Well it wasn’t Feburary, but on September 27 Jeff and I headed out to February Buttress in Leavenworth to climb Groundhog Day. The wall sits just outside of Leavenworth in Tumwater Canyon. There is an obvious, but steep trail that leads up to the base of the three pitch route. Jeff had done the c;limb before, but had taken a not so fun variation on the third pitch last time and wanted to re-do it the right way. I just wanted to climb… I hadn’t climbed since Eric’s accident and though many people cautioned me about returning to technical rock so soon i felt it was something I needed to do.

Jeff led the route as I was hesitant to lead in case i have some kind of breakdown on the sharp end. Everything went well though and I was happy to be back on the rope. A standard rack with about 5 cams and a nut set will do on this wall. The the third pitch is the most fun, but make sure you head left from the chain anchors and head up  the steeper terrain… its actually safer and easier than the deceivingly easier looking path to the left (Jeff took this last time).

The route is rappelled from three chain anchors which were in good condition. I did not have any issues with rappeling… but to be safe Jeff had me hook up my rappel device before he took off and gave me a fireman belay even with my autoblock. The only problem I had was watching Jeff rappel. I got much more nervous than usual and would not take my eyes off him. But this does not put anyone in danger.

So in short it was a fun route without any heart stopping moves and major adrenaline rushes. The whole thing top to bottom took about three hours.

We headed over to Peek-a-boo tower in Icicle Canyon and attempted Yard Art… a three pitch mixed sport/trad route. I led the first half of pitch 1 before deciding to set up an anchor on a ledge and let Jeff finish some sketchy looking moves. Jeff finsihed the pitch… the second pitch features only two bolts and had no features for trad gear. The first bolt was up high and the rock looked unsafe. We decided to bail on it and play it safe.



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