No Holds Barred!
Dom on 'Pay Dirt', 5.7.
Laura on 'Pay Dirt'.
It was fitting that we ended our trip at the Fridge boulder. Ironically enough the first place we climbed when we started climbing in Leavenworth. Now the last place we climbed on our re-birth into Leavenworth rock climbing culture, first as boulderers, now as sport/trad climbers. The previous day we had arrived in Icicle Canyon in mid-afternoon ready to sample the granitic cliffs that we had never really paid much attention to on past bouldering trips. Opting instead to oggle at the smaller versions of them scattered all around. Now we rolled into 8-mile's loving embrace at our usual spot, 19, or is it 21? Oh no! I've forgotten already, or maybe I just don't want to give away the finest camp spot in the whole of Icicle. The rest of the day we played around on some really entertaining sport routes. Some were tricky and cryptic, and others straight up and fun.
The following day we had a tough time finding a trail up the steep part of a rocky mountainside, clambering through sticky bushes and over fallen trees. We never found the crag we were looking for but I spotted some pretty sweet sport climbs. Unfortunately my present company vowed to never return. We gave up near the top and headed for easier terrain at a spot just above the Fridge Boulder. The first climb was a 5.7 trad climb that followed a finger crack up a shallow groove. It looked very smooth and aesthetic. I got spooked on the entering moves of the seam, so just watched Dom and Laura do it. I haven't grown confident enough in trusting gear yet to try 5.7 moves. Trad slab climbing is rather tricky and involves quite a bit of confidence and trust. Infact the 5.11b slab climb we did next was incredibly hard for me, and I had to aid climb past most of the hard bits. A high note was reached when we did a route called (?) that started up a bulge and lead into a nice lay back flake with a small roof encounter at the top. Very juggy and very fun! The last route of the day was pretty classic, Flake Fest, and was all about the title, flakes, a lot of them. I had fun getting scared. It's good to test boundaries and to know when to back off. My feet have seen better days, as a result of climbing slabs in nothing but my dragons. I am really excited to return for some of Leavenworth's slightly less slabby climbing, but I'm also not opposed to working on my weaknesses (apparently I have many).
A small part of the Icicle. I had to come back with some evidence of our adventure hike.