Tieton – dodging a snow flurry, hanging out around the fires with kickass new climber friends, and climbing my first cracks and cleaning trad!

Climbing a fun crack at The Cave. Photo by my friend Koko.

Had an awesome rock climbing weekend at Tieton. Dodging snow flurries; stellar cragging at The Oasis, The Cave and The Bends; loads of laughs with new kickass climbing friends around two campfires; extinguishing fires via hucking them into the river; and climbed my first crack routes and cleaned my first trad!

Jeremy and I headed out to Tieton to meet up with some of his fab rock climbing buddies.  The Tieton crags are located out by Yakima, along the Tieton River and Highway 12.  The rock at Tieton is volcanic andesite, same kind of rock found at Vantage.

Our first climbing stop was The Cave.  As we hiked up to the climb, the wind blew and snow flurries began to fall sporadically.  We contemplated our next move  – to climb in the snow or not the climb in the snow, that’s the real question. In the end, we decided to head over to the Oasis instead where it was much warmer, less windy and sans snow.

The Oasis. Climbing a 5.10a. Photo belongs to Genevieve Hathaway.

At the Oasis we met up with Jackie, Justin and co. and got in some great climbing on a 5.10a, 5.11a and 5.10b.  I got to climb my first overhang on the 5.11a, and sadly pumped out before getting over it, but learned a lot about how to handle overhangs.

Jeremy rocking the overhand on the 5.11a at The Oasis. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

More 5.11a action. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

Jackie cruising up the 5.11a. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

After a good day of climbing, spent a great evening of hanging out with climbing friends around campfires. Guitars were wipped out, stories were told, and plenty of laughter for all.a

I make sure to pamper myself when I car camp  (since more often then not when I am outside I am usual going Extreme Minimalist alpine climbing, aka zero pampering)  – large, spacious tent, super thick Exped sleeping pad (the Princess and the Pea and her dozens of mattresses has nothing on me), nice meals, plenty of hot tea and yummy treats, hairbrush, extra thick extra soft down pillow, and cute climbing clothes. So needless to say, I savored the experience since the mountaineering season is kicking off in two weekends and it will be a while until my next luxurious car camping trip.

Cleaning trad from a fun crack route. The Cave. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

The next morning we headed back up to The Cave.  The day was warm, windless and no snowflakes in sight. It was a fun area to climb and I had the joy (I was bouncing around like a 5 year old who had been handed a fistful of sweets) of climbing my first cracks and cleaning my first Trad routes!!  The Cave has everything from 5.8 sport to 5.7 trad to 5.11 sport, so it’s a great place to find something for everyone.

Once we got our fill of climbing in at The Cave, Jeremy, a few others and I,

The Bends is a lot of columnar crack and finger crack climbing. This is the fun 5.8 climb Alar. Photo by Genevieve Hathaway.

headed over to The Bend to do more Trad. The Bend is comprised of columnar rock formations so there are lot and lots of finger crack climbs.  I had a blast on a long, fun 5.8 crack which I cleaned the Trad on.  For my first weekend both crack and Trad climbing, I found both a lot of fun and the gear lover in me drooled over the Trad racks (it’s like cute shoes, a girl can never have too much cool gear).

I loved the wide variety of climbs at Tieton, the beautiful area, and the lack of crowds (or we may have just gotten lucky that weekend).  It is a definite must revisit!


~ by Genevieve Hathaway on April 30, 2010.

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