Charlie on the North Ridge of Stuart
I did a lot of sport and alpine climbing as a kid. My notable ascents include Serpentine Arete, South Face of Prussik, North Ridge of Stuart, Liberty Crack and Direct East Buttress of South Early Winters. I peaked out just before I left Yakima climbing low 5.12 face and low 5.11 crack. My priorities changed from climbing to skiing as I entered college. I lost touch with my climbing partners (Troy, Charlie and Tygh) and adapted to my ski partners (Josh and Jason). More importantly, I missed the atmosphere of my local climbing gym. There was something about Norm's Gym that Stone Gardens or Vertical World couldn't make up for.
I spent most evenings of my freshman year trying to stay in shape. My body was in the game but my mind was not. Bouldering at Stone Gardens became a chore. I never found any replacements so I retired sophomore year. Skiing and hiking kept me busy while my climbing gear gathered dust. I also started whitewater kayaking during my senior year.
It was spring of my senior year when I got a call from Jens Klubberud, a climbing friend I knew from Ellensburg who recently started teaching near Seattle. I wasn't able to go climbing but my brother ended up going and had a blast. They did a linkup near Cascade Pass. Jens called back a few weeks later and invited me to try a first ascent on Nooksack Tower. I hadn't set rubber on rock in over two years but I agreed to go. He said the climbing would be low 5.10. I bought a pair of rock shoes the next day.
Jens and I had a blast. We did a first ascent on the backside of Nooksack Tower and descended the standard route. It was a 20 hour push that I'll never forget. I've been hooked again and I'm sure that there will be lots more to come.
Disclaimer: Climbing is inherently dangerous and all of the trips and activities described in this website carry the risk of serious injury or death. Anyone who is not an expert in climbing should use an experienced, qualified guide or seek qualified instruction before engaging in any type of climbing. This website is not a guide.