Overnight, I was vaguely recall rain pummeling on the windshield of Eric’s car. When I awake this morning from a fitful sleep that is typical for someone sleeping in the passenger seat of a Toyota Yaris (and a two door at that) the ground was dmap, but the clouds moving off further down Icicle Canyon. It would take an hour or so for the rocks to dry out so Eric and I took out time having breakfast in the climbing car-park before venturing out on the day’s adventures.

We thought of going to the Sword, but it is in full shade. The day was a bit chilly,a although the sun was breaking through, so we decided to boulder at Mad Meadows. We’ve passed the area several times on our way to the Playground Point sport climbs and knew the area was pretty much always in full sun.

Outdoor bouldering is a real treat for us, but difficult to transfer to since we spend hours on plastic every week. On real rock there are no color coded hands and footholds! Hence, our grade level tends to sink quite a bit. We began on a V0 called “Alpine Feel”… it falls just short of what i would consider being a high ball problem. It’s a great warmup and the shorter you are (like me) the more technical it becomes. Walk off finish.

Next we went to Hueco Route, located in a overhung “room” behind Alpine Feel. There is an awesome overhung route here with swiss cheese huecos called “Hueco Route” V0. This is one of those pumpy and technical V0’s full of heel and toe hooks. Eric solved it,  and it has become my project. You do not top out on this route. Instead drop down from the final holds.

We moved on to the next room to climb “Barnacles” V1. Steming off the route behind you is considered bad form… but is a welcome relief considering the massive mantle finish. Eric had success here climbing up the right and left of the wall which can almost be considered two separate routes. Walk off finish.

A little ways up the trail are two side by side problems “Wooly Mammoth” V0  (left) and “The Dish” V1 (right). Ironically, the V0 looks harder than it is and the latter looked easier than it is. Walk off finish.

Eric and I joined up with some other boulders for some harder routes. Eric  tried his hand at overhang called “Flounder” V2 that was about 5 degrees short of being a roof just around the corner from Alpine Feel. After a few tries he sent it. Some of the guys suggested he do a gym-like route a couple yards away in an overhang called “Drugstore Cowboy” V3. With a two grown men as spotters, 3 crash pads and shouts of encouragement Eric flashed the problem. He still wants to go back and do it again more gracefully though! Walk off finish.

We didn’t want to leave Leavenworth too much past noon. We know from everence that a wicked about of traffic tends to build on the other side of Stevens Pass if you leave much later. We decided to hit up The Fridge boulder on our way out of the canyon. The Fridge is a massive lone boulder. We had time to both send “The Fridge Slab” V0, a nice friction slab that reminds you that you can stand on very little! There is no walk off on an other these problems. Instead you have to down climb “Cool Down” a V0 problem beside the tree growing out of the boulder.

It was 12:30pm by then… time to go. It’s a good thing we did too, the beginnings of a traffic jam were beginning to materialize in Sultan on the drive home. Oh, and folks were still skiing on Stevens Pass!

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