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Trip Report - Rock and Road 2014
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TOPIC: Trip Report - Rock and Road 2014
#381
Trip Report - Rock and Road 2014 3 Years, 4 Months ago  
Rock and Road 2014 - Boyz Addition

Rock and road has become an annual tradition where some random ACCers head south of the border for some rock climbing, sometime in the fall. I guess 2014 would be the 3rd edition (2012 to Indian Creek and City of Rocks, 2013 to Smith Rocks), and all three have been very different.

We had 4 ACCers (Tobias, Kyle, Tyler and Matt), 1 truck, no real destination other than the United States and a weather forecast of dubious accuracy. Rock, beer, gas and food could be found in the states, and that was pretty much all we needed. Since we were 4 boys with girls at home, showers, salad and changes of closes were mostly optional. What we lacked in basic hygiene, we made up for in interesting conversation.

Our first destination was Leavenworth, a faux German village with some very interesting granite. The climbing is mostly single pitch, but there is some high quality multi-pitch upto 6 pitches. Grades are typical American, bolts are of varied quality, but the rock is solid and mostly clean where people climb regularly (near the road). It is important to note that Octoberfest occurs every weekend in October, even though the real Octoberfest in Germany actually occurs in September??? The town is slammed each weekend and empty all week. We had our token German sample the saurkraut and bratwurst, the judgement positive.

There are a ton of campsites, the best being Bridge Creek Campground. All of the campgrounds are closed the second weekend in October, thus free, if you can find parking (Bridge Creek has no gate and you can still drive in). Water is turned off at this point, so bring lots (or purify the river).

Recommended climbing is Alphabet Crag, 8-mile crag and Gilvers Crack. We only climbed 2 days as the weather turned and we headed to Peshatin Pinnicles. Return to the Womb (mixed 5.10d) is a must. Only climb I have ever lead that involved a bat hang match! Unfortunately, none of us got it clean, next time.

Peshatin Pinnicles is a bit drier than Leavenworth and we had a pretty good day on crumbly sand stone. Oh Fred Becky, you had large nuts! This is a good example of what happens to a crag that is left to decay over time. The climbing is good, but any fixed gear is next to worthless. Rusted, 1/4" bolts are common. Many anchors comprise 3/8" bolts, half the bolt showing, hanger free spinning and the bolt bent over because the rock has busted away. Actually fun climbing, just be very careful and be willing to find alternate anchors to get down.

We continued on our way to Tieton River (pronounced Ti-ton, not Tee-ton), which is andricite (columnar basalt). The camping at Windy Point was $10 a night and we had the entire campsite to ourselves. There are many free camping options the entire length of the road (technically $5 with a discover pass). The climbing was awesome with lots of great trad and sport routes. The grading was stiff, as usual, but the protection is excellent for both trad and sport. I typically don't pump-out on a 5.9 hand crack, I'll be able to claim that grade someday. The crags are well kept with solid bolts and safe anchors (they even replaced crapped out anchors). The guide book for the area is now in the section library and I would highly recommend Tieton. However, we only stayed 2 days because, it rained...

Our final destination was the Quartzite crags of Stone Hill. More free camping at campground 32 which we shared with 1 other person who quickly disappeared. Stone Hill is fun trad and sport area with very solid stone and well maintained routes. The guidebook is also in the Library. Only 5 hours from Calgary, so a good long weekend destination.

After 7 days of climbing, 2 days of driving, and 0 showers, we headed home. The border guard asked if we had come in contact with anyone from West Africa, I couldn't help chuckle as we barely came in contact with anyone from West USA. We had the run of the place, never once having to wait in line for a climb and only one night not having the choice of any site in the campground. The weather on this trip was not great, but it had its upside in that it kept the place clear of people and we still had quite a few good climbing days.

Will definitely do another Rock and Road next year. Tieton River is worth a return visit, Devils Tower and Wind River Wyoming have both been on my list for years, but I try to be flexible and willing to go wherever the company is good, the beer is cheap and the rock is solid(ish).
Matthew Breakey
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#383
Re: Trip Report - Rock and Road 2014 3 Years, 4 Months ago  
Thanks, Matt! Sounds like a good time.
David Roe
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