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Brewer

Top roping in western Wash. for short novices?

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My son (nearly 5) is nearing the point where he could top-rope outdoors. He's got our 14' backyard climbing wall mastered (with routes), and I think next year he'll be ready for some real rock.

 

Does anyone know of any good top-roping areas in western Washington that would be good for someone who's only 4' tall and with lotsa nice big holds?

 

My usual climbing partner mentioned spot(s) off exit 38 I90, but couldn't be very specific.

 

Nearby camping and/or picnicing spots (official or otherwise) are a bonus.

 

Thanks,

Edited by Brewer

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try indoor climbing areas. maybe marymoore and or the mtneers place too.

 

leavenworth - if you think he can start to smear his feet.

if you think he is ready for cracks, then XY cracks are good beginner cracks.

playground point and busch gardens offer lots of beginner places.

 

the far side at 38 might give more options for short juggy climbs than the trestle side.

 

good thread as I am in need of this info in a couple years too. if this gets to be a good list, maybe we can sticky it in the kids forum.

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Mt Erie in Anacortes is a prime beginners spot with ample top roping opportunities and campground are not too far away.

There is plenty of basic info online for both camping and climbing in the area.

It is about a one hour drive from Everett to Erie.

I think Gene is on to something with the Marymoor and Mounties ideas as well.

 

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At Exit 38, turn right and drive maybe a mile to where there is a wide spot on the left. Cross the street and hike up a short trail that enters the woods right next to a stream. After 10 minutes you will pass some bolted climbs on the left and reach the old train track; turn left and the first thing you come to is a good top-rope crag called "Write Off Rock" on the right with a couple of climbs, 5.5-5.7 or so (the far left is the easiest, 5.4 maybe, and the far right is about 5.6 or so). Kids like this place among other things because there is an old train trestle right there and they want to throw rocks into the creek (watch for hikers below). I don't know about camping in the area but the truckers park along the road at that wide spot and sleep in the back of their cabs.

 

A second great destination with kids, and probably better, is "Summit Wall" at Mt. Erie. Drive to the top of Mt. Erie just south of Anacortes, and park at the end of the road. The top of the cliff is only about 50 yards south of the parking lot but you have to approach the bottom via a trail that diverts south just a little bit down toward the view point that is reached by a stairway to the east. Hike and scramble down to the right (watch your kids) and head right at the first opportunity (watch them again). There are a dozen or so climbs here, about 5.4 to 5.10. This is a good place for moms and kids, with good views and easy access to top and bottom. There is State Park camping about 5 or 10 miles south.

 

For a single climb, the Great Northern Slab at Index offers a climb that is 5.6. That climb is suitable for kids but little else at Index would fill the bill (if you know the area you could find a couple of other options). There is unrestricted camping (which unfortunately means you don't want to take your kids there) in the immediate vicinity.

 

Leavenworth would be worth a look, but it is another hour's drive east (depending on where you live, maybe not another hour more driving than the places listed above). There are a number of good campgrounds and one particularly spectacular kids' climb is on Bruce's Boulder, relatively low down in the Icicle Creek canyon. It has a terrific 5.2 climb on the far left although the noise of the creek thundering below makes some children nervous.

 

If you live on the Olympic Penninsula, Mt. Zion offers some good options as well. I can't give any detailed information because I haven't been there for years and years and it is not in any guidebook, but you can find some pretty good crags by heading up the hiking trail and looking for them off to the right.

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Awesome. Thanks for the great info. I was hoping people wouldn't jump on me for not putting this in "newbies" or "kids" sections. I'm fine with this moving over to the kids section at any point, I just put it here to get some more eyeballs on it.

 

Thanks again for the info, and if there's more, keep it coming!

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here is some info I just stumble on about exit #38

 

http://www.deceptioncrags.com/Deception/index.htm and then the external links from http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=176583

 

 

or of course a summer vacation down to yosemite to run up half dome (even if it has cables) would be a very memorable starting point and I am sure there is something else in the neighborhood you could do with ropes

Edited by surferclimber

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At Exit 38, turn right and drive maybe a mile to where there is a wide spot on the left. Cross the street and hike up a short trail that enters the woods right next to a stream. After 10 minutes you will pass some bolted climbs on the left and reach the old train track; turn left and the first thing you come to is a good top-rope crag called "Write Off Rock" on the right with a couple of climbs, 5.5-5.7 or so (the far left is the easiest, 5.4 maybe, and the far right is about 5.6 or so). Kids like this place among other things because there is an old train trestle right there and they want to throw rocks into the creek (watch for hikers below). I don't know about camping in the area but the truckers park along the road at that wide spot and sleep in the back of their cabs.

 

A second great destination with kids, and probably better, is "Summit Wall" at Mt. Erie. Drive to the top of Mt. Erie just south of Anacortes, and park at the end of the road. The top of the cliff is only about 50 yards south of the parking lot but you have to approach the bottom via a trail that diverts south just a little bit down toward the view point that is reached by a stairway to the east. Hike and scramble down to the right (watch your kids) and head right at the first opportunity (watch them again). There are a dozen or so climbs here, about 5.4 to 5.10. This is a good place for moms and kids, with good views and easy access to top and bottom. There is State Park camping about 5 or 10 miles south.

 

For a single climb, the Great Northern Slab at Index offers a climb that is 5.6. That climb is suitable for kids but little else at Index would fill the bill (if you know the area you could find a couple of other options). There is unrestricted camping (which unfortunately means you don't want to take your kids there) in the immediate vicinity.

 

Leavenworth would be worth a look, but it is another hour's drive east (depending on where you live, maybe not another hour more driving than the places listed above). There are a number of good campgrounds and one particularly spectacular kids' climb is on Bruce's Boulder, relatively low down in the Icicle Creek canyon. It has a terrific 5.2 climb on the far left although the noise of the creek thundering below makes some children nervous.

 

If you live on the Olympic Penninsula, Mt. Zion offers some good options as well. I can't give any detailed information because I haven't been there for years and years and it is not in any guidebook, but you can find some pretty good crags by heading up the hiking trail and looking for them off to the right.

Ultrabrutal at index is a good one also...

 

Don't worry about the height issue...its a non issue...i no longer claim being short as an excuse (I'm 5'5") tall...

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you probably realize this already but a fair number of the crags & routes mentioned don't have walk-up access to TR anchors if that distinction matters to you

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I think leavenworth is your best bet. Dirtbag camp is free. Lots of easy friction and cracks with walk-on/off access to TR.

 

I took my daughter to roto-wall when she was 4 or 5, she had a good time there. There are some easy cracks you can TR, and there is a little friction climb, too. My kids call it spiderman-wall.

 

Also, XY is ok, and playground point has lots of easy friction climbs.

 

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