I've still not updated my blog with details of our new route on Mt. Sir Donald, that's proving to be a bit of a beast, and I haven't really been up for the challenge. What I can offer you is a short post about a little diddy I climbed with Aidan a week ago. It's called Infinite Bliss. It's a 700 m sport route on the west peak of Mt. Garfield, only a hour away from Seattle! And, purportedly the longest fully bolted sport route in North America.
Like I said, I don't believe in "infinite bliss", and I was a little unconvinced that a sport route in the mountains could be even finitely blissful, but indeed, it was! Aidan and I had a blast. Though there were a few boltless 60 metre pitches of low fifth class climbing to contend with, the crux pitches, were all fantastic and well protected.
You can simul-climb many pitches, and since all the rappel stations are bolted, you can easily and confidently simul-rappel many pitches too! Here is a link to a trip report by Steph Abegg, hands down the best trip report writer I know. She'll give you all the beta. Below are a few photos to intrigue you...
|When climbing a 23 pitch sport route, proper identification is necessary...|
|...lest you get lost in a sea of granite.|
|A view towards the outlet of the Middle Fork of the Snowqualmie River, and North Bend.|
|On the lower wall we climbed a couple pitches up this amazing dyke feature, which was set deeply into the wall. It was really, really fun. And only 5.5.|
|Aidan following up some low angle slab to the base of the first crux pitch.|
|Aidan following the 5.10b crux, with the vast sweep of granite that we'd just climbed, fanning out below him.|
|Another photo from this crux pitch. Sure look fun doesn't it.|
|...and another one.|
|Aidan Haley, having a blast people.|
|Aidan following another crux, this one a 5.10a exfoliating chimney. I may have been terrified on this pitch. Despite the bolts, I was certain every hold was going to rip off, and I'm pretty sure I was making ridiculous sobbing noises.|
|One more from the nasty chimney.|
|And here Aidan leads up the second to last pitch, a super fun 5.8 up the final headwall.|
|Our pain has almost come to an end. Aidan looks up at the final pitch. After almost 700 m of effectively, slab climbing, our little toes were swollen strawberries. Ewwww, gross...and nasty...|
|Aidan follows up the final pitch of Infinite Bliss. We started our day near those streaks of water in the top right corner of the picture.|
|...another photo from the last pitch.|
|And one more. Aidan has the pictures from the summit. I promise, we made it!|