After earning some turns, we set off the next morning for Vantage, WA to climb at Frenchman Coulee. I’ll be writing this entry since Sweeney has a backlog of his own adventures to catch up on, so stay tuned for that. Vantage was quite a change of environment, by leaving spring in Seattle, driving up over Snoqualmie Pass, through winter and into arid flat lands. Catherine has a great photo post of the trip, but I’ll try to add some details about the climbing itself.
Frenchman Coulee was pretty impressive upon arrival. There was tons of routes and plenty of climbers out already.
First we ascended a ridge to get to the other side of the canyon. Descending through a chimney,
Which lead us down to the routes.
After staring at the guidebook on the Sunshine Wall for awhile, we picked a rote that wasn’t listed but looked fun and doable, considering I hadn’t lead climbed for about a year. Nearly all the climbing in Vantage is sport, or trad.
We suited up, and I started leading.
A little rusty at first, it was a good first route to lead on, maybe 5.6 or 5.7?
Roughly everyone who passed us with a real guidebook asked us which route this was (just right of the chimney). I think it was in the Stems & Seeds section, but we couldn’t answer their questions.
Catherine on route.
With Sweeney on belay.
Catherine un-clipped the ‘biners, with finesse, and next up Sweeney climbed and cleaned the route.
And once cleaned, got the fun of rappelling off.
Afterwards we prospected some more routes.
But ultimately decided for a lunch break and choosing a campsite. Back up through the chimney we saw a lot of climbing going on at a tower and on the Feathers, our afternoon objective.
A prime camping location was chosen, and the lunching commenced.
The Feathers were up next. Again the guidebook was falling a bit short in describing the numerous routes. We picked a good looking one, but the crux was a little tougher than anticipated at 5.9, we later found out.
We hung around the Feathers and then retired to our campsite for frisbee and dinner.
Afterwards we stayed up to watch the stars, although some clouds rolled in.
The next morning we headed out for day three, hiking and sightseeing!
The photos are a compilation of Catherine’s, Sweeney’s and mine. The square ones were borrowed from Catherine’s instagram. She was the main photographer for the day.