Rock Climbing in Leavenworth

July 8, 2019

I woke up on a portaledge bunk in my climbing hostel. I was excited to finally be in Leavenworth. I took my time in the morning and biked over to a sweet coffee shop called Good Mood Food. Vegetables were a rarity in my cheese, salami, and granola bar diet, so I ordered veggie quiche with a side salad for breakfast. I spent some time at the coffee shop looking through photos and catching up on writing.

Back at the hostel, my climbing partner for the day came by and we chatted about today’s plan. We headed up to a crag called Pearly Gates in Icicle Canyon for some granite trad climbing. The climber’s trail was bursting with berries, and as a result we didn’t get up to the crag all that fast. No regrets!

It felt great to be climbing again and giving my bruised butt a break. I haven’t climbed much on granite, so the movement and protection kept me on my toes. I finished off the day with a huge salad and tucked myself into a comfy bed.

July 9, 2019

I checked out a different coffee shop this morning for breakfast. Will met me and we carpooled to the trailhead for a classic Washington climb called Outer Space. The approach was decently long and hot, and my body did not feel rested. I was abnormally tired and my leg was aching.

We made our way up the trail, hopping across fallen trees. I racked up my harness at the base of the route and started leading up. The climbing was not technically difficult, but I couldn’t get myself into a confident headspace. The pitch kept on going and going, and I started wondering how I hadn’t reached the end of the rope yet. I was running low on gear and built an anchor. Will climbed up and told me he’d been simul climbing on the easy opening terrain. That explains why the pitch was so long!

We kept climbing, the view growing more gorgeous the higher we went. The last two pitches were a splitter .75-2s crack with little patina features around the crack. So fun! I didn’t expect features like that in Leavenworth. Even though the climbing was superb, my headspace was still not feeling great and I cried mid-climb. Not because this climb was out of my comfort zone, but because I was just so tired and everything felt hard. I needed a proper rest day.

July 10, 2019

I told myself today would be a rest day. The rock climbing approaches these last few days were long and my leg was aching. I biked to Good Mood Food to work on my blog posts and sort photos. Later I stopped at another coffee shop for cold brew and rode some dirt trails to a beach. I watched the river, enjoyed my coffee, and rested in the shade of a tree.

Before I knew it, 2pm rolled around and I met a new friend to go white water rafting. We drove down to the put in and unloaded the raft. He stayed with the boat and I took his car down the highway to the pull out location. I was about to start cycling back to the put in, but noticed a raft guiding company in the parking lot and asked for a ride. They were cooking an apres float meal for their clients and offered me a steak, then we packed up their gear and they dropped me off at the put in. Ben and I surfed some waves in the boat and cracked ciders on a beach. It began pouring rain on us, be we enjoyed the fresh smell of rain and double rainbows over our heads. The float was lovely and we followed up with curry and mojitos. Not a bad rest day in Leavenworth!

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