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#505481 - 10/09/05 11:14 PM Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Lowell_Skoog Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/25/00
Posts: 2521
TRs: 4 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA
My friend Will and I went climbing at Peshastin today. Like many of you "older" climbers, I did my first belayed climbs at Peshastin decades ago. I have fond memories of walking back to the cars on golden fall afternoons surrounded by the scent of fallen leaves and ripe apples. I also have memories of crowds of climbers and line-ups on the most popular climbs, especially in autumn.

So it was a surprise when we pulled into the parking lot at 9:30 this morning and found...nobody. The day was as fine as any I can remember, the climbs were as fun as always, and we saw a grand total of one three-person party all day (and they were even more "veteran" than us).

A lot of great new climbing areas have opened up in the past thirty years, and Peshastin is definitely old school. But it was amazing to climb there all day and see virtually no one else.

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#505482 - 10/10/05 12:07 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
knotzen Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 2298
TRs: 0 Photos: 8
Loc: the red X, d'oh!
I love Peshastin. But I have a hard time talking people into going out there to climb. I don't know why "old school" should have anything to do with it (although I admit this was one of the areas where I did some of my first climbing, in the early 90s)--if it's good climbing, it's good climbing. Plus, as you say, Lowell, you virtually have the place to yourself!

I had a similar experience last spring. When we pulled in about 10:00 AM nobody else was there. By the time we left at the end of the day, only two or three other parties had come out to play.

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#505483 - 10/10/05 08:11 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
minx Offline
sprayer

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 9076
TRs: 0 Photos: 29
Loc: out running with scissors
knotzen--i'll tell you why i don't like climbing there. it might not explain it for everybody. it's run out, sandy and sketchy. makes me nervous everytime. it does seem to be dry when everything else is wet though. i'm just not a big fan of having bits of the climb come off in my hand.
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#505484 - 10/10/05 08:28 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
knotzen Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 05/03/05
Posts: 2298
TRs: 0 Photos: 8
Loc: the red X, d'oh!
OK. I've never experienced the chossiness of the place, but I can't say I've climbed there a whole lot (as I said, no one wants to go). It's the lovely slab routes there that thrill me. I could climb those all day long.

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#505485 - 10/10/05 08:45 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
minx Offline
sprayer

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 9076
TRs: 0 Photos: 29
Loc: out running with scissors
i'm fundamentally opposed to slab. especially run out slab...that pretty much covers all slab though
_________________________
Stick that in your juice box and suck it!

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#505486 - 10/10/05 10:05 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
catbirdseat Offline
Elite Sprayforce Team

Registered: 10/09/02
Posts: 13216
TRs: 46 Photos: 144
Loc: Costa Mesa, CA
Not all slabs are run out, Minx. Unfortunately, most the ones at Peshastin are. There are one or two routes that are safe to lead, in my opinion. The rest are top rope only. The place is behind the times, which is why nobody goes there. The climbs just aren't interesting enough to risk your life on.
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You don't do an encore if you just played Mahler.

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#505487 - 10/10/05 10:20 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Lowell_Skoog Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/25/00
Posts: 2521
TRs: 4 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've been as guilty of anybody of staying away from Peshastin. I think I've been there only twice since it became a state park in the early 1990s. But I really enjoyed the climbing yesterday. Yeah, some of the slab climbs are a bit runout, but that's okay if you know what you're getting into. I enjoy slightly runout slabs if they are well within my abilities. It's stimulating climbing.

Long-time climbers will remember that Peshastin was regularly shut down by the orchard owner in the days before it was a park. From that standpoint, the creation of the park has been a great thing. But there was something special about the old days, when you walked up to the crags through rows of mature apple trees, and then filled your pack with apples (after the picking season was over) on your way back to the cars at the end of the day.

And then there was Trigger Finger. How many of you climbed it before it fell down?

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#505488 - 10/10/05 10:29 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
chirp Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 1831
TRs: 0 Photos: 85
Loc: East Side Baby!
One of my favorite memories of mid 80's Peshastin aside from the climbing and atmoshphere was once; Pope and I got there the night before and slept by the side of the road near the orchard entrance. About 3 in the morning I was awakend by a car pulling up and some saying "Hey! Wake up, Hey! Wake up". By the time I rolled over and got up to look they had driven off. Bastard pranksters!!!
_________________________
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment"
-Will Rogers

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#505489 - 10/10/05 11:04 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Lowell_Skoog Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/25/00
Posts: 2521
TRs: 4 Photos: 15
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:

And then there was Trigger Finger. How many of you climbed it before it fell down?




I flipped through my old Off Belay magazines and found the following news item in the April 1978 issue:



The text says:

Quote:

TRIGGER FINGER BITES THE DUST

Sometime during February, Trigger Finger, a climbers landmark and objective since 1949, succumbed to frostbite, losing its uppermost digit. Thus dramatically ends an era.

Trigger Finger was a prominent, fifty-foot sandstone tower in Washington State's Peshastin Pinnacles, a lowland practice area on the sunny east side of the Cascades. The Pinnacles have been popular with climbers since their "discovery" in 1949. That was the year Pete Schoening put in the route on Trigger Finger, using five bolts to protect the 5.8 moves in the crackless sandstone. Since then, it has seen more than a thousand ascents. In recent years the upper rappel bolts had disappeared, probably because of abusive, straight-out loading, but the original Schoening bolts were remarkably solid, and served to protect several generations of aspiring rock climbers.

But now it has been humbled, decapitated, a vestige of its former self. True, it is only one rock in a climbing garden with a hundred fine routes. But for many Northwest climbers, the ascent of Trigger Finger heralded a significant milestone in their climbing careers. Its demise has left a blank spot, and not only on the Peshastin skyline.




I first climbed at Peshastin in the spring of 1976. The next fall Gary Brill lent me his EB's to climb Grey Whale and I went straight out afterward and bought a pair at the Swallow's Nest. About a month later (12/12/76) I led Trigger Finger. According to my journal, that was the only time I ever climbed it. Good times!


Attachments
506762-offbelay-1978-apr-p31.jpg (83 downloads)


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#505490 - 10/10/05 11:15 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
minx Offline
sprayer

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 9076
TRs: 0 Photos: 29
Loc: out running with scissors
thanks for that lowell! i love these types of posts
_________________________
Stick that in your juice box and suck it!

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#505491 - 10/10/05 11:18 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Cobra_Commander Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/31/05
Posts: 3343
TRs: 0 Photos: 6
Loc: Lair
Quote:

not a big fan of having bits of the climb come off in my hand




Quote:

How many of you climbed it before it fell down




Quote:

climbs just aren't interesting enough to risk your life on



Quote:

Bastard pranksters




Nothing but a good time
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Why buy a mattress anywhere else
ding!

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#505492 - 10/10/05 11:24 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
mattp Offline
Spray Master

Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 12174
TRs: 35 Photos: 200
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The Trigger Finger might be said to have been Washington's first sport climb.

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#505493 - 10/10/05 11:29 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
skykilo Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/04/02
Posts: 1253
TRs: 25 Photos: 8
Loc: SF, NM
I found the same situation at Peshastin about a month ago Lowell. We had it all to ourselves; it was really nice. I had an exquisite head trip leading Washboard and thinking about Pat Timson bolting that on lead!

As for yesterday: Michelle, Ross and I saw only one party of two all afternoon at Index. So Peshastin wasn't the only secret Sunday stash! (And the granite was as great as ever...)

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#505494 - 10/10/05 11:42 AM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
MCash Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 615
TRs: 4 Photos: 43
Loc: Covington, WA
Photos by Fred Spicker




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#505495 - 10/10/05 12:01 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
max Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/08/00
Posts: 893
TRs: 3 Photos: 70
Loc: R6
I love peshastin! I have many fond memories of getting out of school, cruisin' up there and getting in a few pitches in before the close time. We even had the ranger call us on his PA and with an annoyed tone ask us to lock the gate on our way out! I remember balmy fall and spring evenings looking up the valley towards leavenworth and seeing dark hovering clouds. I was always amazed at how different the climates were for just a ten mile difference. I also really liked how the climbing there was all about focusing, not avoiding the pump. Making the first clip on cajun queen... yes!

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#505496 - 10/10/05 12:34 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
gyselinck Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 433
TRs: 14 Photos: 53
Everyone should go here once. I've only done 3 routes. I just remember being two bolts up, way runout, thinking whats the point of bolts, I'm going to hit the ground anyways. When I expressed the concern of falling to my partner, he said, just turnaround and slide backwards on your feet. (I was wearing shorts.) Then he mentioned how the bolts were just pounded into the rock, not drilled. Though it was only a 5.9, I was scared!!!! Oh, and I thought the little pebbles I was stepping on in the rock would pop out any second. The route was called Nutty Buddy.

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#505497 - 10/10/05 02:22 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Peter_Puget Offline

sprayer

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 6994
TRs: 0 Photos: 55
Loc: Seattle
For the uninitiated these guys are exaggerating. The bolts are drilled. The runouts generally aren’t extreme by any measure. Lots of good routes.

As far as Washboards? I think that the bolts are no longer in the original locations and their number has been changed. Honestly tho’ its been awhile and I could be thinking of another route.

For a long time the first 5.11 was claimed to have been climbed at the Pinnacles.


Edited by Peter_Puget (10/10/05 02:22 PM)
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#505498 - 10/10/05 02:24 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
skykilo Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/04/02
Posts: 1253
TRs: 25 Photos: 8
Loc: SF, NM
I believe you that the bolts on Washboard are new, because they sure didn't look old skool. Does anyone know about the location of them relative to 1st ascent?

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#505499 - 10/10/05 02:44 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Peter_Puget Offline

sprayer

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 6994
TRs: 0 Photos: 55
Loc: Seattle
I believe some studs were right under your feet while you were climbing. I could be thinking of a different route tho.


Edited by Peter_Puget (10/10/05 02:46 PM)
_________________________
What a curious mix of Bush Term Three and Carter Term Two this presidency is turning out to be!


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#505500 - 10/10/05 06:22 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Freeman Offline
member

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 185
TRs: 2 Photos: 1
Loc: Wenatchee, WA
Since there isn't time to go Leavenworth after work any more we've been running up to the Pinnacles for an hour or so each Wednesday evening. I, for one, enjoy the climbing there - and looking back in my orange Beckey/Bjornstad see that I first did Trigger Finger in November of 1975. Probably in blue suede Robbins...

Quote:

I believe you that the bolts on Washboard are new, because they sure didn't look old skool. Does anyone know about the location of them relative to 1st ascent?




During the rebolting prior to opening as a park the ethic was to replace the old bolts in the same location if the rock was sound, otherwise as close as possible. I worked on Washboard, Potholes Direct, Direct-Direct, etc and am pretty sure that we just pulled the 1/4 inchers and redrilled the holes. We added no new bolts except at belay/rap stations. Can't say what has happened since then

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#505501 - 10/10/05 06:22 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
kurthicks Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 04/22/03
Posts: 2560
TRs: 26 Photos: 316
Loc: Seattle
What's the legal status of climbing at Peshastin in the "off months" when the park is closed? Can one park on the road and walk in?
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#505502 - 10/10/05 08:18 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
EWolfe Offline
Spray Master

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 10571
TRs: 3 Photos: 559
Plus, the apples should be good around this time....

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#505503 - 10/10/05 08:44 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
layton Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7488
TRs: 39 Photos: 811
Loc: Sandy, UT
reminds me of a joke.

What did the lepor say to the prostitute?

Keep the tip.

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#505504 - 10/10/05 10:25 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
telemarker Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/17/01
Posts: 1656
TRs: 71 Photos: 1090
Loc: Wenatchee, WA U.S.A
One of the better trad leads you can do is at The Pinnacles: Vertigo. Also, the 2nd pitch of Lightning Crack makes one wonder about the integrity of your cams in shallow swauk sandstone. From Wenatchee, though, it's very difficult to stop at The Pinnacles when you can drive 15 more miles to bullet-proof granite, and not have to pay to climb.
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"God gave you two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Use each in proportion."

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#505505 - 10/11/05 02:11 PM Re: Uncrowded "secret" crag - it's Peshastin!
Peter_Puget Offline

sprayer

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 6994
TRs: 0 Photos: 55
Loc: Seattle
Vertigo is a fun route! Another fun although rarely done route is Frostback Follies.
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What a curious mix of Bush Term Three and Carter Term Two this presidency is turning out to be!


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