Lots of rock climbing lately. Just kind of cruising the million good crags around here. Went up to “The Cave” this afternoon, a spot I hiked around a few times the last time we lived in Yakima (site of the infamous tick invasion with Mary). I really, really like this area. Neat aesthetics, tons of routes, lots of variety, good shade in places. I love the clouds in that first picture. Gorgeous day too, almost October and still in the 80s.
We only climbed a couple routes since the guy I was with was short on time. Recreational Jugs (5.7) and another route that wasn’t in the guidebook that looked fun. I assumed based on the name and grade that I’d be cruising up some huge holds on Jugs, but it actually ended up being a little less straightforward, particularly the last move to get in position set up the anchor. Nothing crazy, but difficult enough to give me pause for a bit. I’d like to climb this one again some time with a better mindset. The other unnamed route (pictured below right) I bailed on about halfway up on lead. Really fun first half, but iffy enough higher up that I wasn’t feeling like eviscerating myself with a big drop above my gear. On a top rope I probably would’ve gone for it.
Climbing at Lava Point his afternoon. I led Lava Sundae, a 5.10a route, and the toughest climb I’ve completed on lead so far on my fledgling climbing tick sheet. The crux for me was a short hand-width crack near the top that involved walking my hands as high as I could in the crack, pulling high enough to step high with my right foot with just enough smear friction to lightly pressure my left shoulder back against the adjacent rock, shimmying a couple times, lunging for a hand hold on the ledge above, and then pulling myself onto the ledge. Neat finish to the route too with some fantastic airy jug holds just below the anchor.
Photos – Left: looking south along Dream Wall from the Lava Sundae belay station. Right: me setting up an anchor on top of Lava Sundae.
Left: zoomed, me getting ready to rap off of Lava Sundae after leading it. Right: unzoomed, rappelling.
Left: Lava Sundae. Right: View west toward Rimrock Lake. Note all the smoke; lots of large fires still burning in the area after a lightning storm a couple weeks ago.
Went climbing at Royal Columns after work last night (I love living 25 minutes from quality rock). Mostly just top-roped a few easy crack routes and also played around a little on some trickier lines. It was still pretty toasty (upper 80s) when we first got out there and maybe that’s why we had the whole crag to ourselves, but as the sun dropped it turned into a really pleasant evening. There were places where halfway up a route I could feel the cool air rushing out between the columns.
Left: me gathering rope at the top of a route, getting ready to walk off. Right: me rappelling off of Double Trouble.
Here are some photos taken during last week’s house inspection at the possible new house. I say possible, because I asked for about a half dozen inspection-flagged items to be repaired and haven’t heard back yet. Third time through impressions: I still love the property and location and like the potential in the house. It’s definitely a place we could make really sharp.
Outside front of house.
Outside from northwest corner of the yard. Old garage.
Outside looking north and northeast. Pretty expansive view at the moment, but I’m sure will be filled in at some point.
Outside from northeast corner of the yard.
Outside on east side of house looking north. Oil tank for oil furnace.
Living room. Nice coved ceilings. Good nook for the TV.
Kitchen and hallway looking toward master bedroom. We may or may not end up gutting the kitchen. Cabinets are still in good shape and kind of fit the country style of the house.
Upstairs bedrooms. I love these rooms, really small though.
Stairway looking down from second floor. Inside of newer garage.
Backyard update, you know you’re excited! I finally got around to finishing the backyard landscaping. All woodchipped and planted up. Took a truck-load of yard waste (presumably a couple years-worth of leaves and sticks, plus this summer’s grass clippings) to the landfill on Friday. Finished seeding the last remnant swaths of dirt a couple days ago and the first lawn sprouts are starting to poke through already. The peach tree is full of almost-ripe peaches, though Taylor and Parko have been thinning the crop, standing on hind legs to work over the lower branches.