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 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.