Wanting to take my ski mountaineering to the next level and wanting to get my buddies out of the climbing gyms and onto real rock, we setup a learn to sport climb weekend with Pro Guiding. So last weekend we packed up and headed over to Vantage Washington to hit up Frenchman Coulee, an incredible climbing area with close to 700 routes. Of course it was pouring rain in Seattle so it was quite nice to crest over Snoqualmie Pass and drive into sun and 80′ weather on the other wise :)/
Our trusty guide Dave took us to River View, away from the Feathers shit show, and walked us through belaying and knot tying and pretty quickly we were up on the rock having a blast.
And it wasn’t long before he had us leading routes. Here’s John setting one up with Dave coaching:
As the afternoon rolled around it got smoking hot so we took a break and hit the Columbia River which was chilly but refreshing.
Refreshed we then hit up the Feathers:
As the sun set we hiked back down to our campsite to grill, drink beers and enjoy the dust storms:
We had all assumed the dust storms would settle down as it got dark out but the wind raged all night long. With ear plugs in I eventually got a bit of sleep but when I “woke” up I and everything I had in my tent was covered in a fine layer of sand.
We decided cooking would be impossible in 50+ mph winds so we drove around trying to find shelter. Failing, we parked down by the water and used the car as a wind break as Jarret worked his magic.
We then spent the day on the Sunshine Wall, which requires you to walk through a neat crack, and ended on the Feathers again.
By the end of Sunday I was leading 5.7 climbs, climbing 5.8s well but still struggled on the 5.9s and 5.10s. Not bad considering I hadn’t climbed since leaving Winnipeg! Next up I need to learn some trad climbing and start to hit up some climbing objectives.
Reminder for next time: bring more ice, a bathing suit and be prepared for lots of dust if it is windy.