Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Low Gravity Weekend

The motivation to gravity ratio this past weekend in Leavenworth was off the charts. Let's get into it.


After a long breakfast and a slow start checking out some new areas in Tumwater Canyon we ended up in Mad Meadows. Lib almost pulled off a flash of Drugstore Cowboy V3, sending after only a few more tries. As the sun fell beyond the ridge I managed to flash a sharp one-mover named The Jib V7/8.

Setting up for the throw on The Jib V7/8.
Through the Mad Meadow.


Bring the Ruckus. After meeting up with the rest of the Portland crew and warming up it was on. Over eight hours the four of us racked up a 95 point rampage between Forestland and Mad Meadows. Having already done most of the problems we stopped to session on, I only contributed 9 points with a third try send of The Sail. Highlights included Andrew's third try send of Superman V10, Stephen's flash of Hanta Man V8/9, and the mass havoc wrecked at each zone. It had been a long time since we had all climbed together outside, and with the animals out of the zoo things got crazy.

I was also psyched to make good linkage on God is in the Details, V12 which connects Hanta Man into Superman with three hard transition moves for a full value line.

Bleeding, shredded, and throughly satisfied, we trudged down to the road, dunked our burning skin in the river, and called it a day.

About to slap The Practitioner V11 silly.
Stephen setting up on Coffee Cup, V9.
Andrew eyeing the lip.
The legendary Meinhold footwork in action.


Overcast with a slight breeze. The rock felt sticky and cool as we warmed up, muscles and fingers activating slowly. At the end of yesterdays mass murder session Stephen had been close on The Ram V12, so we headed that way to watch him string it together. I tried a few of the moves with some success between Stephen's redpoint attempts, however the tension required for the crux is unbelievable. It might be one of those tricky problems where it feels impossible until your body is arranged in such a way that some split second of weightlessness can be achieved. In any case it felt great to get on something at my limit.

We all took turns giving Stephen a break between burns, and Andrew managed to take The Sail down after only a handful of attempts.

Andrew keeping it together for the topout on The Sail V9.

After the peanut gallery was done slapping around Stephen promptly crushed The Ram with a rebel yell, leaving his mark on the problem by breaking a small piece off the center of the left hand crimp as he toed in to go to the finish jug.

Stephen about to crush The Ram V12.

Feeling inspired, we headed to the straightaway boulders to circuit WAS V8, Cotton Pony Dyno V10, and a problem on the river I had scoped, but wouldn't find out until later was actually a V12 named Turbulence.

I managed to reach the top of WAS on my second go, while Andrew came closer and closer and Stephen, still glowing from the send, watched and spotted.

Feeling the air beneath my feet on WAS V8.

The boulders proceeded to win each following round as we got shut down on both Cotton Pony Dyno and Turbulence .

Andrew cutting loose on the Cotton Pony Dyno V10.
Working out the moves on Turbulence V12.

The crew had to head back to Portland that night, so as a few raindrops tapped on the pads we said our farewells, talked a last little bit of shit to each other, and watched them head back down the road.

Lib and I stopped for a little intermission before heading back out to Forestland were she threw her shoes on and flashed Toto V4.

The rain was beginning to steady, so we called it a day.


Rain dripped off the rooftops and specked our windshield as we silently drove to the Swiftwater area of Tumwater Canyon. I had wanted to work God is in the Details, but there was no way the top out was going to be dry.

Luckily, we managed to salvage the day by climbing a few steep, dry lines in Swiftwater. Lib nearly sent The Footless Traverse V5, while I struggled for a send of Raging Bull V7.

The windshield wipers hardly got a break on the drive back to Portland, but by now they shouldn't expect one.


All photos by Liberty Herring.


  1. I am preparing a tick list for next time.

  2. Ok, honest question... how long until you've climbed out the established problems in Icicle Canyon? Thankfully there are other locations nearby, but damn dude, better get your heavy duty brushes ready and start developing.

  3. or try some of the projects; the green lung, kim and randy, and the ladder project are just waiting for the right person... and keep in mind that the guidebook was published before Johnny G moved back to WA

  4. I think I just pulled a tendon reading that send list...Awesome job man!

  5. Thanks for the comments!

    @Pedro I think there is definitely a lot more to do. Especially since dedicated locals have been finding new hard lines all over the place since the guidebook was published. I also hear that the rock/mud slide opened up some new potential.

    @Shamwow Thanks for the heads up on the projects. I think they are well out of my reach, but I know a lot of strong people are around central WA right now. Maybe they'll go down soon. Are you a local? I'll be coming up from Portland a few more times this season and it would be great to see some newer classics.