On Sunday Dan and I took a day trip up to Leavenworth to go bouldering with our friend Brandon. We woke up at the ass-crack of dawn, piled our gear into the car and headed out as the sun began to rise. Neither Dan or I had ever been to Leavenworth, so we were excited to see what the bouldering was like. We'd actually never been bouldering outside, but Brandon was a seasoned veteran and had been to Leavenworth countless times, and showed us a bunch of great bouldering spots with routes at our skill level.
The terrain was pretty mind blowing. Giant boulders the size of houses littered the valley, a gorgeous river cut its way through the mountains, and huge pines rose up from the forest floor. Just thinking about each one of those boulders barreling down the sides of the mountain to where they currently rest was awe inspiring.
I'm so excited about how many times we've been able to get out and into nature this year so far. I think we've gone out just about every weekend these past few weeks. There's something that's so wonderful about getting into nature, getting away from technology, and resetting. Fresh air, tromping on soft earth, my fingers touching something other than a key board. It's so easy to get stuck in the rut of working constantly and forgetting that nature is what keeps me sane and inspired.
Bouldering outdoors is such a different animal than bouldering in the gym. There's less of a sense of safety, gripping rock is much different than gripping plastic holds, and having a great spotter is way more important. You really have to trust your spotter and when I'm in the gym I rarely even have someone spot me unless I know I'm going for a move that is inverted or feels like it could result in a sketchy fall. Having crash pads is paramount, and thankfully Brandon had plenty because we haven't invested in any yet. I love how climbing is such a friendly and communal sport. There were tons of people around and were so friendly, letting you hop in on a route they were working on, sharing crash pads, offering beta and helpful suggestions. Dusty was a fan of how many climbers brought their dogs.
There was a 60-80% chance of rain, so we made it about five hours before it started drizzling and forced us to quit. Climbing in the rain on slippery rock isn't great, so we called it a day (my damn sprained toe was pretty spent anyway), and headed back into town to fill our empty tummies with beer and brats. It's only the natural thing to do when you're in a Bavarian village, right? Munchen Haus fulfilled our desires (sauerkraut FTW) and we hit the road back to Tacoma. A day well spent, in my book.