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.