Saturday, October 20, 2012

Behind the Rocks

I wake to my phone ringing and realize that the dream I had about turning my alarm clock off and going back to sleep was in fact, not a dream.   Bill is waiting in his truck out front wondering were I am.  You would think that after years of me giving people crap for being late, slow, and inefficient that when I mess up and am slowing down the show I would get it back in folds.  But Bill doesn't even have a sarcastic remark for me.  One of only three things can explain this 1) Bill only got two hours of sleep. 2) He realizes that I'm beating myself up already. 3) He's a better person then I am.  The truth is likely a combination of 1 and 3 but I like to think it is 2.
Packing for "Brad's Tower"  
It's getting light when we are driving past Cortez and I'm kicking myself for slowing down the show and wasting daylight.  We stop along the highway near a tower that Brad has been pointing out every time we drive by for years.  It's been dubbed "Brad's Tower".  The closer we get to the feature the less and less it looks less like a tower, until Bill and I stop walking.  We decide "Brad's Tower" is unworthy of our effort and head back to the car.
Unsure of what to do Bill drives north as I frantically flip through guidebooks offering suggestions.  I hear a quiet "I've been looking at that for years, we could do that."  Just of the road is a little spike of rock near the Behind the Rocks area.  It's not super proud but it will do.  Bill leads and I jug the line that Bill has fixed to a few bad pins and himself.  After a experience the night before Bill calls the tower "The College Girl" and names the route "Almost got Laid."
Bill, checking to see if there are signs of anchors. 

Bill, doing his happy dance.


The reason for Bill's 2 hours of sleep the night before.

Near by is another small feature that we decided to climb before heading home that we are calling, "Table Scraps."
Me on top of "Table Scraps".

"Table Scraps" on the hill and "The College Girl" in the lower right. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Bill, Matt and I climbed Astroman in the end of September.  Turns out the thing is classic for a reason!  Amazing climbing!  We started out behind a slow crew which was frustrating but they got turned around by the 'Harding Slot' and rappelled.
Bill walked the 'Boulder Problem' which had turned me away.
The 'Enduro' pitch was a little easier than expected with a few rests along the way. But still a great lead by Matt.
Matt yelled down from the top of the 'Harding Slot' after leading it, "I don't want to be cocky but I'm pretty sure that where we come from that was easy."
We topped out just before dark thirsty and happy.  We ran back down the North Dome Gully to our bags at the base and some extra water.
Bill on pitch 1.

Matt following pitch 2.

Checking out the Boulder Problem.  About to get shut down.

Bill knows that to send you must be one with the rock.

The ultimate crotch shot.  Matt on the Enduro pitch.

Ready for something.



Bill after the 'Changing Corners' pitch.

North Cascades, WA

Chris and I had been talking about going to the North Cascades to climb for a while and we finally made it happen.  Chris flew in from Chicago, and I drove up from Durango and picked him up from the Seattle Airport.  The next day we approached Forbidden Peak and set up camp in Boston Basin where we had great views of Johannesburg Mountain.

Packing at the trail head.

Camp with Johannesburg Mountain in the background.

Chris enjoying the day with Boston Peak in the background.
We climbed the West Ridge on Forbidden the following day in perfect weather and then camped one more night in Boston Basin, before heading through the mist back down to the car. 

Negotiating the moat.

At the notch on the West Ridge of Forbidden.

The West Ridge of Forbidden.

After descending we drove over to the east side of the North Cascades to the little town of Mazama.  Where we were lucky enough to be there the night of the 2012 Fall Mountain Festival, and get stoked for the next day of climbing with slide shows from Mark Allen and Blake Herrington.

Morning view form the tent.

Walking though the mist.
The morning after all stoked up from the slide shows we climbed the SW Rib on South Early Winter Spire on Washington Pass.

Chris on the SW Rib of South Early Winter Spire.

Last pitch.
What a great way to end our trip in Washington!  Super fun climbing with spectacular views!