Our plan was to meet up with Lisa and her friend to get in some sport climbing on the final day of sunshine. However, when we all met up at Exit 38, a popular sport climbing area along exit 38 on I-90 it turned out our group of 4 was now a group of 20. While the group got organized Eric, Lisa and I got a head start and headed toward the wall known as “Interstate Park”, but at the three way junction Eric took up left instead of taking the middle path leading us to the “Overhaul” area. Lisa decided to turn back and catch up with the group while Eric and I opted to stay.

Studying the guidebook, Eric led the way to the Slabbage Patch area of “Overhaul” and set me up to lead a 5.7 called “Party Girl”. After several dicey moves and some down climbing and up climbing to try different sequences I decided to bail. Strange that a 5.7 would be so hard at Exit 38 which is know for super soft ratings. Eric lowered me off my locking biner and lead the route, though he also struggled. While he set up his rappel I glanced at the book and noticed that we were not at Slabbage Patch, but Motherland on “Sheltered Upbringing” 5.10b! This magnifies the importance of both parties agreeing on the climb’s location as opposed to just one person looking at the book. It also displays that if you don’t know the rating you tend to climb better. I got halfway up which never would have occurred if i knew what I was climbing!

We nect headed over the Easy Street. It took some time to find the wall since the trail at Exit 38 are like a honeycomb. It’s a large black slab with about five 5.6 bolted routes. We Eric and I swung leads up “ES-2”  which is a 2 pitch route up the wall with chained belay anchors requiring 2 rappels. Great views of the mountain of Snoqualmie Pass scarred by I-90.

We were supposed to make our way to the “Gun Show” area, but in the maze of trails ended up at “Interstate Park”. Eric led up “Tunnel of Love” 5.8, a fun route up a vertical wall. There a boulder wedges between the route wall and the wall behind you creating a tunnel. It is difficult to belay in this area during early season since the ground is so muddy and slippery. I belayed from a rock platform and traversed along the edge rock wall to the route start when i followed to keep my shoes clean. Note that one should not rappel through the tunnel but to climbers right.

We headed back to the car after that route as it was getting on to late afternoon and we still had to drive to our next crag: Vantage

 

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