Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Guides of Edgeworks

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Trip Report: Mt. Rainier | July 2018

by Andrew Powell

On July 15, 2018, Edgeworks’ head guide, Tod Bloxham, 4 guests, and I gathered at the gym to prep gear and drive out to the White River Ranger Station to begin our journey up Mt. Rainier.

Day 1
The forecast was good, if a bit too hot. We knew the sky would be clear and that there would be a lot of sunscreen in the coming 4 days. What we didn’t know, is that the standard Emmons-Winthrop route was rapidly falling apart.

The first day was an approach hike into Glacier Basin. The views of the route and mountain on the way to this camp are phenomenal and it serves as a means to ease into the 10’000ft gain of our trip. We enjoyed each-others company, told stories, and spent the evening generally relaxing and appreciating the views.

Day 2
Day two was allocated for snow skills training and the push to Camp Schurman. After a hearty breakfast and a casual start, we moved up the mountain and dialed in some essential climbing skills, like self-arrest and efficiency in snow travel.

As we continued up the mountain, we began to receive reports from other groups who were on their way out of hazardous conditions on the route, including collapsing snow bridges and at least one crevasse fall that required climber extraction. This news was a bit ominous, but Tod and I remained optimistic. Upon reaching Camp Schurman, the climbing rangers on sight gave us a run down on conditions. The standard route was no good and success would require a much more challenging and steeper route.

Day 3
Due to the daytime heat, we opted to rest and use the day to acclimate before having an early dinner and setting out for a 9pm start toward our objective. This allowed everyone to recuperate their energy reserves, and to mentally prepare for the big day. It also gave us the best possible snow conditions for the climb and descent of Mt. Rainier. We were roped up and ready to climb by 8:40pm and climbed through the night.

Day 4 – The Climb
We started out onto the Emmons Glacier via the standard bridge crossing out of camp. This was straight forward and the crossing over to “The Corridor” at 10,200’ was simple. This is where the reports of hazardous conditions and weak bridges were coming from. The climbing rangers advised us that staying climbers right in the more exposed terrain was the best path, as opposed to the typical “up the middle” path.

Part way up The Corridor, I checked my altimeter and realized that we were going to make it. The team had ample time to rest and everyone was climbing strong. We were moving up the mountain faster than expected while maintaining a sustainable pace.

At the top of The Corridor, the standard route leads climbers right to the “The Alpine Meadow”. The heat of the previous two weeks had obliterated this path, and it was in a right state. The alternate was to head climbers left into a large, steep bowl. This proved straightforward, but steep and icy. The cramponing was excellent, but the grade was unrelenting. For hours, we toiled upward; traversing and climbing slopes that make the standard route look easy. We trended far right at the top of the bowl to cross the final bergschrund, and reached the summit at about 5:30am.

We had climbed through the night, seeing both an amazing sunset and a glorious sunrise on route. The descent took us a fair amount of time, as the slopes were so steep. After some food, rest and packing up camp, we headed out to the parking lot and the Edgeworks van.

The trip was a great success and we are super excited for next season!

Trip Report: Vantage

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Springtime at Vantage

with Andrew Powell

Spring has arrived!

Or at least it has hinted at its arrival which makes this the perfect season for climbing at Vantage.

On March 26th, Andrew lead our first outdoor rock climbing trip of the season.

The destination: the freestanding basalt columns of Frenchman Coulee (also known as Vantage)
The goal: to tune-up their skills on crack climbs and trad routes and also have a good time.
The routes: ‘Party in your Pants (5.8 trad)’, ‘Easy Off (5.10c sport)’; then ‘Pony Keg (5.9 trad)’, ‘Crossing the Threshold (5.8 trad)’, and finally ‘Air Guitar (5.10a trad)’.
The outcome: A great day on dry rock with awesome people – success!

If you’re looking to get outside for the first time this season, our group climbing trips are the perfect introduction to climbing at Vantage, North Bend, Mt. Erie, and Smith Rock.

Upcoming Edgeworks Group Climbing Trips:

 –  Trad Lead & Multi-Pitch: April 27th-28th, 2018
 –  Vantage Crag Day: May 25th, 2018

Regardless of your experience level, our guides and instructors are available to assist with expertise and knowledge – from navigating climbing areas and finding the right routes for you to climb, to offering that additional level of confidence to help take your outdoor sport, trad, or alpine climbing to the next level.

Our personal guiding options can open the door to new adventures and new places including Leavenworth, Darrington, Morningstar Peak, Castle Rock, Smith Rock, Boston Basin, Forbidden Peak, Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, Terror Basin and the North Cascades.

Contact Andrew for more details: programs@edgeworksclimbing.com

 

Staff Adventures: Dragontail

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Climbing the Triple Couloirs on Dragontail

by Collin Jenkins

Earlier this month, I went out with fellow Edgeworks staffer, Andrew Powell, and climbed the Triple Couloirs on Dragontail Peak (early May 2017).  This route has intimidated me for over a year since it first got on my radar.  After being turned back once with a different partner due to avalanche concerns, Andrew and I went back with a 24 hour window.

At 3am, the route started off unexpectedly stout with a small bergschrund crossing and pitch of solid WI3 ice and I thought, “There’s no way I can finish this.” But in the spirit of adventure and “try hard” I took off on the first couloir.  In no time, my blood was up and we were in a rhythm. We encountered a little scary mixed climbing and temperatures much lower than we were expecting, but not stopping keeps you warm! We caught a sunny break on the summit ridge, bagged the summit and headed down Asgard Pass.

Twenty hours, 14,000ft of elevation change, and around 20 miles after we set out, we completed our car-to-car ascent.

This route revealed to me that the “in-a-day” mentality I’ve observed in so many Pacific Northwest Alpinists I respect isn’t as crazy–​or demanding of superhuman endurance–as I thought.  Believing in yourself, trusting your partner, and simply not giving up can go a long way.  Endless calories and good weather help too!

 

Crash Pad Rentals

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Crash Pad Rentals

Take us along on your next outdoor bouldering adventure!

Gold Bar? Leavenworth? Wherever you’re headed, bouldering season is upon us.

RENT ORGANIC Climbing crash pads for just $15/day and $5 each additional day. Contact the front desk for additional details, availability, and reservations.  (253-564-4899)

 

Gold Bar Bouldering Day

Friday, August 12th, 2016

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“Leave No Trace” Day at Gold Bar

July 31, 2016 | Josh Bennett and Jimmy Grant

It was a cool summer morning as we rumbled out of the Edgeworks parking lot headed for Gold Bar and a fun day of bouldering adventures. Fast forward an hour and we had left the urban sprawl and the gray marine layer behind for the soaring peaks and brilliant sunshine to the east. The van erupted with conversation and excitement as Josh rattled off history about the area and other fun facts as we passed landmarks and pulled up to the trailhead.

After dividing up the climbing gear, Josh and Jimmy handed a trash bag to each member of the group and began to detail the 7 principles of the “Leave No Trace” ethics. As we made our way up the trail we kept our eyes peeled for litter, picking up anything we found and packing it out. The trails were in great condition when we arrived, so we only collected a of handful things. But we know that every little bit helps and a trash free trail will hopefully inspire others to pack it out as well.

After a great hike with stunning views, we were finally sitting under the boulders of “The Samurai”. Josh and Jimmy hurried around placing crash pads around Midnight Lichen boulder as the group had a bite to eat and got their climbing gear on. After a quick discussion about pad placement, spotting, and pad etiquette we were off and climbing with successful sends across a wide range of grades.

As we moved on to the next cluster of boulders known as “Warm-Up Circuit”, Josh noticed a few unsightly tick marks left by a previous group and took this opportunity to talk about proper use of tick marks and the importance of removing them when you are done and always striving to leave everything looking as natural as possible. We then gave those giant rookie stripes a good brush!

Once the sun had really warmed things up, we headed to the true prize of the day – “Fern Crack”, a shaded highball in the heart of the Gold Bar boulders with several variants ranging from v0-v12. After laying down all 10 pads at the base everyone took their turn questing up the 20 ft gently overhanging face. It was really awesome to see the group come together, cheer each other on and make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable even while way off the deck. Awesomely everyone sent at least some version of this 4 star climb with a roar of applause every time someone stood atop this truly magnificent boulder.

From this point day’s end was fast approaching and we marched all the way to the opposite side of the forest for the last few climbs of the day, Beam Me Up and Scotty – both must do’s if you’re in the area. We padded the landing and crowded around as everyone wrestled with these classics on near perfect stone.

When the last pad was packed and a final sweep of the area had been done, we headed down through “The Clearcut” and back down the logging road making sure everyone understood how the roads connected to the boulders. The hike out was topped off with a stop at the famous 5 Star boulder followed by a lot of discussion about all the things we want to do on our next trip.

For more pictures from the day, check out the Gold Bar Bouldering Day album on our Facebook page.

 

Get Outside With Us!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Outdoor Days

The gym is great with its community, accessibility, and variety; but we all REALLY LOVE TO CLIMB OUTSIDE and we want to take you with us!

Crag Nights

Summer evenings at the crag in North Bend! Join us for an after work, mid-week, evening at the crag. $20/member, or $40 Learn More

Pitches & Pitchers

Spend the whole day climbing outside; then relax and share stories from the day with new friends, great beer, and tasty food. $89/members, or $129 Learn More

Guided Outdoor Days

Enjoy a full-day outdoor, group climbing experience with our highly trained and AMGA certified instructors/guides. Whether your looking for a first time Intro/Sport Climbing experience or an entry point to Trad & Multi-Pitch, we have a number of options, dates, and location from which to choose.

Meet Our Guides!

 

Member Spotlight: Nov 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015

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Amy and Eric Leonard

Members since 2014 and 2015

Amy and Eric are relatively new members who jumped right in to the full climbing experience that Edgeworks has to offer. From maximizing the use of their monthly guest passes – always bringing in new family and friends, to participating in our monthly member clinics, climbing school courses, private lessons, and guiding services. They are an adventurous duo and we’re happy to be able to share a bit more about them!

How did you start climbing?
Eric: I started climbing when my friend Alex took me to Exit 38 eight years ago. After several climbs, he had me leading, but I didn’t quite know what I was doing. Now I think I do.
Amy: After Eric started climbing, we went as a family to Exit 38 and Vantage. I was the “mom” at the crag, taking care of the kids and possibly trying one route myself. I knew I enjoyed climbing and wanted that to change. At a book club in January, we decided to each try something new and report on it instead of reading a book. I chose climbing and immediately got hooked.
Why do you climb at Edgeworks?
It’s great to be able to climb anytime we only have an hour or two to spare in the middle of our busy lives. We’ve also enjoyed taking classes, learning sport lead; knots, anchors, and rappelling; and private instruction. Edgeworks has a great community feel. Mostly, though, we climb here because it’s fun!
Where is your favorite place to climb outside?
Eric: Sunshine Wall at Frenchman Coulee.
Amy: I have enjoyed every place I’ve climbed outside. I especially enjoy anything that’s part of a bigger climb, even if it’s easy, like the Haystack scramble at Mount Si, the rock portions of Mt. Olympus, and The Brothers. We’ve also hiked the Wonderland Trail and climbed Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. I hope to do more technical climbs in the future with skills I have gained at Edgeworks and also want to begin trad climbing.
What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Eric: Keeping the world secure while working at Microsoft.
Amy: The bulk of my time is spent mothering and home schooling our six children. I’m Chair of the Washington Homeschool Organization, which supports independent home schooling in our state. For fun, I run, read, hike, cook, backpack, play the piano, and practice yoga. I’m also a live-theatre junkie. There’s a connection between the actors and audience that can never be achieved onscreen.
What are some interesting facts you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?
Amy: Very few people get enough sleep, which has been linked to both obesity and a shorter life. Adults get just as grumpy from lack of sleep as kids do. So I have mastered the 20-minute nap and consider it the secret to being a good parent.

 

Member Spotlight: OCT 2015

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

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Radha Higgins

Edgeworks member since 2010

MEMBER STATS:  Lifetime Visits: 430 | Frequency: Weekly | Zero-to-Member Rate: 90 days | Belay Cert: 12/10/2010 | Lead Cert: 09/13/2013 | Favorite Climbs: Gnar Stemming Routes

How did you start climbing?
Radha: Some friends asked if I wanted to go climbing with them. I bought shoes and a harness the next day!

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?
Radha: Because Edgeworks is awesome! Great staff, great routes, great community!

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?
Radha: I don’t think I have one favorite place, anything outside makes me happy!

What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Radha: Train horses, hike, rollerblade, bike, knit, read, swim, dance.

What are some interesting facts you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?
Radha: There are trolls in Iceland and leprechauns behind the walls and bouldering area at Edgeworks.