Research and Development

Quite possibly one of my favorite routes in Icicle Canyon is R & D.  Start with Cocaine Connection and you've added a pitch to the length and a grade to the difficulty.  Any closer to the road and you can belay from the bumper.

This time of the year the weather is chancy, so a few people are checking in with me regularly to look at the forecast and get out if its good.  Carlton is one of those, and for the last weekend of September we went to Leavenworth, spent two days enjoying the weather, and got in a fair bit of climbing.

On Saturday we went to Playground Point - Carlton hasn't climbed in a few years due to foot surgery, and this was a great way to get re-acquainted with the skills and techniques. 

On Sunday climbed Cocaine Connection to R&D.  Typically I traverse over to R&D after the first pitch, but this time we climbed both pitches of CC to see where it led.  Kind of scruffy, and not really worth the detour.  You can see Carlton belaying from the top of Pitch 1.

Carlton topping out of Pitch 5, the crux pitch for R&D's normal line (5.6).  The CC variation bumps the grade up to 5.7.

Back in the saddle - time for a beer!
Statistics:  Northwest Mountain School, 24-25 September.  Icicle Canyon, Playground Point - 9 pitches up to 5.9.  Icicle Dome, Cocaine Connection - R&D (6 pitches, 5.7).  X-Y Crack.