Leavenworth - Pearly Gates

Who: Ambrose, Dave
When: 6/16/02

After climbing on Exfoliation Dome Saturday, Ambrose and I drove over to Leavenworth to check out the Pearly Gates crag. Rumor had it that there was lots of crack climbing on clean white granite.

We made the dubious crossing of the raging Snow Creek on a network of logs, and then hiked 1,000 feet up the hill on an obvious trail to the base of the crag. This approach is similar to Givler's Dome, but with a better trail.

Ambrose high above Snow Creek.

This crag truly is amazing for the 5.8-10 crack climber. There is line after line of clean and grippy cracks that all lead to rap chains in half a rope length. We didn't have a topo or description of any route, but ended up climbing several of the classic routes, all of which are within 100 feet of eachother and would have two or more stars! Info on routes can be found on Jeff Smoot's website.

From left to right: No Room for Squares (5.8), Lost Souls (5.9), Last Rites (5.10a).

I started out on the "warm-up" route of No Room for Squares, a nice crack with lots of perfect hands. Good steep climbing, despite the fact that it looks low angled from below. Harder than it looks was to be a reoccurring theme.

Ambrose heads up Cloudburst (5.10a).

Cloudburst has a tricky boulder start that Ambrose stuck on his second try. Thin crack climbing continues higher up.

We then walked over and I lead Lost Souls (5.9) which is a a challenging small-hands and finger crack. The route finishes with a nice finger crack through a buldge.

Another party on Lost Souls.

Ambrose was wanting a more challenging lead, so he headed up Pearly Gates (5.10c). This route starts off with a thin crack and leads to a awkward chimney-roof. Easier crack climbing leads to anchors above the roof.

Ambrose on Pearly Gates.

We checked out the boulder start to Leap of Faith (5.10d) which is a painful pinky lock problem. We moved on to Cloud Nine (5.9), and I lead up the nice crack.

Leap of Faith (5.10d) on the left, Cloud Nine (5.9) on the right.

Good jams through steep rock down low lead to varied climbing in the wide crack above. Cloud Nine has a second pitch (5.9+) which has a mix of bolts and gear.

Ambrose leads off on pitch two of Cloud Nine.

It was time for redemption with Leap of Faith. We put in a cam in above the start (which is 5.11ish), and after making it into the crack several times, Ambrose would fall off while trying to pull through the thin off-hands above. Eventually he was able to figure out the sequence and pull through the overhanging crack. Higher up there is a difficult traversing crack that leads past a bolt on a tricky slab.

Ambrose pulls through the crux #1 on Leap of Faith.

Ambrose starts the traverse.

We hiked around and checked out the other crags in the area that had several difficult looking crack and face climbs. The other party there had a TR setup on Last Rites (5.10a) and they were nice enough to let both of us run up it. It is another fun crack with some awkward climbing.

Ambrose on Last Rights.

All day there had been a slightly menacing goat "guarding" the wall. He is thus dubbed the "Gate Keeper". At one point Ambrose walked a little too close to this big scruffy looking male, and he reared up on his back legs. Yikes! Maybe he thought Ambrose was the "Key Master".

I just have one question, why don't goats lick their own pee???

The Gate Keeper waters his crops.

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