This week, though rife with the petty annoyances that seem to dominate my waking hours these days, has ended in a weekend of rock climbing. Amazingly, I visited a sport climbing area in the Seattle vicinity to which I had never previously been. Imagine my astonishment as the stunning vista of World Wall II unfolded in all its glory before me, nary a half mile from the trail I've hiked so many a time to its somewhat bigger brother, World Wall I. This quiet nook, all but deserted, proffered up a somewhat perplexing riddle: why, after so many years of climbing at Little Si, had I never visited this steep, appealing swath of stone? Why had I only gleaned vague snippets of information and somewhat laconic responses about the wall from those who had?
Allow me to lift the veil from an amazing local climbing secret:
World Wall II is made of high quality LIMESTONE!
Yes! That's right! A limestone crag mere furlongs from the shattered metamorphic stone we're all accustomed to. I may be no geologist, but you can trust me on this one: It HAS to be limestone! How else can almost EVERY CLIMB have ALL OF THOSE POCKETS?
They look a lot like this:
...except that the rock isn't granite. And please ignore the image name because the pockets at World Wall II were obviously formed by forces of nature back in the 1990's. Some even have three or four 'compartments'; that's one for each finger! Nicely rounded edges, amazingly comfortably incut holds where you'd expect mere dimpled nothings--this rock was truly manufactured (by extreme pressure, heat and a long period of erosion, of course) for climbing.
I'll leave it at that. If pockets aren't your thing, it looks like there are maybe four or five routes there that don't feature improbable lines of them. I think I may have tried one of them.