October 6, 2016
Every fall IMG guides get together for a two-day training session in which they focus on rock guiding skills. This year the training was held in Mazama Washington, which is located on the east side of the North Cascades Highway. Although the town itself is quite small, the rock walls that surround it are far from little. Mazama boasts some of the longest multi-pitch sport routes in Washington State. There are many different climbing areas in Mazama, but most notable is the Goat Wall. It is a 1,500 foot wall, which overlooks the foothills of the North Cascades and towers over the town. For shorter routes, there is great climbing on the aptly named Fun Wall as well as at The Matrix. These two areas provide great single-pitch climbing just seconds from the parking lot.
This year at guide training, the guides worked on rock rescue skills for the first day. On day two, they split into teams of 3 and climbed a couple of the moderate multi-pitch routes on the Goat Wall. One of the routes is called Prime Rib of Goat. It is 11 pitches in length, and is mostly 5.6 climbing with a few 5.9 moves. The other route that was used for training is called Inspiration. It is a 6 pitch route that is mostly 5.8 with some 5.9+ moves. Both routes are considered “Classics.”
IMG gained a permit from the Forest Service just this year and we are planning to use Goat Wall as a fallback rock climbing location when the weather is rainy in the North Cascades. IMG will also run trips for people wanting to get out and expand their ability on rock. It is an absolutely amazing venue, that has something for everyone. Hope to see you there!