Whitehorse Ledge, October 2003

Took this afternoon off to drive north with my wife, the fall weather being too fine to waste. By 2:30 we stood below Whitehorse, empty gray stone overhead, backlit yellow trees behind.

Children's Crusade seemed the perfect route for a perfect day. Easy but off-balance and unforgiving until you reach the first gear thirty feet up. Then start the puzzles, one after another, keeping your attention. Thin layaway, slopey mantle, stem out left...five bolts go past, not one too many or too few. Nice new bolts. I keep exclaiming about how fun are the moves.

At the stance, as Les follows, killer ladybugs swarm around. Back in the old days they were just benign creatures, but so many things in the world have since changed. Like that atrocious new country club/suburb crammed next to the ledge. Looking elsewhere, the October view brings peace. Les works out the crux puzzles and joins me. We talk things over and decide to do one more pitch.

Old buttonhead spinners and stiff brown slings on mystery gear protect the less-trafficked lead above. It has a different feel from the first, winding up through unlikely-looking overlaps with good-enough holds. I find my way to a small belay tree, and settle down on a ledge that seems cozy until I recognize those three-leaved red plants all around.

We slide down two rappels to the ground, where jump-back Jack has been napping. He's glad to see us, because he knows we have biscuits. Shadows fill the woods as the three of us walk out.

Larry Hamilton, 2003