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A little love letter to Second Ascent in Ballard

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
1 min read

Every once in awhile after an outdoor adventure, I call it a day with enough time to run errands in Seattle on the way home to Bremerton. The downside is, I’m generally filthy, and despite the fact that I generally wear less stinky wool outdoor wear, I still carry a certain distinctive aroma of girl-who’s-been-playing-outside-for-three-days, by the time I hit the city.

I’ve had some less than pleasant experiences in shops in Seattle who seem not to understand that their target market plays outside, and gets dirty, and that’s why they’re shopping outdoor gear – experiences that make me hard pressed to go back to those particular establishments.

Second Ascent in Ballard is the exception. I stopped in yesterday on my way home from a three day outdoor adventure in Leavenworth smelling like a three day outdoor adventure in Leavenworth and covered in dirt to match. The numerous staff members inside were warm and welcoming, with big smiles on their faces and genuinely helpful dispositions. I finally commented to one of the repeat-help-offers that this dirty girl has never received a welcome this warm in a Seattle gear shop on the way home from a trip, and his response, with a big smile, was “Well, we don’t usually smell so good here either, so you’re not even bringing the average down.”

Second Ascent has a solid assortment of new and used climbing and outdoor gear, books, apparel, and footwear, plus some great local odds and ends. The staff has been, without fail over many visits, 100% helpful and friendly, and I’ve found some screaming deals for my gear arsenal – a highlight was picking up my Outdoor Research bivy last summer, brand new, for under $100.

Give ’em a try for your next outdoor purchase. Find out more at, or for best results, go visit in person at 5209 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 or phone 1-800-485-6516.


Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.