Matt and Joanne’s Page

May 12, 2007

Tieton Weekend

Filed under: Climbing — joannestamplis @ 9:25 pm

So I mentioned that last weekend we took to Tieton, Washington for the AR field session. Matt and I still needed 2 more days climbing with a coordinator since we missed 1 weekend due to our motorcycle riding class. On Saturday we headed out early to the Royal Columns and climb, climb, climbed. I felt the routes here are definitely sandbagged. Everything feels harder here than Smith Rock. There are a few 5.3 routes but after talking to a few of the students who did the routes, they definitely don’t sound like a 5.3 to me.

My first climb was this 5.7 route called Little Known Wonder. Since Matt and I split gear between us and my coordinator didn’t bring his rack, I was pretty much using a minimal gear to climb the routes. There’s so much loose rock on this route and I didn’t really enjoy it that much. My next climb was even worse. I somehow got in my head that I could climb Journeymen Crack 5.8+. Well, Ryan told me that there’s only 1 small off-width section and I believed that. Well, he was so wrong. The climb started up this horrible bad rock pillar. Once I get onto the pillar the offwidth section starts immediately for the next 20 feet. I only have 2 #3 cam with me and ended up aiding most of the way. Once the off-width section is done, the climb gets steeper but with better hand holds. However, once I get about 15 feet above the last piece I placed down below, I grabbed this big rock and the whole thing shifted which really spooked me. I didn’t have any right size placement and ended up placing 2 horrible pieces that I know will rip if I fall. After that I made it to the top and the whole climb just took me about 1 hr and 15 mins ~ not too long, uh huh….

Anyway, I decided to stick to 5.7 for the rest of the day. On Sunday, Matt and I got to climb together because there weren’t enough coordinators and Jill (AR organizer) told us that we don’t need to climb with coordinator anymore. I think Matt and I do well together and make awesome partners. Matt lead an impressive thin crack climb, Orange Sunshine and I then onsighted it on top rope. Maybe next time I’ll consider leading it. This is actually my first 5.10 crack climb that I’ve managed to climb clean (without relying on the rope). Later I onsighted Inca Roads 5.9 on lead. I was really nervous about it just because I had so much difficulty on the 5.8+ the day before and 5.9 would be harder. Instead I think I did it in great style 🙂

I think I forgot to mention that Tieton is famous for rattle snakes. I’m told that almost everybody will see at least one when they come here. My highlight of the weekend is that I did not have any encounter with any snake, yay!


This is a picture taken by Tim’s Pond. This is where we stayed for the night in our RV on Friday night.


Random shots of the climbing area. Most of the climbs we did can be seen here.


There are a few gates on the approach trail that I think were setup to keep the elk, or maybe some other animals in.

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