Like most stories meant to frighten kids, climbers, and other scare-able sorts, tales from the northwest have more fairy tale than fact. In truth, the Cascade Range is diverse enough to defy description. It houses big wall granite free climbs and snowy skyline ridge scrambles. Fertile valleys grow bright fruit and bitter hops, producing unique meals and microbrews. Strong espresso and stronger beers bookend quintessentially Cascadian car-to-car pushes. And everywhere, amid every climb, the landscape itself will grab you. The mountains' complexities tell of the region's history and ongoing geologic turmoil. The rugged nature of this range has shaped its culture and climbing, both now tangled stoutly together. The landscape lurks as a character, figuring into the region's stories and experiences. And despite disparate views of politics, economics, religion, and probably even sport vs trad, the residents scattered throughout these sleepy mountain towns all revel in a pride of place and an eagerness to share their connection to the Cascades.
I'm moving back to Washington from Colorado at the end of October.
First a quick trip to the Sierra, and maybe Zion as well!