DATE: JULY 13TH-14TH 2019

LOCATION: BANKS LAKE, WA

AUTHOR: WENDY

TRAINING STAGE: SUMMER

CLIMBING TYPE: DEEP WATER SOLOING

Banks Lake Photo

This was my second weekend trip with NSM and my first time deep water soloing and it did not disappoint! We were a group of 10, including Toni coming out all the way from the Bay Area. The group was a mix of skill levels and interests, from beginners just learning the ropes of climbing outside to a couple of sport pros to some badass boulderers. Although it was a blazingly hot 90+ degrees during the day, the waters of Banks Lake kept us cool through a weekend of sends.

We all arrived Friday night to our campsite on a peninsula on Banks Lake. Saturday, we started off with sport climbing at Roadside Rock. Although we didn’t have the official guidebook, I was able to figure out a nice slabby 5.9 to set up called Carrot Top. Meanwhile, Carlie and Toni tag teamed setting up Even Better Than the Real Thing, a fiesty 5.9 dihedral in to a satisfying hand crack. We spent the morning swapping climbs and mid-way through, I decided to go after Red Arete, a mixed 5.9 with some beautiful moves. I lost confidence at the second to last bolt and had Carlie lower me. But no worries, Maria jumped in and sent the next move, allowing me to go back and finish the climb! By that point is was too dang hot, so we finished the day off with some ice cream in Electric City and a swim in Banks Lake.

After a windy evening listening to our not-so-quiet neighbors’ party, we picked up the boat and headed out for some deep water soloing! Kayla was our trusty captain, navigating us through the high waters. We found a gorgeous boulder with lots of first ascents. Josephine kicked it off, topping out on what might have been a V0 but a V-Fun jump off the top! We searched for routes on the rock after that using some very key donut inner-tubes to rest on. Overall, we made 3 dirty, spidery, and yet satisfying first ascents. Each lady pushed the routes in different ways to link up some really creative climbing!

After that, we wandered around the lake, exploring new routes along the walls. The highlight from the afternoon was a beautiful blocky feature that Josephine, Toni, Brita, and Kayla projected. I’m pretty sure Jo is still dreaming about that route! Finally, we dropped off our boat, said our goodbyes, and headed home to Seattle. It was a great weekend full of lots of great climbing and some amazing slaydies!