Climbing, Trail Lake

10:50 a.m. on November 7, 2011 (EST)
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Since we are kind of in-between hunting seasons here we decided to try a little late season rock.

We had a few hours of daylight after church and lunch so we gave it a try.

It was sunny but not exactly warm, after the sun set on the wall it was someplace in the low 40 degree range but you have to climb when you can.

Trail Lake is a relatively unknown climbing area that has great climbs in the fun 5.8-5.10 range.  The climbs are all 5-8 bolts and about 50 feet high, by my guess.


Our route was near the notch at the top of the crag about center of the picture and I think it was called Spanish Castle Magic 5.8 (felt harder with cold fingers).

These routes are pretty dirty and chossy and we dislodged several baseball sized rocks.  I almost kicked loose a beachball sized rock but left it for the ice to work loose as th LZ was not clear.  The good part is that the iffy rock conditions makes this less crowded, we had the area to ourselves.


Me, getting ready to rapp.

My oldest son (10yoa) also made it up to the top.  The girls, my belayer included, all decided to go sit in the van after I reached the ground as the sun had set a while ago, it was now in the 30s and no one else had their warm coats (they took my coat and hat with them).

We only got one route in but any climbing I can do in November is a victory for me. 

1:22 p.m. on November 7, 2011 (EST)
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Is that volcanic rock? Where is that?

7:27 p.m. on November 7, 2011 (EST)
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Basalt, North of Soap Lake, WA

2:19 a.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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It must take quite a bit of experience to make so steep a climb in such short order and so safely with only a few hours to work with--ropes, tackle, method, timing.  It makes me appreciate that short trips (even down here in the south where it's hard even to FIND a rock), using good technicals, can be quite a lot of fun.  You sound like a great dad, and church is a great place to start anything!  Thanks for taking time to share your trip.

8:20 a.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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Nice Jeff….That looks like an excellent way to spend an afternoon! Regarding the hunting reference: is that an area that you normally avoid because of hunting? If so what animals are harvested in that rocky terrain?

9:10 a.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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Great trail report Sage thanks for shareing the great times your family is haveing.Lucky kids!

9:15 a.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Bunion, your comments are very kind.  

Pat, the "between hunting seasons" comment just means that most of our Fall is spent hunting and that when we can't hunt we hike, fish, climb or work around the house.  Next week is late archery season so I will be hanginng up my harnesses and rope and chasing deer.  That particular place is popular for fishing, duck hunting (which is in season, it just isn't something we go do after church) and deer hunting is also popular there as well.  The area, is called a semi-arid shrub-steppe, which means its mostly rock, sagebrush and small wildflowers in the areas that aren't farmed. 


2:39 p.m. on November 8, 2011 (EST)
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Soap Lake? I was in Ellensburg 18 years. We are here in Vegas and climbing weather is GREAT. Will be climbing Friday at Sandstone quarry. We have all year round climbing since we have some good rock in the shade in the summer. Rock is cold now, but not too cold to drive us off it. AND the hot sun will warm the cold rock enough on several walls.  Cool trip. CLIMB ON!

May 23, 2018
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