I finally got out for the first time in over a month. Originally the plan was for Matt, Adam and I to climb at 3 O' Clock Rock, but Adam was coming down with a cold and decided to stay home. Thankfully he drove Matt to my house where we left Seattle for Darrington after a brief coffee stop around 7:30am or so.
We were at the base of the crag around 10am to witness lots of water streaks on the rock. I was a bit surprised as the previous day had no precip, and it didn't really rain too much in the days prior to that (at least in Seattle.) The route I had intended to do, Revolver looked to be the wettest on the rock, but we decided to give it a go anyway. We had to take the Silent Running start, as the approach pitch to Revolver was a watery mess.
I led up the first pitch of Silent Running and brought Matt up to lead the traverse. The traverse was relatively easy, but had some loose flakes and seeps to cross. We reracked at the start of the first pitch to Revolver for Matt to lead. Unfortunately, the opening moves were dripping wet and he had to detour around the overlaps to keep the feet dry. It worked out well and soon I was following. We looked over the second pitch and decided it would go.
I led out on the second pitch and made some easy moves to cross another water streak to continue. The rest of the pitch was dry and I eyed the third pitch while bringing Matt up.
We decided that the third pitch would go as well, and Matt set off to climb it. A little slip near the crux of the pitch, and a few clips later he was at the chains. I came up and we agreed that the fourth and fifth pitches would not be climbed by us today due to dripping water. We rapped off and contemplated our next objective while eating lunch. It was only 1pm.
We opted to climb Cornucopia, unless it was too wet. After the short hike/bushwhack over to the base, we deemed it dry enough to climb. Actually, it was completely dry, and it was a little warmer over on the south buttress compared to the north buttress, even taking into account that it was now the warmest time of day. The sun had been in and out of the clouds most of the day, but was appearing to be behind them for the rest of the day when I started off on the first pitch.
While not wet, the route was quite dirty. It was littered with pine needles, moss and lichen. I had a few false starts before slinging a bush and heading up the corner. The climbing was fun, and not difficult except for the dirty qualities. The protection wasn't great for a bit either, but I made do. I arrived at the top and brought a speedy Matt up, not before requesting he pack my poofy as it was getting windy.
He led out on the second pitch and got a bit scared during the runout to the anchors. (I don't blame him.) I followed, and led a pulse raising third pitch with balanced moves and well spaced bolts. Everything turned out fine, and we were both on top starting to rap. After the raps, we did the hike out and drove back to Seattle.
Overall it was great to finally get out again and to one of my favorite places. I was sure with the early start to Autumn, that I was unlikely to get back to Darrington again this year. Not only did I get back and with good weather, Matt and I got to climb two routes although Revolver did not get completed. We did a total of seven pitches in the roughly six hours that we were there. It was a great time, and hopefully not the end to my cragging season. Revolver seems like a nice route, but could use more feet to clean it up and make it shine. It seems that Cornucopia could also benefit from more traffic, especially since the top anchor seemed a bit old as well.
My pics are here.