Beautiful Belay: Rock Climbing outside Bellingham, Washington

December 7, 2016

by Peter Reese
Beautiful Belay: Rock Climbing outside Bellingham, Washington

What happens when the view to the left of the next handhold is that of the rippling, sun dappled Puget Sound?  Concentration is what happens on Fidalgo Island’s Mt. Erie.  While topping out at 1,300ft, the cragging area, 43 miles away from our base of operations in Bellingham, makes a wide spectrum of routes extremely available and supremely tempting. Up here, feldspar and hornblend rich diorite are the mountain’s main ingredients.  In the same way, judgment, strength and endurance were the essential attributes of Jere Burrell, the filming project’s lead climber and narrator.  Representing Mt. Baker Mountain Guides, Burrell explored some challenging variations of a classic 5.10 route, warmed by the late afternoon sun.  Over 120 climbs populate the site with mid-summer the biggest draw:  Sport climbing comprises 53% of the options, with Trad logging in at 44% (the remaining few are Top Rope).  The film crew was impressed by the climbing session and subsequent interview that gave voice to the power and agility witnessed on the mountain that golden fall day.  


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