I was pretty stoked when my friend and Five Ten rep Kevin Newell called me up to invite me down to this year's Rockfest in Mazama, Washington in late June. The festival is the annual 'kick off' to the climbing season in the Methow Valley and surrounding areas. It's just a really fun and laid-back event in a truly enchanted venue. Five Ten sponsored the evening slideshow again this year, which is why Kevin wanted me to come along. I eagerly agreed.
Despite the self-appointed title of 'granite connoisseur', I had never sampled the goods in the North Cascades. A little embarrassing considering the amount of high-quality adventures to be had along with their proximity to my home in Squamish. I blame the border.
I knew Kevin would be the perfect guide, no one is as stoked on the climbing in Washington as he is! Unfortunately our week-long itinerary of classic climbing wasn't a realistic option with the crappy weather and soggy conditions. Instead, I got a great tour of a new place that really got me excited to come back and explore. Thanks to the event organizers, the AAC, and Five Ten for bringing me along.
On our way through Leavenworth, we managed to squeak in an ascent of the ultra classic Outer Space in between rain squalls. Contender for perhaps the finest moderate route ever, the quality of OS surprised even me, a crusty granite veteran. A steep approach is a great warm up for the giant knobs and perfect splitters on an aesthetic wall high above the narrow valley. I was pretty moved.