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Leavenworth Clean-up! - Alex Fritz

Leavenworth Clean-up! - Alex Fritz
Leavenworth Clean-up! - Alex Fritz
Leavenworth Clean-up! - Alex Fritz
Leavenworth Clean-up! - Alex Fritz
April 29, 2013 - 

My mom drove me out to Leavenworth today for the Leavenworth Mountain Associations clean-up event! There was a surprisingly good turn out for the day and I was psyched to see so many people willing to help keep one of Washington's most well-known and biggest crags clean. My mom and I did a little cleaning, but I spent most of the day doing a FiveTen shoe demo at the 8-mile campground for those of who were helping out. I like doing demos because it's pretty cool helping people finding the right shoe for their feet, or making recommendations based off my own experience. Even though I know not everyone has perfect feet for FiveTen shoes, I always get pretty psyched to see a satisfied customer. Today there were probably between 20-30 people who tried on some shoes, with 10-15 of those who brought the shoes out to the crag and actually got to test them out on the real rock. Most of the people out there were regulars outside so I think getting the opportunity to test it out on the stuff they climb on all the time is a really good experience for them.

Along with a good demo and clean up, climbing went fairly well today, too! I started the day with running a few laps on Twisted Tree (V4) and Twister (V7), only to find that 101 Ways to Fling Poo (V11), a boulder problem I did last year, had a key hold broken off now making it extremely, extremely hard. I played around with the literal dime-sized, two-finger crimp that now too the previous holds place before calling it and moving on.

The highlight of my day was finding the newer "Unearthed Boulders" that were discovered late in 2011 after a pretty big slide took out a good side of the hillside. After a good cleaning and some spring precipitation, the locals quickly dispatched the new climbs in early 2012. What is cool about these climbs is that instead of just finding "new" boulders that have actually been there for hundreds or thousands of years and remained unseen, these two new boulders are literally new, actually unearthed and brought out from the ground after the slide. I remember seeing pictures and a few videos from it last summer when they started publicizing the new problems but it wasn't until today that I actually had the opportunity to hunt them down to try it.

The first climb that you see, and probably the most aesthetic, is The Lion's Den. I believe Cole Allen has the first ascent of this climb, but props nonetheless for whoever put up this rig because it's easily the most fun boulder problem I've done in Leavenworth to date. You start seated all the way at the base of the wall, with your left hand on the lowest left hand side pull and right hand on the slopey arete (although I started on the lowest undercling because that made most sense to me - only added an extra move). The coolest move is the first move - you have a good left food and you drop knee / knee bar into where your left start hold is, pulling yourself in super close to the wall allowing you to make two super chill bumps through more slopey side pulls. From there you readjust your feet and work your way through better holds, to a hard cross move to an OK gaston sloper (top left chalk spot in photo). Bumping your right hand up to a really good crimp, you pull the lip to a pretty bad set of slopers and through to a not-so-good crimp. Find your feet and stand up tall until you are rocked up over the lip and top it out!

Along with this gem, The Lion's Den boulder also features an extremely fun and tricky highball slab climb. The crux is only the first ten feet so the landing is super solid (you can see the crash pad under the start in the photo above). Dirty Dancing goes straight up the face and probably is around V2-V4.

Finally, the smaller of the two boulders has two obvious lines on it. Unearthed on the left, and what I assume is maybe a open project on the right? Unearthed has an obvious jug at the SDS level, two small crimps just above, and then a pretty big move to another decent crimp, throw to a jug and top it out. That probably goes around the V3-V5 range (I'm just guessing), and then there was an obvious sit start that added two or three harder moves into the start of Unearthed that probably makes the full line somewhere around V5-V8.


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