Route of the Week: Pan Handling

By Blake Herrington, 07 October 2013

  • DATE

    07 October 2013


    Blake Herrington


    Rock Climbing

This might be the best 100 feet of 5.10 cragging in the Northwest. Pan Handling is located in the heart of Trouts Creek’s greatest concentration of testpiece routes, and will get you acquainted with the area’s hand cracks, stemming moves, and wild, mildly-runout extensions. It follows the vast majority of the wall’s most famous route, a wide-hands to perfect-hands splitter called Gold Rush. When you are 20’ below the end of the route, span right and use a horizontal finger to move across two columns, finishing via a powerful and pocket-strewn corner and the arête, which overhangs this section of the wall. Although the anchors were placed just below the top of the rim to dissuade walking around the wall (on private property), the hero jugs atop the route continue, and no ascent of Pan Handlin’ is complete without a final chin-up just over the anchors, to take in rarely-seen view from the very top of the wall.

For more beta, check out’s page on Gold Rush [LINK].

Go-To Gear For Climbing At Trout Creek:

Men’s Vagabond Pants [LINK]

Women’s Vagabond Pants [LINK]

Men’s Echo Tee [LINK]

Women’s Echo Hoody [LINK]

Men’s Transcendent Hoody [LINK]

Women’s Acetylene Jacket [LINK]

Blake Herrington

Leavenworth, WA

Blake Herrington learned to climb as a teenager while working for a small bakery in North Cascades National Park. His first trips into the mountains instilled in him a familiarity with untraveled alpine choss and a love for remote peaks. Now in his mid-20s, Blake has lived in Denver and Bellingham, before recently settling into the mountain town of Leavenworth, Wash. He has established over two-dozen new alpine routes or first free ascents from Alaska, to Colorado to Argentina.

Blake is also a widely-published author, having contributed articles to Alpinist, Climbing and Rock & Ice. He has climbed sport and traditional pitches up to 5.13a, but considers diverse alpine routes the most engaging and inspiring sub-set of climbing. Despite savoring the alpine cooking of many climbing partners, he counts himself among the best camp chefs he’s had the opportunity to climb with.