Winthrop, WA to Pahrump, NV

September 6-13, 2007

It's September 6. We need to start heading South toward Las Vegas, where we are scheduled to fly to New Zealand on September 18. We leave Winthrop and drive to Yakima where we spend a few days. We park the bus at the Bend. It's too hot to climb there as it is in the sun all day, but we climb "Ride the Lightning", a 4-pitch route on Goose Egg Mountain.

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Spending a few days at "The Bend" along the Tieton river, near Yakima, WA.
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Goose Egg Mountain.
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The only worthwhile pitch (#2) on Ride the Lightning (5.9, PG).
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Scary flakes neat the top of the wall, Goose Egg mountain.
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Keep an eye on the wildlife...

Goose Egg mountain looks quite good from a distance: tall, steep, and apparently clean. At closer look however, the rock is a bit substandard, quite loose, and pretty scary in spots. The climb is good fun still, at least the lower pitches. The second pitch is by far the best, with a long section of jamming and lieback corner. The rest is either forgettable, well bolted face climbing, or loose. The last pitch is horrible: it ends on stacked plates at the top of the wall; scary, loose, nothing to anchor to… we simulclimb until Eric can reach a pine tree.

The descent is easy to find and well setup (except for two raps from dead trees…). We wouldn't recommend the route. Or just do the first two pitches if you must. BTW: if you do, you will need 60m double ropes for the ascent AND the descent (some pitches and raps are long).

We also climb a few routes at Wildcat Wall in between packing chores. This is an impressive wall, with steep, sustained routes.

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The steep Wildcat Wall - one of the great crags around the Tieton River.
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Driving through Oregon.
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The small town of Pendleton, OR.
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Only in America... (Pendleton, OR).
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Stopped for the night after a long day of driving.

We start driving South on September 11, through north-eastern Oregon and the back roads of central Nevada. Those roads have light traffic, and are mostly straight, so we pushed 80+ mph for a good fraction of the time. We stop in Austin and Goldfield for a bit of sightseeing.

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Driving the wide open back roads of Nevada.
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Tiny and picturesque Austin, NV.
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Strange display in Goldfield, NV.
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Goldfield, NV.
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Still legal in Nevada!

We make it to Pahrump two days later around 6PM and settle on the parking lot of the local Wal Mart.

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Our next stop.