Condor buttress and Bathtub Dome
April 21st, 2001
On some quick friday
night plans, Matt Cary and I descided to head out to leavenworth for a
day of sun and climbing on granite domes and buttresses. Having heard
so many good things about the infamous Condoraphine Addiction
route on Condor buttress, I was excited to give the route a try. The info
from the route setter was that it was a 7 pitch 10b. Each pitch was about
80-90 feet and there were three pitches with .10a/b in them. This only
being the second time on rock for the season, I was a bit nervous.
Matt and I arrived
in the canyon to warm blue skies. We quickly racked up and started huffing
our gear up the 1500 feet to the base of the climb. The well trod trail
starts at Underwear rock, just past the Bridge creek campground. We were
moving fast, much to the chagrin of our aching bodies, and made it up
to the base of the route in about 45 minutes! Whew, and only 2nd in line.
hmmm, didn't that guy we passed on the way up say he was doing this route
There are three bolted
lines at the base. The left-most one being a .10b varriation start, the
center being the .7 regular route, and the right being a seperate climb
at about .6. Matt and I paitently waited as the group in front of us worked
out the early season kinks, and went up the first pitch. Matt aparently
wasn't having enough fun sitting around, so he "accidently" let his pack
slip and start tumbling down the hill. "Aww, it'll stop before that little
cliff." Pow! the pack jumps the cliff! "hmm, seems to be picking up speed
there matt." Unfortunatly, Matt's plan to retrive his pack from the road
failed when a rouge stump caught the pack before yet another drop off.
A fair game of 1-2-3-shoot left me with the first lead. Yes, my strategy
eluded even the brightest of CS graduate students! A very short seeming
romp up a slab with many bolts quickly brought me to the first belay.
I brought Matt up, and after letting a hot-n-fast party pass, we had the
back of the line to ourselves. Matt lead off on pitch 2, which cruxes
at a hard barndoor-like move. Above this an awkward crack leads steeply
to the belay. A very strong first lead of the season for Matt! My pitch
was next, and I descided to run it together with the 4th. The third pitch
starts out around low fifth, but then relaxes into sandy 3rd/4th class
slabs. Skipping the bad-for-rope-drag belay bolts, I left the security
of a flat ledge for a very nice pitch of 5.8ish face climbing. The climbing
was a lot of fun, and held some challenging moves, but not sustained for
more than a few moves.
Emily leads the 5.8 pitch on a subsequent trip. Photo by: Easton
Easton starts off on the crux pitch. Photo by: Emily
Matt came up and lead off an easy slab up towards an imposing looking
stem-opposition section. This steep bathtub of granite held the hardest
moves of the route where one has to smear and oppose on an entirely blank
bowing-wall. The bolts protected this well for the timid, but hard moves
to make none the less. I climbed up, trying to psych myself up for the
next pitch which was going to be my first hard lead of the day. I was
able to climb the 5th (matt's lead) pitch with good style, and was soon
off on my own thin face climbing lead. Nice moves off the belay to a thin
crack gave way to open and rolly face climbing. The crux surmounts a buldge
right over a bolt, so it was pretty mellow. The rest of the pitch continued
on thin face moves and was quite enjoyable. Matt followed on up while
the first party was already rapping down. All that remained was the short
7th pitch. Matt, leading in incredable form, tackled the pitch with such
ferocity that he hardly noticed when a bolt would fly by, escaping his
concious! I shared the sentiment by dyno-ing up the last hard moves.
After following the
pitch we setup on the top of the buttress and took in the awesome view
of the Enchantments. Everything from Dragontail to Stuart was in full
view. We descided to rappel the route courteously, taking our time and
being careful not to annoy the teams still coming up. Aparently with one
rapp off the back side you can take a trail down to the base, but then
you add the risk of ticks! Easy rapping on chains brought us back down
in 7 singles. Still feeling spunky from the route, I opted to lead the
.10b varriation-start. It consisted of a half pitch of fine thin face
climbing on little edges and small crimps. I would totally recomend this
as the best way to start the route.
We then worked our
way over to Bathtub dome. I had heard good things about the dome from
Len, so it must have been worth it to carry that rack up the hill, right??
Matt lead the 2nd tier 5.7 crack in a typical icicle downpour, and I followed
the windy wet pitch with a true alpine feel. Matt and I sheltered under
a tree until the rain passed and the rock dried. We were thinking
about doing The Drain but with the slick rock, and the intimidating
looking runout crux, we opted to climb something on the right side. I
started up shallow groove-cracks which lead to a nice finger crack through
a roof. After about 2/3rds rope the drag became pretty bad so I brought
Matt up and he finished the lead.
Overall a very satisfying day with much technical climbing. It was nice
to finally get on some multi pitch routes in Leavenworth... seems like
so much we do there is short.
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