Colin and I started driving from Seattle around 12:00 monday afternoon. Our plan was to climb a 4 pitch 5.9 traverse on Midnight Rock monday night, then Condorphamine Addiction (5.10b) on tuesday morning. Midnight Rock was closed until July 31st so we climbed a couple routes on Castle Rock (Canary and Winter Solstice).
airy step on canary
traversing the roof on Winter Solstice
After a bad night sleep due to buzzing mosquitos, Colin and I got up and started the 1500' approach to Condorphamine Addiction.
After being spanked by the steep approach (we definitely weren't in the mountain climbing mindset) and endless amounts of dust, we arrived at the base of the climb. The night before we decided to run together the first and second pitch, the third and fourth pitch, then pitch out the rest. We took 20+ draws and felt ridiculous at the beginning of the climb with a harness loaded with draws!
ridiculous amount of draws
Colin led out on the first two pitches which consisted of thin and sustained face and slab climbing for the first 90' and more varied climbing on the second 90'. We were a little disappointed by the sight of bolts next to a perfectly usable handcrack just below the second set of chains, but nonetheless it is still a great long pitch.
Colin on the thin face and slab of the first pitch
Colin just below the bolted hand crack
I led out on the third and fourth pitch which were much more mellow than the first two. The third pitch is basically a 4th class scramble to the chains where some fun climbing starts, although still easier than the first two pitches. These two pitches go quick and I'd recommend running them together. After bringing Colin up to the belay we took a rest before he led out on the first crux pitch.
easy scrambling of the third pitch
moving into a few 5.8 moves
taking a rest before the crux pitches
The climbing up to the first crux was easy and fun. But soon the holds disappear and a blank wall is all that remains. Tenuous stemming and nothing for hands got Colin though the generously bolted crux and to the belay. I was a little worried about climbing the crux with a backpack (which we had brought because of forecasted thunderstorms and showers) but it turned out to be no problem at all, just strait up fun climbing!
just under the crux on pitch five
The next lead was mine. Looking up at the pitch, I was surprised to find it less steep and quite featured. I led out excited to find the 10b section. I thought it wasn't going to come until all the hold and features disappeared again. Soon enough I found myself teetering on the smallest sloping nubbin I have ever stood on. Unlike the last pitch, there was no stemming to help out. I found this pitch extremely fun and not too bad if you can trust your feet! Upon reaching the chains I had 3 draws left and figured the last pitch would be easy to run out so I clipped two bolts on the easy climbing of the last pitch arriving at the top a just over two hours after we started climbing.
in the middle of the crux sequence of pitch six
At the top Colin and I enjoyed the views into the Stuart range and started out rappels back to our gear. Thankfully we brought two ropes and the rappels went very quickly. After hiking out, we had a half an hour before we had to start driving back so we both led Classic Crack as a cool down climb before dunking our heads in the river and driving off.
Although I'm not one to do much sport climbing, I found this route to be thoroughly enjoyable. Beside the fact that a perfectly protectable crack is bolted and the crux has bolts every few feet, this route is worth the hike and drive. If you are annoyed by over-bolting, take less draws and skip bolts. I'd definitely recommend this route to anyone looking for fun slab climbing with excellent views!