Monday, August 9, 2010

Leavenworth - Pearly Gates - 08.08.10

The weather wasn't cooperating for alpine plans, so I stayed in town on Saturday in the rain. Rod and I were working out options and when Sabrina called Saturday night the plan was set to head to Leavenworth. It had rained there too on Saturday, but was forecast to be warm and sunny on Sunday, unlike the west side.

We left Seattle around 6am giving the sun time to dry things out if needed. We opted for the Pearly Gates due to the shade it receives. We parked outside the Snow Creek parking lot, and hiked up. This time I had no issues with the log crossings, and did both of them standing up and walking. Perhaps that little amount of time on the slack line last week really helped out?

The hike up was hot, steep, and long. We arrived at the base of the crag soaked. But now we were in the shade and cooling off. What a relief. We started slowly with Sabrina leading The Dog ate My Topo. It had some bouldery moves at the start, and felt stiff for the rating. Thin holds and slabby climbing for most of it. It was a two star route, but I didn't like it that much. Perhaps the rust of me not climbing rock too much lately is beginning to show?

Once all three of us were on top, we scrambled to the base of the second pitch of Milky Way. Rod led it and fell once or twice at the crux, combined with a fair amount of hanging. Once through, he brought up me and Sabrina. I really enjoyed this route more than the first one, and loved the friction crux. We rapped off and contemplated The Scene is Clean, but I did not feel up to leading it with the first bolt high, and a hollow flake to climb below it. So we rapped to the base.

It was already 1pm so we had a lunch and a big break before tackling something else. We looked through the book and Sabrina and I scouted Loaves of Fun. I decided I would give it a go. It is a blocky affair with good rests. However, I was rarely super comfortable with the gear. So I tended to place gear at every good rest and sewed it up a bit. There was a cruxy bit that I took a long time on due to not feeling great about my right foot options. (The rope was running in an area where I wanted to place my foot, and I just didn't like that place that much anyway.) After a long time in the spot, I managed a good right foot and made some moves higher, placing another cam along the way. The last bit of the crack system goes up a corner with a nice horn on top as a hold. I did some fun moves out around the corner, and then gained the slab which finishes the route. I brought up Sabrina and Rod, and we rapped off. Most raps here are exactly 30m and this was no exception.

We went over to Cloud Nine for Rod to lead, but he wasn't feeling sure of his crack skills. So he backed off. It was after 4pm, and I wasn't really up to another 5.8 gear lead, so we decided to call it a day.

The hike out was much dustier than in the morning, and I once again had no issues with the log crossings. I didn't feel so great about my climbing in this outing, but I haven't been out cragging in a while so I guess that is to be expected.

My pics are here.

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