Leavenworth was the last stop on our climbing trip. The temperatures and weather were both excellent, and as such we tried to make the most of the good conditions and our time there, moving to a day-on day-off climbing cycle for 10 days or so.
Leavenworth has several distinct regions for climbing and bouldering; we spent most of our time in Icicle Canyon although we did drive out to Mountain Home Road to have a look around on an off-day. The areas we climbed were:
- Egg Rock
- The Sword
- Mad Meadows
The first stop we made was at Egg Rock, as it was close to where we were parking Eddie for the night. When we got there mid-morning on Sunday, there were a few people floating around already, and one in particular looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d seen him before…
…then it dawned on me – I’d seen his portrait in the back of the guidebook, he was the author! We chatted for a few minutes, and I would have asked him to sign a copy of the guide, but we’d purchased the book online and only had the digital version (the paperback was being shipped back to Vancouver).
The second area that we visited was The Sword boulders, a well-treed area that has a few very popular local-classics. One is a neat dyno problem called The Hourglass, V7, which I was convinced could be done without jumping (given my height), but in the end I had to jump, just like everyone else 🙂 Another great problem there was Off The Couch, V7, which had me putting my crimp-strength and dead-pointing skills to work!
The last area we spent a few days at was Mad Meadows. This is one of two premier bouldering locations in Leavenworth, the other being Forestland.
There were some nice warm-up problems there and a great place to enjoy the sun.
We both enjoyed a boulder problem called ‘The Hole’, V6; here’s Moira figuring out a sequence before completing it (she curses her toe-hook!):
And a video of me climbing an alternative finish to the same problem:
And I finally decided to try a project-level climb, Pimpsqueak V8/9; it went well, but it was a bit spooky with only two bouldering pads and I didn’t feel comfortable with the top-out in case I fell – next time!
We also spent a day looking around the Moutain Home Road area, billed as being Leavenworth’s Druid Stones. The views were certainly as spectacular, and the bouldering looked intriguing. Hopefully the next time we return, this area will have seen a bit more traffic, and fewer of the climbs will need cleaning.
Leavenworth, both the town and the climbing area, ended up being one of our favourite destinations on the trip. With it being relatively close to Vancouver (less than 4 hours), I’m sure we will be returning soon enough – there was so much more we wanted to see and do!