Tag Archives: Trad

Henry’s Visit – climbing Rooster Rock

Henry’s Visit – climbing Rooster Rock

Saturday, 12-August-2017


Sarah’s brother came to visit!

I’d met Henry before, but this was going to be the first time that we got to spend time together her in Oregon – Henry was out for a conference, but had scheduled some extra time to hang out and go on some adventures with us.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend the whole time hanging out, as I had to fly back home for an unexpected funeral, but we were able to get a few adventures in before he flew back to Australia…


One of our goals for Henry’s visit was to take him rock climbing outdoors – we did some climbing while visiting Scotland for Christmas, but that was inside, and only on top rope… From what I remember, Henry’s never actually been climbing outside, or done any multi-pitch climbing.  We had to remedy that.

Instead of trying for a huge climb, we decided to take it a bit easy… I was still a little hesitant with my knee, so combining that with the fact that Henry didn’t have any climbing shoes led us to a short few pitches at the entrance of the gorge: Rooster Rock.

The climb went lovely!  Henry enjoyed himself, and got a chance to get some really good pictures from the top of the spire.


I… I don’t know what else to write.  Climb good.  Views good.  Adventure good.  Rappel down good.  Walk back to car, drive home, eat dinner.  Good.


25, 26 & 27-March; adventurous in Seattle! (Climbing at Vantage)


Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 25-March through 27-March, 2016


We went to Seattle!


A friend of Sarah and I, Dave, lives part time in Seattle.  Seattle is a place that I haven’t been before, but that Sarah thinks is wicked cool (to visit, a little large to live in we think).  If it’s a place, and there’s a reason to go, and it’s only 3 hours driving away…


What I’m getting at, is we went to Seattle!

But this is about the climbing that we did around there.  Because I am me, and climbing is what I do.  So we drove 3+ hours North to Seattle, and drove 2.5 hours east to a place called Vantage, to climb at an area called Frenchman Coulee.

Yeah, that equates to “5+ hours of driving, to get somewhere ~3 hours from my house”.  Hush.  It was worth it.


Frenchman Coulee is in the Washington desert, on the side of a beautiful canyon.  We stuck to the main climbing area for our adventures here… not that the others looked bad, but just that The Feathers (the main section) was literally up the side of a tiny hill from the parking lot.  It’s hard to convince yourself to explore, when there’s climbing less than five minutes from you.

And the climbing five minutes from us was good.  It was really good.  Very bouldery and very reminiscent of gym climbing, with good hold spaces interestingly far apart.  I did a few trad lines up some really interesting dihedrals and crack systems, but we mostly rocked sport lines up the bolted faces.  I did get to save a cam for a group climbing next to us, which was a nice little bonus, but most of the climbs were pretty straightforward.


In total, we climbed two days and did maybe two dozen routes each.  Simple, elegant, and fun… even if the driving was a little excessive 🙂

Climbing at Cathedral, NUComers 2013



Saturday, 12-Oct-2013

So on Saturday, Daniel and I left the Loj late.

This isn’t that strange for us, and it was a quite nice way to start the day… a day that wasn’t looking particularly pleasant, if we’re being honest.  See, the whole weekend was blanketed in clouds and a low hanging fog that just coated everything in a thin mist of water.  Not a bad thing for hiking, but for climbing?  Yeah.  Not so ideal.

But we headed to the cars regardless, jumped in the Mustang, and headed toward North Conway to meet up with Cathedral, a cliff face that I’ve grown to know and love.

Our target was a climb called Funhouse, which would be two pitches to what’s called the “Refuse Ledge”, which would then lead to two pitches of climbing called Upper Refuse, after which we’d summit out on a short 45ft climb.  Sounds fun, and we stuck with it nearly exactly… with a few minor exceptions.

  • Pitch 1 = Funhouse – 5.7, 150ft – Daniel took the first lead, and it was quite fun.  I had more trouble than I’d like to admit though… Today was definitely a “high gravity day”, meaning that every move felt harder than it should.  My lack of sleep may have been it, but I’m kind of convinced that it was the thin mist cloying around the cliff.
  • Pitch 2 = Pooh – 5.8, 170ft – I took the lead here, and I regretted it.  We were going to do pitch 2 of Funhouse, but this was simpler to get to, and the line was quite obvious.  And it was very fun, but much harder than I thought it would be.  I went up assuming that my guidebook was right with a 5.7… but I learned recently that it’s since been re-graded as a 5.8.  Oops.  Still.  I finished, and enjoyed myself once I got into the flow of it.
  • Pitch 3 = Upper Refuse – 5.3, 100ft??? – Daniel took the lead on this strange setup… it’s a three pitch route, but Daniel and I only did it in two.  Because three pitches to do 200’ would be silly.  So ratings… not so sure about it.  Either way – seconding was quite fun, and this was a very enjoyable hand-crack system going nearly straight upward.  Well… except for the terrifyingly exposed face / slab move.  Which was done in the mist.  So friction wouldn’t work.  Yeah.  I’m glad Daniel led.
  • Pitch 4 = Upper Refuse – 5.5, 100ft??? – I took the final leg here, and again slightly regretted it.  This time there were a few different options on routes to take, and I ended up floundering between the two for nearly 20min before I finally just sacked up and made the moves.  From there it was nice and easy… until the last slab move of course.  Notice a pattern here?
  • Summit pitch = ??? – 5.2, 45ft – Daniel led this last mini-pitch, and it was a fun and simple way to get to the observation area of Cathedral.

Once we were at the summit we chatted with a few tourists (who of course thought we were the bee’s knees and/or insane), and relaxed with the semi-interesting view of the clouds coming down past the presidential range.  It was nice, and relaxing, and a good reward for the climbing we’d just busted out.

From here we walked down to the access road and started the weary trudge back to where we’d left our gear at the base of the cliff.  On the walk we ran into two cars though – one minivan where the father asked us to explain our gear to his sons, and one tiny accord who offered us a ride back down to our car.  We took them both up on their offers, and the walk down was made nearly as enjoyable as the climb up.


Ohh!  And Daniel found a small pink shovel.  That is important to note.