So yeah, I've been really bad about keeping up the blogs so it's time for a little catch up.
On two separate occasions now I've managed to play "sick" from work and find my way down to Cougar Crags with Justin for a little drytooling action. Cougar Crags is a great little drytooling spot about 5min off the freeway on I-90. It's got 4 regular routes ranging from M3 to M4+. Two lines are bolted, and two are trad but the nice part is all of them can be top-roped.
This was the location that Justin and I picked to pop our drytooling cherry, and I'm glad we did. It's a very different skill set that both of us believe are extremely important to our goal of being well rounded alpinists. Now I wouldn't exactly call Cougar Crags extreme, but going there on a couple occasions have taught us a lot about pick placements, camming the axes, and overall weight distribution on the picks. There's something super cool about taking the mono-point of your crampons and watching your entire weight be held by a little teeny divot in the rock no bigger than a corn nut. Practicing these techniques has shown me what proper foot placement can do, as well as how important it is to take your time and relax.
I really look forward to spending more time drytooling this year. Justin's got some feelers out for other locations like Black Ice Crags and Shuksan Crags so we'll see if we can't get something down on the books soon!