Last Ascent

Tieton-ic Fun

Took a hiatus from aggravating my patellar tendonitis and my physical therapist over Labour Day weekend and headed to Tieton for some trad climbing with Peter.

We’d done Sahale together earlier this year and had a great time, but wanted to crag together before attempting high commitment alpine routes later this season (Weather Gods permitting 🙏). Though our sport and bouldering grades are a ways apart, throw us both on hand crack and you’d pick him as the stronger climber every time!

Illness forced an early return on day two, but we managed to lead a nice variety of routes before then.

  • Unfit (5.6): Flaring portions are all wide hands or worse for me. Mantle at the end is the sort of fun that got me hooked on trad.
  • Wild Beast (5.7): One of my favourite climbs at Tieton. Wide section spices up an otherwise unremarkable hand crack.
  • People, Places, and Things (5.8): Redpointed this on my my last trip to the area but ended up having to take after psyching myself out 20’ above my last piece. Finally recognised waiting ‘til you’re scared might not be the best strategy for placing pro…
  • Eat a Peach (5.7): Peter shot up this one so we could try TR'ing the next route on the list. Splitter hand and fists, way more fun than Royal Column’s sandbagged Mushmaker (5.7+).
  • Living for the City (5.10c): I’d previously been under the impression finger crack meant ringlock size and smaller and been keen to avoid it. This line set me straight! Fingerlocking felt far more natural than hand jamming, and I’m now stoked to try harder trad routes having onsightied this.
  • Alar (5.8): Skipped this on the last few trips due to the bush that’s sprouted on the first quarter of the climb. Decided to give it a go as we were standing under it at the end of the day. A touch harder harder than Vantage’s Party In Your Pants, since the left crack is well into offwidth territory and difficult to protect.

All in all, a fun weekend and a nice respite for my knees.