Sunday, July 01, 2012

Come to Washington Pass for the Crack

This summer started out right with a great day out and a route scratched from the tick list.  Though Washington Pass has some of the best alpine climbing in the state, I've actually climbed there very little.  Though low lying fruit abounded, Chris and I opted to try Freedom Rider an entirely free route on the E Face of Liberty Bell.  

There should be a line at the base of this route.  After two easy and somewhat loose pitches one reaches the crux third pitch.  The third pitch is either a reportedly scary and runout 10d or an 11b offwidth.  We chose the offwidth and days later I still look like I got attacked by a bear.  

After the crux pitch, the route briefly joins the Liberty Crack route where it surmounts the aptly named "rotten block" then heads off right.  A massive chimney feature leads into Medusa's Roof which is one of the most unique pitches I've ever climbed.  Back-to-foot chimney moves lead horizontally out from the belay then overcome a massive chockstone and follow a splitter crack to the belay.

It was fun to climb with Chris who has spent many days climbing at Washington Pass and had previously climbed all the pitches on Freedom Rider beyond the rotten block.  

Best of all, though we carried rain gear in our packs all day, the rain held off until the precise moment we reached the car.  Nothing better than hitting a weather window perfectly... makes going to work all weekend, in the rain, more bearable.

Chris on the approach (if you can call a 30-min stroll and approach!)

A little spice at the end of pitch two, face climbing between cracks.

Chris about to pull over the chockstone on Medusa's Roof. 

Even the townspeople came out to see...

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