New Old Classics

This summer I've attempted two new routes on the peak Colchuck Balanced Rock in the Stuart Range. The first attempt ended after onsighting 4 new 5.10 pitches, but ripping off a dinner-plate flake and falling somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 feet. With a sprained ankle that nearly didn't fit into my boot (following a sleepless night of swelling) I spent 9 hours hobbling back down to the car. Ibuprofen (or a charged iPod) would have been nice.

But redemption came last weekend in the form of a new route and some of the best pitches I've climbed in the Cascades.


Liberty Crack - Liberty Bell

Liberty Crack, Liberty Bell spire in the North Cascades

Summer usually starts in the Northwest on July 5th, and this year was no exception. Faced with 100 degree forecasts and a still-injured ankle, my wife and I headed up to the spires at Washington Pass where we hoped to find no bugs, cool temps, and short approaches. We still got fried by the sun, but 2/3 is good enough.