Scarpa North America Blog

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Techno-cal Climbing In The North Cascades

Jun. 10th 2014

Seasoned climber and writer Blake Herrington took time to tell us about his experiences climbing at Washington Pass and what the area means to him.

I was a 19-year-old student when I first climbed at Washington Pass, an area of steep granite spires in Washington’s North Cascades. I was carless and had found a partner (primary qualification: own a car) through a climbing website. I remember fretting over potential temperatures and snow conditions, and I still recall the first route I did – an 800-foot 5.8 on the highest spire in the Liberty Bell group. I repeated this route, with some 5.10 variations, as a “date” with my now wife, Allison. In the last nine years I have climbed abroad and returned to Washington Pass dozens of times, banking up a list of memories, completing new routes, and bailing amid dead ends and storms. I’ve learned about my abilities and my skills as a partner, making Washington Pass a great yardstick to return to and measure myself against.

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