This summer truly flew by in a flash. It began with me still recovering from my May staph infection and surgery. I camped and played with my family locally and in Ohio. Then it was time to head to Canada and finally Washington State and the Cascades for a little climbing. I was debating on traveling to a few different climbing sites for my final week of summer and was excited to choose the one with the best weather. As the days before the trip grew shorter I had not chosen a site yet. I studied the weather each and every day and eventually decided on the Cascades.
It has been a great challenge having to utilize my on-sighting skills on unknown terrain and unknown routes. I am being honest when I tell you that at times I was psyched when the cracks were prefect fingers or hand sized and scared when I didn’t have gear close by and I couldn’t tell where to go and finally, ecstatic when I would find that huge thank goodness hold after a long run out. My partner and I made sure to pick the best routes so that we got to sample the goods on our short trip.
The Hitchhiker, The Passenger, Thin Red Line and The Tiger and Part of Ellen Peas. Each of these routes were long, slabby, technical, mostly well protected with a mixture of bolts and gear. The approaches were uphill (approximately 1000ft in less than a mile for most of them) The climbs required excellent footwork and smearing on tiny or non footholds. And the sun shone brightly the large and imposing granite walls.
Climbing Liberty Peak was a highlight. The Thin Red Line was awesome to get to climb for the first time. The second time on that route would make it even more fun because you would know what gear you needed to save and where you had to punch it.
Additionally, we got to see a wildfire just north of us. Each morning we would wake with ash on the car and a smoky hazy in the valley. It was incredible to see how it grew and grew each day. Fortunately, the wildfire was not near any buildings or roads and deep within the national forest.
As my free time disappears and work at the climbing gym and my school places me back into a regular schedule, I will look back fondly on this summer and plan even bigger for the next one.