Labor Pains, NEWSpire

So lets just say that your to-do list at Washington Pass is getting low. (It could happen!) I have a great, unheralded climb for you! The Labor Pains route on NEWS is an engaging, fun, and spicy outing for sure. I just kept imagining the FA party squeaking their way up this discontinuous line. Not quite the spook-fest that the guide book suggests, it does take tiny cams and stoppers quite well. It doesn’t have an “enduro” section, or big run-outs either. It does have tricky moves that require a bit of “go-for-it”. I absolutely loved the quality of climbing, position, and atmosphere of the 3 tough pitches of the route. Adventure calls! Add it to your dwindling list of outstanding climbs there.

 

I started a Mt. Proj Page 

We enjoyed the new Matrix Crag in Mazama too. Beta at http://www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com/ or at their gear shop in Mazama.

Squamish ’15

I wasn’t even thinking about going climbing last weekend with the hot temperatures here in the NW. It was a tough week at work in 90+ degree temps every day. Doug called me though looking for a partner. I do enjoy climbing with him as he is willing to swap leads and always has fun projects in mind. First up was to get up to shady higher altitude climbing at Fluffy Kitten Wall, near Mt. Habrich. After going up the sensitive watershed road for a few miles(FWD, and clearance), it is only about 45 minutes to the base. The wall goes into the shade around 10 am, which is when we started up the 6 pitch 5.11a gem of a route. The pitches were not strenuous or stressful, just long and enjoyable. Lots of foot jamming, you dont need 4 of any cam either.

Jesse’s Blog trip report

Fluffy Kitten Wall from RC

Double TR on CC

Next up was Sunset Strip, a newer link up in the Western Dihedrals -that also stays shady for the first half of the day-. It is a 12 pitch classic that I hear can get quite crowded, but not for us. we started at 630 am and it took a long time still to get through all the tough pitches. What a package that climb is all the way to the end! I ran out of gas on the last crux.

One of my favorite weekends ever! Thanks Doug for rolling out for this great trip!

Mt Proj. beta

Squam. source

 

 

 

Index top 50. (5.10+ to 5.11-)

My top 50 routes at Index for the 10+ to 11- climber, by Wayne Wallace

Need a new ticklist? Compiled in order of the Sky Valley rock guide, going from left to right. I will be mixing things up as I work on a trilogy of the 3 levels of difficulty I want to do.

Racer X 10b, 3p

First Offense 10c

Turkish Heels 11a

Even Steven 5.11b

Troubled Water 11a

Dr. Sniff, and Tunaboaters 10d, 1+p

Saggitarius 10b

1st pitch of Batskins 11a

KVB 10c+ 1+p

Sloe Children 10d, 1+p

Godzilla and Leaping Lizards 10c, 1+p

NAD p2,3, 10d, 2+p

Thin Fingers 11a

Tatoosh 10b

Apologies to Walter B. 11b

Zoom 10c

Leave My Face Alone 11a, 1+p

Hairway to Stephan 11a-A0 1+p

Tunnel Vision to Angora Grotto 11a, 2p

Cunning Stunt 10d

GM-HOC 10c, 2p

Phone Calls Dead, 11a 1+p

Folsom Blues 10b

Rattletale 10b 3p

Sideshow 10d

Heavens Gate 11a, 4p

Wildest Dreams 11-/A0 4p

Davis/Holland-Loving Arms 11b, 4p

The Zipper 10c

Centerfold 11a-A0 4p

Solitude 11b-C1, 4p

Strange Boar-Black Rock 11a, 3p

Baby Tapir 11a

Law and Order 10c, 2p

Steel Pulse 10+, 3p

Spineless 11a

Sweets for Manuel 10b

 

Routes that I have not yet done.

Marginal Karma 11b, 1+p

Death to Zeke 11b, 1+p

Wipe 11a, 1+p

D is for Dictory 11b, 1+p

Accidental Discharge 11a

Beat Box p1

Amphibian 10d

Up’er Zipper 11b, 1+p

Danas Arch 11a

Pressure Drop 11a

 

Unknown/ no feed back List

Free Range Chook 10b

Bravo Jean Marc 11a

It Just isn’t done 11a

Apes and Ballerinas 10b

 

The door to Index swings wide open at this level of difficulty. Some of my favorite pitches I have ever done are on this list. My friend Alex suggested that I call this list the new “ 50 Classic Climbs of North America”. There could easily be another list this awesome at the next level of difficulty (11+,12-) . One of the things I like about the area is that it pushes me to do harder and harder climbs. So lucky to have this crag close by. This list is a work-in-progress and I welcome your feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best climbing areas close to Seattle.

  1. Index.
  2. Squamish.
  3. Washington Pass.
  4. Exit 38 (the Shangri-la Crag).
  5. Tieton.

  6. I have always been driven to pursue climbs of quality. Recently the inspiration in the resource for this has been the climbing I have enjoyed at Index, but like all resources it is a limited resource. It may take me several more years to complete the list of routes I want to do at index. In the meantime I have enjoyed other areas such as Washington Pass, Squamish and yes, exit 38. The Shangri-La area reminds me a lot of the type of routes that you would find at Index, but with out the pains of Highway 2 that you would find this time of year. My friend Rad took me out there again, this time during our recent heat wave. We left at 5 am to get as many pitches in as possible before it got too hot. The climbs he showed me were just terrific. Very much like Index type climbing, completely fun as well. There is a possibility that the climbs will go back to nature unless they catch on with the community. Please consider going out there and checking it out for yourself. Its so close to Seattle and traffic is so much easier than going to any other area!

Shanrgi-la Mt Project beta:

Squamish is another area that I try to get to as often as I can. I spent 3 days there with my friend Pat and the Mountaineers Adventure Club. The MAC is youth driven affiliate of the Mountaineers. I enjoyed leading 2 groups up 2 great multi- pitch routes. Skywalker is a classic 5p route next to Shannon Falls. It was fun to top out on that and see the pools at the top of the falls. The bouts with rain came in time for us to finish and get back to the hot tub at the rec center. Next up was getting up an 8p outing up the left side of the Apron on a climb started by Calculus Crack.. It was another stunning crack route that we had to ourselves due to occasional showers. Its turning out to be a great summer in spite of working more than full-time at the job. Now for some pictures!!

 

Dear diary.

…or, the whole journal thing.

 

I believe it started with me bragging to my aunt that I wanted to try climbing someday. I told her this on a trip to a downtown bookstore. Approximately 7 years old at the time,(early 70s?) She gave me a jab in the side by buying me a “Climbing Journal” published by the Mountaineers at the time. Of course, it would be a couple of years until I got to try the sport. By then reading instructional books and the right friends lent the confidence and opportunity to do the sport. Early on, the journal was a large motivator;  I just had to fill up the pages with quality stories and photos! Climbing became the thing in my life and so keeping up on my geeky journal changed greatly. I had no idea it would lead to this blog site. I now write more for the reader than myself. That alone is oddly motivating, this idea of being watched. I guess I am a bit of a ham in that regard. Thanks for putting up with such vanity. I just hope that it’s helpful to other adventure seekers.

 

It keeps me humble to remember where I’ve come from, and wondering still where I can go.

 

My first climb  worthy of the journal.

My first climb worthy of the journal.

 

 

Scan 9

 

Southern Man, SEWS

I find that if I spend ALL day Saturday in bed, resting, I can do something amazing on Sunday. I know everybody thinks their respective job is tough. As a Union Carpenter- Local #30, I am no exception. We are hustling through a mega- project in Bellevue. $1.5 billion will buy you 2 million square feet, and with today’s engineering, it will not come easy.

Not having to work last Saturday, I rested, then headed up to Washington Pass once again for its amazing, and long climbs. Having checked off Supercave, the next on the list was an obscure yet very wild route up the sunny side of South Early Winter Spire with Steph. Named Southern Man in by 2 acquaintance’s of mine on their ’08 FA of the climb, It was later cleaned, and freed by a later party. I was amped to try to free the 5. 11d/12a route, but my physical-state demanded that I take an etrier, and a fifi hook or “old man gear” as I call it. To my utter satisfaction, I freed all but 10 feet of the route, and what a great route it is. It is steep, and exposed for several hundred feet with jagged, sharp thin crack climbing the whole way. Whoever thinks the feet are bad needs to climb at Index more. The feet and locks are good, just a few are reachy. We did combine a couple of pitches, since the belays are not fixed yet and all. The guide book raves about the quality of it, but really it is a knotch below a Passenger or Supercave type outing. It is still a very rewarding and exiting climb.

Steph’s amazing report

Supertopo

Original TR

Blake

Ian

 

Click images to enlarge.

 

Supercave! Ellen Pea Route, M+M Wall

In my typical bungling-along style, Jon and I eventually succeeded in climbing most(6p) of the amazing Supercave/ Ellen Pea route, Located on an obscure 1000 ft. wall near Washington Pass, there is a growing chorus of climbers that say it is the finest climb in the state. Yes, the whole climbing package is astounding, but how often do we get to try a tough climb that has an enormous cave in the middle of it?

Beta page, squamish climbs

Beta page, Blake

Ellen Pea, and Tiger route, Blake

Mt Project 

sc9

1st  attempt was last year with Paul. after mistakenly going way past the start of the route up the approach gully, we bailed disgusted with how involved and somewhat dangerous the approach appeared. 2nd attempt was done early in the snow year to try to avoid the bad slabs by walking atop the snowpack instead. The only problem with that notion was that Jon and I found the upper part of the route to be very wet- april 19th , lesson learned.

Attempt# 3 just happened June 7 of 2015, and it was just dry enough to climb it. We knew heat was going to be an issue on the South-facing wall so we left the car at 4am! We swapped the lead order and that left me leading the money pitch (p2) which is quite a pitch.   The pitches(2-5) are strenuous and make tough onsights.  Pitch 3: The Arch is amazing, P4 the crux was 1 of 2 pitches that we couldn’t get clean. The cave of course is just crazy, as is the pitch to get out of it! I’m pretty sure a pterodactyl used to live in that cave.  Bring long runners, patience, and fitness, Know that there are stances between tough moves and fair grades. Have a blast on Supercave, it lives up to the hype!

click image to enlarge.

 

 

Desert Trip 2015

Nearing the end of my time off from work, I wanted to do my annual pilgrimage to the Utah desert. Next to the alpine, I find the desert to be the most visually appealing setting. I made 2 lists this time. The most important list consisted of possible partners to go down there with. Lately, I have struggled with finding a partner for just about any plan, but a road trip partner seemed almost impossible. I advertised on every climbing site I could find. I found the usual” hey lets meet here or there” type, but I had big plans that required a constant and reliable companion. I had almost given up hope when I received a random text about going alpine climbing. Adam was a motivated and flexible candidate that took to the idea of going to the desert if he could get a few days in Indian Creek. With 10 days at our disposal, I could see spending a few of them at the best crack-climbing venue in the world.

At the top of my climbs list was Fine Jade on the Rectory. Beau and I got blown off the start of the route in’10. It was time for revenge. We got it, but I didn’t pull the crux clean on one of the best routes in the state. The next day we did the Honeymoon Chimney on the Priest. What a great route that is, with an amazing, and exposed step-across to 5.11 face. Back to intense planning. How do I get back into the White Rim road with my Prius? Big $$$ will get you anywhere. Renting a jeep seemed logical, but it did not seem possible to get in, and do Standing Rock, and get out in 24 hours. Given 2 days though we could get in and do 2 towers though. We picked Monster Tower as our bonus route, and nearly regretted it. It is a ferocious climb that pushed us both and got our only 70m stuck on the 1st rappel. We barely made it down with the remaining 60m tag line and sections of the stuck rope.

Standing Rock was the one route I had most desired. It is an exciting and memorable route. Seeing it at Joe Puryears slide show in 2009 was the original inspiration for my desert career. We enjoyed the fear and exhilaration of this beautiful tower. 4 days and $700 (rope and jeep) later we were satisfied with our tower bagging for now.

I had had 6 prior days at Indian Creek, but never got to see more than 2 crags. A lapse in seasonal bird closures allowed us to experience Cat and Reservoir Wall. We ended up doing 12(me), and 20+(adam) amazing routes, mostly in the 11+ range. Adam went on a tear, I don’t see where he gets the energy. My favorite was on-siting Dos Hermanos(11+). 3 great days there, and we went for the tower that Adam most wanted: N Face of Castleton. It had eluded us previously due to cold temps, and nearly did again when we succeeded . Try it when it is warm and get an early start. It is justifiably popular as a climb and descent route.

We had perfect weather and the climbs were fantastic. I am grateful for this because I am about to start a 2 year work project that will keep me from doing extended trips. I am happy for the time off and the opportunity to work too. Hopefully I can find interesting things to write about in the meantime, until then, please share your adventures with the busy masses, and know that it is appreciated. Thanks to Adam, Pro Mountain Sports and Canyonlands Adventures for making the trip possible

Click images to enlarge.

 

 

 

A strange, yet rewarding ice season

Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It require you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.   Gary Ryan Blair

I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better.  Steve Southerland

 

The calendar said it was winter, but the thermometer did not.
A quick vortex blew down in November and again in December that froze up many climbs. After that , it was very warm and dry for western North America. I am trying not to go down the Global Warming worm-hole but after this winter, its tough not to. Fewer routes meant more people competing for them. It took more planning and flexibility to have success. Nonetheless, I made the most of it with my extended time away from work.
     I had decided to get real serious this season. I trained, networked, made a list of routes, and went after them as I could. It really paid off, but it felt like I could have done so much more! On 3 trips totaling 4 weeks, I did 60  pitches, most above wi5 and m6. I enjoyed climbing such great routes such as Curtain Call, Hydrophobia, Upper Weeping Wall, Climb above Dribbles, Avalanche Gulch, Cascade Kronenburg, and many more. Having some time in between routes to rest was a luxury I had as well. My most recent trip was with Alpine Mentors NW Group. We had a fun week visiting the Icefields Parkway, Field, the Ghost, and even the Stanley Headwall! What a great idea to help bring up the next generation of alpinists in this area.
   I am now preparing for a trip to the Utah desert. I am using the list idea again, since we are short on time. I expect to be back at work by mid-march, and the road tripping will come to an end. It has been a great run so far.
   Here is a journal breakdown:

12-9-14 Feeding Cat, Matrix 3 p to wi4 m5 w/ Ari, Kristen

12-10-14 Scepter WI 5 1p+lap w/Ari, K

12-12-14 Climb Above Dribbles, aka Alex in Wonderland III+ Wi5-M6 w Keenan

12-13-14 Monkey Ass Wall WI5 1p w/Jeff, Nelson

12-14-14 Panama Canal M9 with Marko, Ben, Bekah

12-15-14 Champagne Sherbet, Slot 2p WI4, w Kristen

12-16-14 Avalanche Gulch 5p Wi5 m5, w Keenan

1-2-15 Chockstone Falls Wi4 3p variation w joe

1-9-15 Grotto Falls 4p to wi4, m6 w steve

1-10-15 Marble Canyon 3p to wi4 w Nic, Stuart

1-12-15 Sniveling to Weeping Pillar V-wi6 6p w/Nic

1-15-15 Hydrophobia V-WI 5+ 3p w tim, andy

1-17-15 Twisted III-wi5 3p w/ Steve, Bill

1-20-15 Curtain Call IV-WI6 w/ Tyler, Nic

2-15-15 My Daddys a Psycho 3p WI5 w/ Andy D.

2-17-15 Carlsburg, Cascade Kronenburg 6p to m5, WI6 w/ Alex, Andy

2-19-15 Beowulf 4p wi4 w Ryan

2-21-15 Haffner 3p to m6

2-22-15 2p of French Reality w alex wi4

Enjoy some pictures:

 

My favorite trips.

First of all I wish to thank my many climbing partners over the years. These lists and stories would not be possible without a trusted friend on the other end of the rope.

I don’t believe in a pre-climber age for myself. I finally got to use ropes and gear at age 9 or so. It was a relief to be able to protect the crazy antics I had done as an even smaller child. I was the kid way up in the tree. Confidence wasn’t strong in me then though. I learned from books mostly. I had no upper body strength as a lad, so when I got the training and gear, I aid climbed mostly. No rock shoes for years meant 5.7 was scary, and it took many years before I did my first lead at that grade.  After graduating high school in ’81, I got my first pair of rock shoes and took up free-climbing in earnest. I moved to Mt Hood the next year and re-established my passion for the high peaks.  I came to realize how climbing would drive my life. A monster traverse of the Cascade Volcanoes, followed by a few summers in Yosemite, with winters in Tahoe, confirmed that the big routes were where I wanted to be. I willed and worked my way through many of them, always pushing myself to be my best. A few accidents/injuries tempered my ambitions. My carpentry career led me back to Portland in 86, Seattle in 2000, where I currently reside.

Climbing isnt everything to me though. I value being a good father, mate, worker,  friend, and citizen. I have recently become a political activist. I urge you to get involved in your community. Please make a difference.

I had always kept a book-type journal about my climbing. I started keeping a digital one in the early 2000s, which led to launching the 1st waynessite in 2006. I was afraid I didnt have enough content, which led to , of course, way too much content. Later(2009), I started this wordpress, streamlined the extras (Thanks Jon), and now I use it mostly for trip reports.

Here are a few trips/experiences that had a deep effect on me.

1973 Roped climbing at Broughtons Bluff, I asked a party to borrow a harness and a tope rope.

1976 Mt St. Helens age 13

1978 Beacon Rock, first multi-pitch

1982 The Cascade Enchainment: Jefferson to Broken top. 7 summits

1982 South Face Washingtons Column, on 19th birthday, Prow solo in 83.

1983 Zodiac, El Cap, the Nose in 85

1985 Ice 9, Mt Mendel

1986, January injury left me with a lot to think about for 9 months.

86 N Face of Grand, Andromeda, and New Route in Blogett in 1 road trip

88 Guiding 2 trips on Denali, one of them from the Ruth

88 Complete N Ridge of Stuart, Discovered the North Cascades, sigh…….

89 FA,Dragons Of Eden, Dragontail. PFA, Solid gold soon after.

Early 90s-current, Raised 2 daughters

93 FA, Arachnophobia, Mt Hood: My first Black Spider adventure.

94 N Butt, Mt Fury, discovered the Pickets, long sigh….

96 Sunshine route on Snowpatch, world-beater classic.

96 N Face, Mt Temple, phew.

97 South Face Artesonraju,  A month in Peru

2000, Attempt N Ridge of K2, to 7000m. Moved to Seattle.

02 Original West Ridge Mt Hunter , to 11k

02 Direct N Butt. Bear Mt.

03 FA, The Southern Pickets Traverse.

03 FA, NW Ridge Mt Logan. Solo

04 Ham and Eggs, Mooses Tooth

04 FA, The Sawtooth Traverse, 20 summits/pinnacles

05 FA, The Northern Pickets Traverse.

06 FA, Mongo Ridge, West Fury. Solo

07 FA, N. Dihedral Direct , Snow Creek Wall, in winter conditions.

09 Benetiers rt, El Mocho, Patagonia

09 FA, Gran Torino, Dome Peak

10 FA, East Face, Pyramid Peak

10 Scenic Cruise, Black Canyon

10 Index Traverse

10 Beckey- Choinard, S.Howser Tower

11 Springbok Arete, Les Cornes.

11 Mummy 234, Hyalite

12 The Replicant, Mt Rundle

12 The Fine Line, Elephants Perch

12 The Hitch Hiker, S. Early Winter Spire

13 Goats Beard, Goat Wall

13 Oz/Positive Vibrations, Needles

13 The Passenger, SEWS

14 Rainbow Serpent, Ghost

14 The Silmaril, Zion

15  Weeping Pillar/Hydrophobia/Curtain Call

15 5 Desert Towers

15 Ellen Pea rt, Supercave