First Impressions

Wow. What a weekend it was. Got my first taste of Washington granite last week, and probably once again spoiled myself for all future days spent on granite. As soon as I could after making this move up north, I made the trip past Seattle to see what the all the hype was about in regards to this place known as Index. I have to admit, I am very much impressed with the quality of rock and the obviously amazing concentration of absolute classic crack climbs. Beginning with Godzilla, 5.9, Chad Gaffigan and I continued up the rock past an only somewhat less-than-classic 5.10b second pitch, followed by the full-value third pitch which is such an amazing climb that it has a name all to its own, Slow Children 5.10d. After fifteen minutes of working the crux, I ended up down climbing the fifteen feet to my last piece due to the oncoming pump and an unwillingness to take the obvious and massive whipper I faced. After lowering to grab the proper gear needed to protect the section, I made the move to the anchor; not after taking two or three falls in the process. What a pitch. I mean really, wow.

After a shot at Park City, a beautiful and thin 5.13d finger crack, we left and returned the next day to give another classic a shot; a not-so-obvious pitch known as Shirley 5.11b/c. This pitch follows some incredibly fun 5.10 or-so cracks, up to a steep, and holdless corner-thing. I have never resorted to stemming on such such small and insecure feet ever before on any climb I have ever attempted. After two pretty descent falls, I was able to make the move and clip into the anchor. I knew as I left Index that day, that I had found a place that I would spend quite a bit of energy and passion. Index, Washington, you officially receive the Christian Cattell seal of approval. I will be back. I will. Be back.

More to come following a weekend at Leavenworth taking my Single Pitch Instructor Course through Mountain Madness! The climbing is good! And when the climbing is good, the life is good. Climb on!!




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