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Rock Training Leavenworth with Mountain Madness

Mother-Daughter Rock Training — Rain or Shine!

Despite the Weath­er fore­cast Karen and Keira Howe, a moth­er and daugh­ter team from the east­side, picked me up at my house and we all drove over Stevens Pass to Leav­en­worth. Keira, a senior in high school, has been work­ing most of the year on the men­tal aspects of climb­ing as her senior project (What a cool senior project!!!). 

We arrived in Leav­en­worth under low lying clouds and a steady rain, but we had come pre­pared for this. Armed with a big tarp and plen­ty of Gore-tex, we start­ed off under the tarp at Ham­mer­head Rock review­ing knots, belay tech­niques, anchors, top rope strate­gies, gear place­ments, and mul­ti-pitch climbing. 

The ladies learn­ing knots and try­ing to stay dry! Ian Nichol­son photo

By ear­ly after­noon every­one was itch­ing to get in some climb­ing and apply the skills we had just cov­ered, but the weath­er hadn’t let up and we still stared out at a steady rain from beneath our tarp. But the moti­va­tion was high, so we drove over to the Ici­cle But­tress and start­ed climb­ing up a five pitch route named R & D. The rock was wet and at times water ran heav­i­ly down the rock in the backs of some of the cracks. There was the occa­sion­al unex­pect­ed slip because of the wet rock. The rain was steady for most of the climb until our final pitch when it start­ed to pour. As a whole, Karen and Keira’s spir­its were so high that they would still call this expe­ri­ence fun and we real­ized that we were like­ly the only peo­ple climb­ing in all of Leavenworth!

Wet climb­ing on R & D. Ian Nichol­son photo

It rained through the night but by the next morn­ing it turned into more of a driz­zle. After our French toast break­fast the rock was even approach­ing the descrip­tion of dry”. We went to the Mountaineer’s Dome to prac­tice some rap­pelling tech­niques before dri­ving over to the Feb­ru­ary But­tress where we climbed Ground­hog Day, which, even though it is two grades hard­er than R & D, felt eas­i­er because it was dry. After that we drove back to Seat­tle so Keira could con­tin­ue to work on her Senior project.

Good luck Keira!!!!

~ MM Guide Ian Nicholson

Prac­tic­ing set­ting anchors. Ian Nichol­son photo

Send­ing the Moun­taineer’s Dome. Ian Nichol­son photo