Monday, July 18, 2011

Rock Climbing in Eastern Washington and Mountain Biking the Iron Horse Trail

West side of the Snoqualmie Pass Tunnel

Jay and I getting rained on near the end of the ride

I made the most out of this weekend by planning two separate adventures. Friday evening Richard and I drove to Leavenworth where we had time to climb a couple of single pitch climbs very close to the road before it got dark. The quality of the rock in Leavenworth is great and I am looking forward to going back. That evening we shared a camp spot with one of Richards’s classmates and his family. It was nice to have someone to meet up with as the camp area was totally full. We had a great fire and it was fun to meet some more Alaskan's who have been displaced to Washington for school.

Saturday morning brought rain. We packed up camp and went for plan B, which was to drive to Vantage. Vantage has an extremely dry climate and was only an hour and half drive away. The drive was scenic and I enjoyed looking at all the fruit treas and other crops along the Columbia River valley. In Vantage we ran into some people I know from Seattle Mountain Rescue, this was great as neither Richard or I had climbed at Vantage previously. My SMR friends showed us how to access the best of the climbing areas. Richard and I enjoyed the rest of the hot aftersoon sun climbing tall exposed columns of basalt.

Sunday Molly and I headed back to the mountains for some mountain biking with our friends Jay and Adam. We left a car about 15 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass and then started the ride at the pass itself. The trail is an old railroad grade that has been converted to a biking and hiking trail. The trail starts with a two mile long tunnel through the mountain. The tunnel was built over the course of two years from 1912 to 1914. We all had bike lights and headlamps but it was still very dark and cold in the tunnel. It was also a bit disorienting to ride through as it was difficult to tell how fast you are going and how far it is to the end.

I really enjoy historic trails like this one. I am amused by the engineering and nature at the same time.  This is certainly a trail I will ride again someday.

No comments:

Post a Comment