Guide to Seattle Rock Climbing and Courses - Miyar Adventures
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Guide to Seattle Rock Climbing and Courses

GUIDE TO SEATTLE ROCK CLIMBING AND COURSES

New to the area, new to climbing, old to climbing but just like to read about rock climbing anyway? We wrote a quick info guide to rock climbing areas near Seattle, Washington.

Here’s a list of the rock climbing areas closest to Seattle, WA in order of proximity. Some general info and their perspective guide books are listed:

Exit 32 (Little Si) and Exit 38 (Deception Crags & the Far Side) –

Most known for its sport climbing and proximity to Seattle. There are mostly single pitch climbs but there are also a few 2-3 pitch climbs mixed in there as well. The Plank at the Far Side can be a nice choice if you’re looking to get in a multipitch climb.

The rock is metamorphosed volcanic rock and can feel a bit different at each crag. This is a very popular area so like most crags, the earlier you start or the farther you walk, the more likely you are to avoid crowds.

Exit 32 is known for World Wall with it’s selection of steeper climbing up to 5.14 while Exit 38 has a great selection of climbing grades to choose from including some great more moderate climbs.

We hold many of our Miyar Adventures Intro to Rock Climbing and Intro to Lead Climbing Courses at Exit 38 because it has a good number of beginner friendly routes at crags like Write-Off Rock and Gritstone.

The Exits Guidebooks: 

Snoqualmie Rock Guidebook by Kurt Hicks

Rock Climbing Washington by Jeff Smoot

Index 

Known for its traditional (trad climbing) and awesome crack climbing. The rock is generally pretty solid granite and the cracks are really good. The climbing is definitely worth the quick 1 hour drive up from Seattle.

Godzilla, Toxic Shock, and Davis Holland are some of the Index’s classics. If you’re looking for a nice classic multipitch, The Great Northern Slab is a great choice to ease you into familiarizing yourself with the sometimes, hard for the grade (sandbagged), climbing.

Additionally, The Index General Store (currently for sale) with its homemade kimchi and the train that always seems to charge by when you’re at a crux, add to the charm and uniqueness of Index.

Generally index season is whenever the rock is dry but summers can be quite warm and make you feel like you’re sliding off of everything. Spring and fall are great. If you’re lucky, there can be winter climbing if there’s a dry spell of weather.

Miyar Adventures offers Intro to Leading Trad  and Intro to Multipitch Climbing here because its clean crack systems lend themselves to placing trad gear.

Index Guidebook:

Index Town Walls by Chris Kalman & Matty Van Biene

Rock Climbing Washington by Jeff Smoot

Mount Erie –

A beautiful rock climbing area 1.5 hours away from Seattle with both sport and trad climbing. It has single and multi-pitch climbing.

The hardest part about Mount Erie is finding your way around. After you’ve figured out the trails and a few of the main climbing areas, this is a great area with unbeatable views of the water and mostly comfortable temperatures throughout the summer.

Zigzag is probably one of the most well known and therefore most well travelled trad multipitches. If you’re looking for sport climbing, there’s a lot of options at Powerline Wall.

The rock is diorite and the climbing is mostly face climbing with some cracks sprinkled throughout the climbing areas. Best seasons for climbing are spring, summer, & fall.

Miyar Adventures offers Intro to Rock ClimbingIntro to Leading TradIntro to Multipitch Climbing Courses at this location.

Mt. Erie Guidebook:

Rockin’ on the Rock by Dallas Kloke

Rock Climbing Washington by Jeff Smoot

 

Vantage (also known as Frenchman Coulee) –

Looking for somewhere to climb during the winter or the shoulder season in Washington? Look no further. Vantage has great basalt column climbing and you can find both trad and sport climbing here.

The Feathers and Sunshine Wall are historically very popular areas and for good reason. The Feathers has many short, sport climbing options with a 0 minute approach. Sunshine wall has both sport and trad.

We recommend checking out the newish guidebook listed below. It has helped spread out the crowds and is great for giving you new ideas of areas to explore.

During the winter, a doable 2 hour drive to the east will offer you a great escape to the sunshine but the Vantage area can also get snow so check the forecast before you go!

Vantage Guidebook:

Frenchman Coulee Guidebook by Brenden Sullivan & Tim Yoder

Rock Climbing Washington by Jeff Smoot

Leavenworth –

Is best in the spring and the fall since summers can be quite toatsy. This Bavarian themed town has a little bit of everything climbing-wise: bouldering, sport climbing, and trad climbing. Most of the climbing is concentrated along Icicle Creek Road.

Leavenworth has single pitch, multi pitch rock climbing, short & long approaches, and solid granite rock. Barney’s Rubble is a nice beginner friendly crag with a 1 minute approach from the car. If you’re looking for multi-pitch climbing, the route R & D at Icicle Buttress is a classic.

To top it off, you can follow up your day outside with brats and ice cream in town!

Leavenworth Guidebooks:

Leavenworth Bouldering by Kelly Sheridan

Leavenworth Rock by Viktor Kramer

Rock Climbing Washington by Jeff Smoot

Taking care of our climbing areas: 

Note: All of these climbing areas are high use areas with multiple recreational users. Please consider Leave No Trace practices. Find out more here: https://lnt.org/

The Access Fund also has some great guidelines via their Climber’s Pact page. It lists comprehensive practices to keep in mind as climbers. Check it out here: https://www.accessfund.org/learn/the-climbers-pact

 

Seattle Rock Climbing Instructional Courses and Guided Rock Climbing Trips with Miyar Adventures

Do these photos make you want to get out and rock climb? Us too! Check out ways that you can get out with Miyar Adventures. We offer both rock climbing courses where the goal is for you to provide you with high quality instruction and also guided trips to many of the places above where the goal is just to get you out climbing with a great guide! Get to know our guides and instructors here.

Beginners 

Intermediate

Advanced

  • Custom Courses: Don’t see something that interests you above? You can also reach out to us with a custom course request. Some ideas: Rock Rescue or refine your technical skills with one of our guides!
  • Guided Custom Trips: Sometimes you’re traveling without a partner and want to go out with an experienced partner. This is a great reason to book a custom guided trip with us!

 

Where to buy or rental rock climbing gear: 

Need rentals and gear? No sweat. Check out our partner outdoor gear store, Ascent Outdoors! They sell new/used gear and offer rock climbing rentals as well.

 

 

Questions? Email us: [email protected]

 

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