Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Climbing Multi-Pitch at Exit 38: Far Side, Neverland Area, Lost Boys

On July 3rd, I did my first multi pitch route at Neverland. Having never gotten around to doing multi pitch, I figured my temporary stay in Washington would be a good opportunity to change that.


Finding the Lost Boys in the Neverland area can be tough, especially if you've never been there before. It's not impossible, but it's definitely tricky. Here are some pictures to help you navigate your way there!

From I-90E, take exit 38 and continue East on Homestead Valley Rd. You will pass the South Fork Picnic area and Ollalie State Park on your left. About a mile after the picnic area, take a left and drive under the I-90 highway, there you'll immediately find Exit 38 Far Side parking lot.

You'll need a Discovery Pass to park there. The fine for not having one is $99.00. The cost of a day pass is I think $5-10. The cost for an annual pass is $30. You do the math.

From the lot, walk north along the road across the bridge, over the Snowqualmie River.

Keep walking until you see a sign like this:

At the sign, there should be a clear path into the trees.

Follow the path for awhile. Make sure when you hit the giant log and go over it. There should be a notch in the log.

Continue to hike up-up-up.

The end of the approach should look something like this. Once you clear the branches, you'll have your typical area next to the climb to set up gear.

There are a few climbs here at Lost Boys, mostly multi-pitch. For more information on these routes, visit MP: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/lost-boys/105853947

The routes at Lost Boys are: Sleep or Awake (5.10c), I Wanna Go Home (5.9), I Can Fly (5.11), Lost My Marbles (5.10b/c),  Seize the Day (5.11d), and The Plank (5.10a).

The classics are The Plank, I Wanna go Home, and I Can Fly.

The day I went, we only had time to do The Plank (3 pitches) and I Wanna Go Home (2 pitches).

For my first multi-pitch experience, The Plank and I Wanna Go Home were good starter climbs. Each pitch was well within my level so it was like taking baby steps into a new type of climbing. Most of the fundamentals were the same, I just had to learn how to belay from above and some rope management.

A picture of my view while Suman was setting up the anchor at station 2. 

Walkie talkies are incredibly useful for The Plank. After anchor station one, it becomes really difficult to hear one another and you lose sight of the climber. Be very prepared before committing on this climb for how you'll communicate with your partner after station 1.

Selfie at station 3.

Here's a pic of Suman rappelling off to the first anchor station from the finish of "I Wanna Go Home".

All in all, a solid day of climbing. It was the first time I met up with someone from the Mountain Project forums. I was worried at first, climbing with a stranger, given what we were trying to accomplish (multipitch), but Suman made an excellent first impression. Sometimes, things just work out.
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