I’ll admit it. Like a kid who gets a new set of Legos every time he asks, we’re used to being handed the blue sky of Colorado nearly every time we look out the window. Rain jacket? What’s that? So we’re been waiting out a few days of cloudy PNW weather till we could get more skiing under the azure heavens instead of the gray wetness. A standard deal up here is that the farther east you go the dryer it gets, so we headed over to the faux Bavarian metropolis of Leavenworth, Washington to do some cragging and eat spaetzle. Check it out.
We found a mixture of nice quality sport and trad climbing up Tumwater and Icicle canyons. Modern rock climbing always amazes me with the effort and expense route developers go through to equip climbs, mostly motivated by their creative impulse, mixed with the fun of getting their name in the guidebook. Or perhaps they just like the feel of an electric drill in their hands. Perhaps they were boys raised on finger paint and Nintendo, and when they finally got the real manly toys in their hands, they went wild? Who knows, but the results make rock climbing fun.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.