Washington Climbers Coalition P.O. Box 77315, Seattle, Washington 98177


Climbing Area: Gold Bar Boulders; Zeke's Wall
 

Leon Islas on Gold Bar boulder.
Photo by Justin Taraska.
 

Ownership/Management:
Combination of private timber company and BLM land.

Land Manager:
Bouldering Areas: Manke Timber Company, Inc.
1717 Marine View Drive
Tacoma, WA 98422.

Zeke's Wall: Bureau of Land Management
1103 N. Fancher Road
Spokane, Washington 99212

Current Status:
Open to climbers. Closed to vehicles.

Access Update:
As of May, 9th 2012. Manke Lumber, the company that owns the land underneath the Gold Bar boulders, has revoked our status as "permittees" under its easement. This means that climbers must walk up the road from the gate, 2 or 3 miles below.

Manke Lumber's decision apparently came as a result of DNR's communicated concerns about vehicle access, including the high levels of traffic, unauthorized use of the gate by non-WCC-members, and potential liability issues. The WCC will work with DNR and Manke Lumber to try and alleviate these concerns. Updates will be posted here, on the WCC facebook page and on guidebook author Kelly Sheridan's blog. In the interim, please do your part to help preserve access to Gold Bar by fully cooperating with the closure.

Climbers may still access the area on foot but please:

1. Do not park so as to block the road.
2. Be courteous and respectful of other users.
3. Do not drive off the main roadway or bypass the gate. Off-road acivity was what led to the closure of the road in the first place.
4. Do not cut down trees. This is timber land.
5. Carry a Discover Pass. The road traverses DNR land on the way up the hill and the State is required by law to enforce the permit requirement.
7. Climb at yourown risk.

There is good cell phone reception along the ridge in case of emergency. There is primitive camping at the base of the ridge. Occasional gun usage has been heard in the area.

Other resources:
Weather forecast
Weather cam (Skykomish, east of Index)

WCC area contact:
Jonah Harrison



  If you've ever driven east on Hwy 2 past Gold Bar, you might have noticed the large field of white boulders in a clear-cut along the north side of the highway below Zeke's Wall. Situated above the popular off-road vehicle area known as Reiter pit, the boulders at the base of Zeke's wall offer some of the best granite bouldering in Washington.

Less than an hour from Seattle, Gold Bar offers the closest classic bouldering to the city. With rock ranging in size from head high to house size, a variety of climbing options exist at Gold Bar. The rock is white/golden granite with great friction and interesting features. There are many edges, cracks, seams, slopers, smooth faces and several caves.

With hundreds of uncleaned routes, Gold Bar offers years of exploration and opportunities. The size, diversity and quality of Gold Bar could rival Squamish if the area were fully developed by the Washington climbing community. In a beautiful alpine setting, overlooking the Skykomish River and Mount Index, bouldering in Gold Bar is a unique experience.

There are three main areas at Gold Bar: the 5star boulder at the base of the ridge, the upper clear-cut and the upper forest. The clear-cut stays free of moss due to sun damage, but the forest is damp and moss grows over most problems each winter. The boulders in the clear-cut tend to be larger. Some of the biggest boulders have bolts for top roping.

Most of the landings in the area are good but need several pads to be safe. Several rough, narrrow trails link the most popular boulders. Good shoes and long pants aid moving between boulders as there are abrasive plants and uneven clear-cut debris littering the ground.

The walls above the bouldering area have seen periodic exploration and climbing activity over the past thirty years, but have thus far remained largely unpublished.

   




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