Methow Inspiration Route (II 5.9+)

Methow Inspiration Route on the Goat Wall, climbed with John and Zach on 5/21/17.

Pulling on good holds above the crux on the final pitch. Photo: Zach Turner

Zach, John and I woke up later than we intended.  We had been eyeing Sisyphus (III 5.11a) but opted to climb the Methow Inspiration Route, which we assumed would be a quick 5 pitch romp.  This turned out to be an adventurous route that took much longer than anticipated.

Spectacular views of the lush Methow Valley abound.  Photo: Nick Sweeney

The three of us dispatched the steep approach quickly and scrambled to the base of the route.  I began leading the first pitch and quickly found that this route would be much different than Prime Rib.  The third bolt was at least 30 feet above the second; the fall potential looked awful.  I kept my head together and climbed to the next bolt, feeling relief once it was clipped.  However, the wall became steeper heading to the next bolt.  I was shaken by the runout that I had just climbed past and didn’t like the fall potential in this next section of climbing.  I made some rationalizations, swallowed my pride, and lowered off of my highest bolt.  Zach took over the lead, quickly climbing past my highpoint to the anchor above.  From here, we moved upwards with John and Zach taking turns leading.

John pulling the cruxy roof on pitch four. Photo: Nick Sweeney

There are bolts where you really need them on this route, but there is 5.9 climbing in places where it is best not to fall.  The worst runout is on pitch one on 5.7 terrain.  Pitch four had an awesome roof that was tough to read.  Zach pulled over it on terrible crimps, and John used the same beta which they said felt like solid 5.10.  I managed to put the pieces together and used beta that kept the grade true to 5.9… nice!  Every pitch has quality climbing – go check it out!

This was a perfect day to round out the weekend.  It doesn’t get much better than spending a couple of days climbing and soaking up the sun with friends.

Gear Notes:

Bring 12 draws (including some alpine draws) and one 60m rope.  We had two 60m ropes (climbing as a party of three) and were able to descend the route easily in three rappels.

Strategy Notes:

A good topo and description of the route is available at Winthrop Mountain Sports.




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