Climbed here with Ryan, spent two days in the Royal Columns, lots to do but the cracks are odd, angular, unpleasant at first but it grew on me.
Drove over in pouring rain (Seattle) and driving snow (east of the pass to Cle Elum), finally getting to chilly but sunny in the Tieton gorge. Played all day at Royal Columns, had a blast! Can't wait to come back.
Best crack in the state, just don't tell anyone.
Went to Royal Columns this weekend for the first time. Climbed Slacker, Levelhead, and other routes near Western Front up to 5.6. Good climbing. Hot weather!
Shirley onsighted MX (.10a) which made her happy & Pure Joy (.10c) taking a substantial (upside-down) fall near the top, which made her less happy. I led Local Knowledge (.10b) in one 55m pitch per locals' recommend (.10- lower pitch is straightforward....but that "best .9 finger crack in WA" felt more like 10-..). Highlight was running into and hanging out with Wayne & Lane. Also came back for Dirty Sanchez (7P, 5.8) on Goose Egg Mtn...pretty much as the name suggests..shouldda gone to the beach instead...Gangsta Rap descent was kinda PITA with our twins snagging once & some loose shit coming down. Hanging boulder field at the top is something else...
Few Trips in Spring 2008:
Tiers (.9), Salmon Song (.10a), Treatment Bound (.10a...hard), Ride The Lightning (7P, 5.9), Seizure (.10b). Shirley led: Cruel Harvest (.9), Hallowed Ground (.9), Peace Love and Rope (.9).
Third Trip (Apr. 16, 2006):
Shirley and I climbed with Haydar. Got there Sat. morning & it started to rain just as we were roping up. Drove to Vantage & saw more rain. Drove back to Tieton and saw clear sky in the evening. Hiked up and got Mush Maker (Shirley's lead) in. On Sunday did:
X-Factor (5.8, Shirley led). Weird pitch.
Inca Roads (5.9). Pumpy fingers and I hung once.
Jam Exam (5.9). Very fun.
Cactus Love (5.9) and First Blood (5.8) two OK but not that memorable lines.
Second Trip (March 11, 2006):
Dirty Thrasher - 5.9 - Martin led (below), we followed (happy to do so ;). OK OW crack with some shitty rock - some layers just kind of shear off making the lead of it pretty exciting (nice job Martin).
Straight Talk - 5.10A - Tried to lead this f... but ended up hanging an awful lot. Kinda hard for 10a IMHO and the rock (though better than Dirty Thrasher) did not inspire confidence. Real technical part is right off the leaning boulder at base; rest is just sustained fist crack fest.
Bloody Knuckles - 5.10b - We TRed it with Martin. Gotta agree that the upper 1/2 is very nice fingers (stemming makes it a lot easier than Straight Talk IMHO :)
First Trip (2 days in April 2002):
Good times with Brian Jenkins (see below) who joined us there (Royal Columns I think) for a day. Did some 5.4's, 5.6's and 5.7's including Western Front, Good Timer, Little Known Wonder, Cutting Edge, others...
Jam Exam - 5.9 - Very cool crack, starts as fingers then goes to fists. Lead it with one hang at the crux fists section.
Orange Sunshine - 5.10B - Wonderful. One of the best fingercracks I've climbed. I need to go back and lead this.
Developing Arms - 5.9 - Pretty good hands to fists crack. Stiff for the grade. I hung a couple times. :-)
X Factor - 5.8 - Pretty nice double crack system that crosses mid height. Fun moves with a few liebacks thrown in.
Mushmaker - 5.7 - Really nice handcrack on an off-vertical pillar. A great warmup climb.
Inca Roads - 5.9 - Classic fists to fingers crack in a corner with some fun stemming near the top. The best 5.9 at the Royal Columns.
Eat A Peach - 5.7 - Pretty good handcrack. A little dirty near the bottom, but the middle and top are nice.
Wild Beast - 5.8? - Stiff for a 7. A nice handcrack on the far left side. Much better than the 1 star grading gives it.
Living For The City - 5.10C - Really hard thin fingercrack. I hung several times on TR. The crux is at the base with tips jambs and technical stemming, but eases into nice 5.10B fingers higher up.
5.9 right of LFTC - 5.10B - The guidebook says 5.9 but thats bull, easily 10B. A stiff thin hands crack, not bad.
Peace, Love, and Rope - 5.9 - Nice hand and fingercrack with an offwidth pod to spice things up. The top 25 feet is clean and stellar.
MX - 5.10A - 1X leading and 2X TRing - STELLAR route! 150 feet of sustained 5.10A fingers. Used a lot of gear.
Ed's Jamb - 5.8 - 1X leading, following, and TRing - The first pitch is ok, but the second is a classic 150 foot 5.8 handcrack that is sooo good.
Tiers - 5.9 - Fun route. The jambing section is decent but the highlight is pulling 2 roofs about 1/3rd the way up.
Pure Joy - 5.10C - Another awesome thin crack with a strenuous layback section in the middle. This would be a difficult lead, especially transitioning from layback back to jambing.
The Reckoning - 5.10B - Very nice steep and pumpy fingercrack right of Pure Joy. Got my but kicked, it was the last pitch of the day.
5.9ish offwidth just left of MX - Really good offwidth! Perfect locker knees and very strenuous. I want to lead this thing.
Hallowed Ground - 5.9 - Really nice sustained 5.9 hand and fingercrack. Lead it onsight.
Sugar Kicks - 5.10C - TRed it with Bruce. Friggen hard.
Unknown 5.9 - Onsighted it. Fun stemming and jambing.
Another One Bites The Dust - 5.8 - Bruce lead it, nice 5.8 offwidth to fistcrack. I'd give it 2 stars, not zero.
The Bend is an awesome crag, probably my second favorite in the state after Index.
Dirty Thrasher - 5.9 - Decent offwidth with some stemming / chimneying above the first column. Lead it with one slip at the base, but I caught myself. Dirty and a bit loose but better than the 0 star rating in the guidebook.
Straight Talk - 5.10A - TRed this after Radek lead it. Very physical and demanding, easily 10B or maybe C. The start is nice but the 80 feet of wide cupped hands above is more annoying than enjoyable.
Bloody Knuckles - 5.10B - TRed this nice line with Radek and Shirley. The first half is decent, but the upper half is an excellent second to third knuckle fingercrack with locking jambs. This section is similar to MX at The Bend, but much, much shorter.