Eric and I had time to climb for a half day on Sunday… well we could have left later but that would have guaranteed massive traffic on Route 2. We decided to climb at Hobo Gulch, the closest crag tot he town of Leavenworth in Tumwater Canyon. It sits directly beside February Buttress, but it accessed by a different trail. Our book indicted that we were supposed to follow an obvious trail that led directly to the crag just after a rocky outcrop near town. The three routes we wanted to climb were supposed to located right and slightly downhill of the main wall. We found the trail and followed it. But after several yard more trails appeared, butt hey were faint. We took the clearest trail carefully stepping around the copious poison oak.  We did indeed end up at the rock wall. The trail turn right so we followed it thinking we were following the book’s instructions and passed many routes. However, the wall ended with no sign of the routes we were looking for and the trail head steeply UP hill. Confused we went up hil for a bit and the trail disappeared. We went back to the wall and tried to traverse across some talus to a distant wall on the to her side, but turned back at the poison oak thickened. Frustrated, we headed back down the trailing thinking we’d climb at Castle Rock instead. As we turned away from the wall toward the road I looked back for some reason for a final look. The wall that we thought was the left portion of the main wall looked just like the wall we were looking for… and to the left of it were more routes. Apparently, more routes had been created since the books publication.

Eric and roped up  at “Mulligan Stew” 5.7. The belay area is a uneven rocky platform above the ground and rotue begins with an awkward step down. I lead the route which was a fun slab with lots of friction moves making me happy. I belayed Eric from chain anchors above. The route is 100ft long, thus we knew our 60 meter rope did not make it town the bottom. However, we noted a platform with a grassy gully leading to the rock platform that was easy to down climb before we began the route. I lowered Eric so he could monitor the rope from below. Then I tossed the rope and  easily rappelled to the grassy gulley.

We walked to the left to some bolts we thought belonged to ” Slowpoke” 5.7. I tried to the route, but asked to be lowered on my gear 1/3 of the way up. There was a tough move on fingertips that I had a hard time believing were on a 5.7 Eric finished the lead and agreed with me. When he rappelled down he noticed that there would bolts on the slab beside him. As it turns out “Slowpoke” had no lower bolts which is why we missed it. It seemed like Eric had climbed either a 5.10c or, more likely, a new route since the rote description didn’t exactly fit. I quickly made an attempt at “Slowpoke” which begin block, but then has a very vertical move before reaching the upper slab. I couldn’t get over the vertical spot in a reasonable amount of time (another weakness of mine) so Eric lowered me. He climbed up to my last piece and them back cleaned by down climbing (I took in rope as he did so).

Hobo Gulch

Hobo Gulch


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