May. 13th, 2017

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It being a Saturday, I felt more than a little guilty at missing parkrun so I went out for an extra long morning run. I didn't quite make it to Chateau Sainte Michelle, but I was pretty close by the time I turned back to return to Redmond. During the run I saw a bald eagle flying fairly low over the river. I wasn't entirely surprised — I'd seen something that looked like an awful lot like an eyrie on one of the power pylons — but it was still a pretty damn awesome thing to see!

After spending the morning exploring Redmond Old Town and the Saturday Market — conveniently located in the same place as the mini version staged for CUG — I decided to walk the four or so miles to the local branch of Vertical World. Despite getting mildly lost on the way — I turned right instead of left and found myself at the start of the powerline trail which I'd run a few days ago — I located the centre in an industrial building tucked away at the back.

After signing in — a guy sitting on a bench by entry said, "After going through all that, you ought to have clearance to meet the president!" — I hired some rather slippy shoes — this is not to dis Vertical World: using someone else's shoes is always a bad experience — and got on with some bouldering. After going through a warm-up, which was enough to persuade me I needed a chalk bag — which they lent me for free! — I worked up to the point where I crushed a bunch of their V5s. I'm not entirely surprised because it matches comfort zone, but you never know how one centre's grading is going to carry over to another and if you're not familiar with the house style, it sometimes takes a while to get to the point where you can send stuff with confidence.

I didn't try any routes because I didn't notice that they had auto-belays until I'd signed in for bouldering. But when I checked the grades and attempting a quick conversion from YDS to French grades, I decided I probably wasn't missing anything and stuck with my original plan. After putting a few hours, I started to feel tired. Acutely aware of the walk home — which, coming on top of the morning's run, was definitely a contributing factor to the tiredness — I called it a day and headed back to the hotel where I started repacking my stuff for the return to the UK.


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