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dkemp

Tieton - nice people, good crag

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I went to Tieton two weekends ago. One of the climbs we did was Twin Cracks. My pal is a bit of a beginner so when seconding the route and cleaning the gear he had a hard time getting out my blue Metolius cam. He tried and tried, was pumped and sketched, and he couldnt get it. I didnt want to rappel on my anchor to get it (there's no anchor & chains above Twin Cracks) and we left it there frown.gif .

 

This past Saturday I was there again and I planned to go up Twin Cracks to see if that cam was still there a week later. I met a nice couple there - Mark and Willow. Willow had just led Inca Roads, and I congratulated her - she smoked it!

 

We kept talking and they said they had done Twin Cracks earlier that day. Well yeah, I asked them if they had recovered my cam. They looked at each other, slumped their shoulders and grinned, and said Yeah, we got it! They handed it over with a smile. I took the cam and thumped both her shoulders ceremoniously and dubbed her Karma Queen for the day.

 

I know that cam was justifiable booty and I think its cool that they gave it up in such a friendly manner. I was hoping to run into them again yesterday but it was raining so we bailed back to the big city. Mark and Willow - if you're out there - thanks again! bigdrink.gif

 

Doxey

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About 20 minutes from Yakima on US 12 begins the start of the many areas collectively referred to as "the Tieton". Climbs range from 5.3 to 5.12-ish, at the many various areas available.

 

Yes, there are many climbs available to lead/follow in that range. Mind you, many of the older climbs at Royal Columns were put up before the advent of the higher number grades around today. A trad climb rated 5.8 at Royal Columns may seem a lot more like a 5.9 where you are used to climbing. The bolted routes are more in line with current "standards", as most of the bolted routes are less than about 10 years old.

 

There are a few guidebooks that have been printed in the past that are specific to Tieton, but all are out of print except the Reid/Preston "Quick & Dirty Guide to the Tieton". About $10 at any climbing shop. The photos suck, route descriptions are terse, but it will put you in the general area.

 

Smoot is still available, as are the Nelson/Potterfield guides, but they only offer a smattering of what's out there.

 

A search of this board with Tieton as your keyword should turn up a plethora of info. Good luck.

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Where is Tieton and what grade is the climbing? Anything that 5.8ish newbies can follow?

 

Awesome routes that are VERY accessible for a wide range of abilities. The rock is a high quality andesite chock full of features! A definite must visit for 5.8 climbers. A great place to learn trad as well!! I love the place! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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I agree, Tieton is a really great place to climb. It is where I learned how to trad climb. The routes are a bit more difficult than the ratings suggest but the cracks are awesome not to mention the weather that is almost always agreeable. I've gone back many times and always enjoy myself. One of my favorite climbs that I personally haven't led, but have climbed on top rope is Orange Sunshine, it is amazing. thumbs_up.gif

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Great story, dkemp. I also agree that the Tieton is awesome.

Best route IMHO is Inca Roads thumbs_up.gif I haven't led it.....yet.

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Where is Tieton and what grade is the climbing? Anything that 5.8ish newbies can follow?

 

Awesome routes that are VERY accessible for a wide range of abilities. The rock is a high quality andesite chock full of features! A definite must visit for 5.8 climbers. A great place to learn trad as well!! I love the place! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

And I don't have to follow the hordes to Vantage! Thanks guys! I'll check it out if I can convince somebody to lead for me laugh.gifwave.gif

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Snowbyrd,

 

We finally got our buts over Teiton a couple of weeks ago. thumbs_up.gif We went to royal columns. There's a ton of stuff you should be able to follow there. I liked it better than vantage. The cracks seemed to take gear better. I had less of sense that my gear was about to be "spit out" of the crack. The ratings are definitely more stout than vantage. We went on a Sunday and the place was pretty busy. I wouldn't count too much on getting away from the crowds if you choose Royal Columns. Perhaps some of the other areas thought. We'll definitely be going back. It's a great place to go for a day of moderate crack climbs.

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Everybody wants to do the same handful of popular climbs. If you are a little adventuresome there are lots of climbs at Royal Columns you can do and not wait to do them. Bring a complete set of hexes and your larger nuts, if you go, because the rock just seems to take them well. In many cases they work better than cams.

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Everybody wants to do the same handful of popular climbs. If you are a little adventuresome there are lots of climbs at Royal Columns you can do and not wait to do them. Bring a complete set of hexes and your larger nuts, if you go, because the rock just seems to take them well. In many cases they work better than cams.

 

Very true! I found the same thing at Devils Tower, a similar stone formation ( variant: phonolite porphyry) , cams were often skechy at best in the undulating cracks. Hexes and stoppers were some of the most bomber things around.

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Tieton sucks ass. If I lived in Yakima I'd climb there but there's no way in hell I'd ever drive over there from here.

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Nah, definitely worth the occasional drive over! Climbed a couple really nice cracks, even if I don't have a clue what they were!

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yeah, it seems like most of the cracks there flare inward, so placements can be a little sketchy. other than that i like the climbing there a lot thumbs_up.gif

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[M]ost of the bolted routes are less than about 10 years old.

 

Actually, at the Royal Columns, the "newest" bolted route is 10 years old (established in 1994). Nearly every other bolted route is more like fifteen years old (established in 1988-89). Many of the bolts have been updated recently, though.

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AndyF! How you doing? Are you still in Tacoma? Cool, been forever but glad to see your still in the mix! wave.gif

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Tieton - three rattlers in one day ( and that's not considered unsual). That's Enough to make me think twice about summer climbing there.

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[M]ost of the bolted routes are less than about 10 years old.

 

Actually, at the Royal Columns, the "newest" bolted route is 10 years old (established in 1994). Nearly every other bolted route is more like fifteen years old (established in 1988-89). Many of the bolts have been updated recently, though.

 

My oops. The point was that the trad grades are a little stiffer than what most folks are used to, and the bolted routes should be about what you would expect for the grade anywhere else.

 

Howya doing, Andy? You prolly don't remember me, but say "hi" to Ed M. and Marla M. if you run into them. wave.gif

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Actually, at the Royal Columns, the "newest" bolted route is 10 years old (established in 1994). Nearly every other bolted route is more like fifteen years old (established in 1988-89). Many of the bolts have been updated recently, though.
That is true, but there is a lot of route development going on now in other areas of the Tieton, such as Goose Egg Mountain, The Oasis and others.

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Agreed. My point in making the comment was to disabuse any illusion that bolted routes in the Tieton are "new," (as in certain folks jumping to the conclusion that "damned sport climbers have found the place"). We've enjoyed a nice mix of styles for many years. I hope that with more and more people "discovering" the Tieton, people respect the area, its environment, and its history.

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