so we can continue being lazy boulderers and drive up to the top.

And last off, I bought my first cams! Not all in the best shape, but they were cheap. And so am I. It's a start, now I just need to learn how to use them. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting back to my roots

The weather was a little crappy on Sunday, so we went to hang out with Veronica's cousin's near Tacoma since we hadn't seen them in a while. Every time we go there we end up driving 45 minutes to the middle of nowhere for the best indian food i've ever had.

Her cousins are both military, so we went out to have a good ol day of shootin at a quarry near olympia.

Me in my hipster uniform with David's fun to shoot but not accurate tiny S&W 380. Bad posture.

David explaining how to chamber his rifle. It's cool driving around with 6 guns and two duffels of ammo with these guys because they're military and I'm pretty sure no cop would bother us. Or anyone else for that matter.

Veronica blowing it up going prone. 

Pictures courtesy of Ben.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Squamish: First trip 2012

Finally the weather cleared enough to make a reliable trip up to Squamish. Managed to catch a ride up with local setter Christine D, and did some bouldering in the forest. There were mosquitos everywhere, but the forest was cool and comfortable, while all of my friends decided to go to Leavenworth where it broke 100.

This is the view from the parking lot when you arrive just before sunset on a Friday afternoon. 

If you like sloping rails and aretes, this is the place to be. 

Or slabs, still barely emerging from the moss for the season.

Me on one of the few things I tried with actual holds. The crux is still a heel hook and toss to an arete, which I didn't get anyway. 

This is some super strong woman from Portland on the crux of the previous problem, about to throw way up and left. She finished this hard V7, almost got a V9 around the corner, and then took care of her 16 month old daughter. 

Ever get your butt kicked on V3? I do.

Giant black slugs were everywhere! When I was setting up my tent the first night I thought it was a bunch of dog turds.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Daily Weener

We missed the Fremont festival to go to Leavenworth, but because the weather was looking bad for the weekend, decided to stay in Seattle and see the Pride festival. It is cool to see a big city come together for a big party of any type; add in a little Seattle flavor and it gets a little weird. Saturday the main party is up in my neighborhood of Capitol Hill, and Sunday it moves downtown for the parade and to Seattle Center. The sad part is how corporate the parade is. It lasts for several hours, and the great majority of the floats or paraders are advertising something completely unrelated to the festival, or handing out fliers for their company.

They shut down Broadway during the day, and across the street from my apartment was a drag show.

Down at the parade, your standard dancing boys and one girl on a truck.

Gay Sailors.

And your daily weener with a mask on a bike.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leavenworth: Icicle Creek

I've been making the weekend pilgrimage to Leavenworth whenever possible, getting snowed on going over the pass in May and now getting to too hot for bouldering heat. The "campground" on Icicle Creek has been a great place to chill, within walking distance of tons of boulders, and just drink beer and hang out with other climbers and a few bikers.

Veronica and I spent all morning thrashing the woods trying to get to these 4 top rope routes down by the water at Muscle Beach. I wanted to find something cooler and not crowded, and succeeded, only to realize I can't climb hard on thin granite cracks and get shut down. On the far left side is a really cool but slightly sketchy deep? water solo.

A really cool 5.8 crack less than 50 feet from the campground/parking lot.

This is the trail to the Mad Meadows area.

And this is the coolest granite warm-up in the world. I didn't know granite could form huecos like this.

This are super easy fun holds that go up to these last two big pockets, and from then on its a V10 dyno.

This is the texture that leads to makes falling less acceptable and beer drinking more acceptable.

All kinds of flowers started cropping up. Probably not that cool, but they're all new to me.

I wish there was something for scale. This is the biggest dandelion I'd ever seen, 4 or 5 inches in diameter.

There was a fire a few years ago, you can see looking across Icicle Creek. There is all kinds of rock everywhere here!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gold Bar-before the rain

My first visits to Gold Bar proper were right at the end of the 2011 climbing season, as things were starting on their 8 month voyage of sogginess. I managed to get Doja pretty quickly, which was cool, here are a couple pictures of Joey on it.

The forest boulders are not far from the clear cut, so you get these strong shadows.

These might be some of the last images I take with BW film because the local place that develops it is being forced to move and it is can be too expensive. I'll miss it though.

Will next to one of the "warm-ups." Granite is difficult for me, but it is good looking.

Gold Bar is about 45 minutes from Seattle, just short of Steven's Pass, and this is the view looking East.

Squamish Weekend 1

I managed to make a quick but awesome trip up to Squamish last year after arriving in Seattle. Will, Veronica and I went up there for a quick weekend trip, and after dealing with a stupid amount of traffic, managed to get perfect temperatures and a good introduction to the main bouldering area. We didn't really send anything hard, but it was good to get out and see the potential of the place.

Crazy granite exfoliating, somehow still incredibly hard rock.

Had to go check out dreamcatcher. Its a little disappointing how low it is, but such a cool line anyway. That first bolt on the overhang is probably only 15 feet off the ground.

This is a reason why I need to get a trad rack. I don't know what the line is, just found it as I was walking around the base of the Chief. Maybe now that I've got a grown up job I can afford it...

This is what the rock normally looks like in the northwest.