For the past few months my focus has been sport climbing. This season has found me putting a lot of time in at Smith on the weekends in an effort to ‘catch up’ to the years of experience I have with bouldering. So far this year, I have managed to tick off about a dozen routes in the 5.12 to .13- range, and feel like I have momentum to get me through a few more before the summer heat puts a kibosh on the spring season. Even more exciting has been the community I feel like I’ve developed this season. Smith has a reputation for being tricky and technically demanding, and it’s as if the local climbing community has banded together to combat those fickle and onerous routes. It is a cool thing to be a part of. And it makes climbing there so fun!
Despite my stoke, I decided to take a break from the tuff last weekend and make a trip up to WA for some good ol’ granite pebble wrestlin’ (bouldering). I’ve spent a lot of time in Leavenworth over the years, and it still feels like home to me. I always love going back. I drove up with my roommate Adam, and had an incredible weekend with friends, family, and some near-perfect climbing weather. And I finally pulled out the camera! Here’s a few from the trip:
Best photo of the weekend. Very fun to finally climb this one after all these years. You need a LOT of pads to do it safely, and we happened to walk by at the perfect time to pool our resources with another crew. What an amazing line! ‘The Ruminator’ – V6 PHOTO: Adam McKibben
Adam sends ‘Tin Man’ – V6 Nice work man! I get to live with this stud, suckers. This boulder lies off the beaten path, but it is worth seeking out. Good one.
Kevin ‘Treebeard’ Riley. Killing it.
Got to see my new friend Jen Mercer climb her first V4! Nice work Jen! Way to do it in good style. ‘The Real Thing’ – V4
Adam learning the moves on ‘Kobe Tai’ – V8
Kevin makes quick work of ‘Pimpsqueak’ – V9
Sent this rig! This boulder problem has always stood out as a great test-piece in my mind. Three pure, hard moves. Finally put some time into it this season and took it down. ‘The Coffee Cup’ – V9 PHOTO: Adam Mckibben
Had to post SOMETHING from Smith. Was lucky to have photographer Dearric Winchester snap this one. Unfortunately it was a bit of a heart-breaker attempt, with me falling from that hold in my right hand (notice that it is literally ABOVE the anchor). But I was able to come back and finish it the next day so it’s all good. Thanks for the photo Dearric! ‘Coleslaw and Chemicals’ – 5.13a
Till next time…