Gold Bar Bouldering Day

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“Leave No Trace” Day at Gold Bar

July 31, 2016 | Josh Bennett and Jimmy Grant

It was a cool summer morning as we rumbled out of the Edgeworks parking lot headed for Gold Bar and a fun day of bouldering adventures. Fast forward an hour and we had left the urban sprawl and the gray marine layer behind for the soaring peaks and brilliant sunshine to the east. The van erupted with conversation and excitement as Josh rattled off history about the area and other fun facts as we passed landmarks and pulled up to the trailhead.

After dividing up the climbing gear, Josh and Jimmy handed a trash bag to each member of the group and began to detail the 7 principles of the “Leave No Trace” ethics. As we made our way up the trail we kept our eyes peeled for litter, picking up anything we found and packing it out. The trails were in great condition when we arrived, so we only collected a of handful things. But we know that every little bit helps and a trash free trail will hopefully inspire others to pack it out as well.

After a great hike with stunning views, we were finally sitting under the boulders of “The Samurai”. Josh and Jimmy hurried around placing crash pads around Midnight Lichen boulder as the group had a bite to eat and got their climbing gear on. After a quick discussion about pad placement, spotting, and pad etiquette we were off and climbing with successful sends across a wide range of grades.

As we moved on to the next cluster of boulders known as “Warm-Up Circuit”, Josh noticed a few unsightly tick marks left by a previous group and took this opportunity to talk about proper use of tick marks and the importance of removing them when you are done and always striving to leave everything looking as natural as possible. We then gave those giant rookie stripes a good brush!

Once the sun had really warmed things up, we headed to the true prize of the day – “Fern Crack”, a shaded highball in the heart of the Gold Bar boulders with several variants ranging from v0-v12. After laying down all 10 pads at the base everyone took their turn questing up the 20 ft gently overhanging face. It was really awesome to see the group come together, cheer each other on and make sure everyone felt safe and comfortable even while way off the deck. Awesomely everyone sent at least some version of this 4 star climb with a roar of applause every time someone stood atop this truly magnificent boulder.

From this point day’s end was fast approaching and we marched all the way to the opposite side of the forest for the last few climbs of the day, Beam Me Up and Scotty – both must do’s if you’re in the area. We padded the landing and crowded around as everyone wrestled with these classics on near perfect stone.

When the last pad was packed and a final sweep of the area had been done, we headed down through “The Clearcut” and back down the logging road making sure everyone understood how the roads connected to the boulders. The hike out was topped off with a stop at the famous 5 Star boulder followed by a lot of discussion about all the things we want to do on our next trip.

For more pictures from the day, check out the Gold Bar Bouldering Day album on our Facebook page.