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Rock climbing in Vantage, WA

By Mark Gunlogson

Last week­end we took the whole fam­i­ly and some friends rock climb­ing at Van­tage, explor­ing the columns, look­ing for rat­tlesnakes, and yes, tak­ing time to smell the flow­ers, which were the best I’ve seen there ever! Good times in the Wash­ing­ton desert!

Cre­at­ed by mas­sive floods that unearthed ancient basalt columns, the coulees of east­ern Wash­ing­ton are home to some great rock climb­ing. Ample top-rop­ing loca­tions for all ages can be found, from jug­gy face climbs to split­ter cracks, with a choice between clip­ping bolts or trad. Moun­tain Mad­ness offers trips to Van­tage as part of our rock climb­ing pro­grams and it is some­times used dur­ing the rock climb­ing com­po­nent of our alpine climb­ing course.

Ellie (5) crank­ing the moves

Zoe (5) climb­ing in the Feathers

Desert flow­ers in full glory

Zoe show­ing the prop­er stance for being lowered

Col­umn climbing

Explor­ing the columns

Hana (9) reach­ing for the bucket

Girl pow­er on the rocks

Zoe almost on the top

At Gingko Pet­ri­fied Forest

Fossilized trees and dinosaurs

Pet­ro­glypghs found near Vantage