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MMclimbhigh

An ode to Frenchman Coulee

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Is there another crag in the US that has heavy use in spring and fall, that also rests on public land?

 

Absolutely none

 

I was being facetious

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Was the area this crowded last winter? Maybe the problem will go away (or diminish significantly) when there's more snow in the mountains. When you can't ski you go rock climbing. When the ski season ends, it's often too hot to climb there. Just a theory...

 

I'm only speaking from my own observations, but I think Lowell hits it on the head. I've noticed much more climbing activity at Vantage, Index, and even Tieton than usual for these months, and I have a feeling it's directly related to the lack of skiing. I don't normally climb three weekends out of the month of February, but I will this year.

 

Couple that with just the growing popularity of climbing, and just the fact that the weather has been really nice out there in February, and you get crowds. Not really that new of a thing. I did hear it was pretty raucous last weekend. Crazy...in February!

 

 

Regulation sucks. A WCC clean-up event/party/raffle and some added signage would be good first steps.

 

This.

It's a rare thing here in the US that a camping access spot be unregulated. Doing our part to keep it that way is a very good start, and a clean-up day would be awesome. While I doubt it's climbers who are abusing the land and making a mess, we as a group probably use the land more than the Seattle Family Adventure crew rolling up in their mini-van once a year. Yes, it would be nice if they weren't slobs, and not all are, but I'll spend 5 minutes picking up their trash if it means I can still camp there, for free, whenever I want to access climbing.

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The best experience I had at vantage was when my buddy and I were sitting in our car finishing our coffee and getting ready to get out and rack up, when some folks roll up towing a boat. A group of people get out and start getting the boat ready and the three girls in the group were just wearing bikini bottoms and pasties.

 

We ended up sitting around and drinking coffee for a little bit longer that day.

 

I was there too, my wife gave me a smack on the head for look'n LOL

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My ideas for solution are pretty limited but I'm down with throwing in my time and energy to accomplish something good to preserve the area. I have the pleasure of climbing there occasionally during the week days . . . nobody around. I accidentally stumbled out there on a weekend recently and couldn't believe the crowds -- thought there was a concert I hadn't heard about. Then, when I used the shitter it was a sight to behold -- the thought of that much crap hiding under rocks instead of in the hole . . . shuddering. I'm down for mindful attention to what appears to be a growing problem.

 

 

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Smith was hella crowded last weekend (14-15). The lots were full and cars parked on the roadsides for over a mile.

 

All the routes in the 5.7 to 5.10 range had at least one party on them, many had two. We waited in line more than we climbed.

 

I think it's the gym's that are causing the increase, that and no skiing. The only routes that were open part of the time was the gear routes.

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The best experience I had at vantage was when my buddy and I were sitting in our car finishing our coffee and getting ready to get out and rack up, when some folks roll up towing a boat. A group of people get out and start getting the boat ready and the three girls in the group were just wearing bikini bottoms and pasties.

 

We ended up sitting around and drinking coffee for a little bit longer that day.

 

I was there too, my wife gave me a smack on the head for look'n LOL

 

I heard a story about a guy who left his camera at the cliffs and got it back via the message board with some moon shots and topless pictures.

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Smith was hella crowded last weekend (14-15). The lots were full and cars parked on the roadsides for over a mile.

 

All the routes in the 5.7 to 5.10 range had at least one party on them, many had two. We waited in line more than we climbed.

 

I think it's the gym's that are causing the increase, that and no skiing. The only routes that were open part of the time was the gear routes.

usually ain't a line on birds in a rut :)

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I went there once. Once was enough. What a choss pile.

 

Seriously, folks, hundreds of climbers at a choss pile is a good thing. Otherwise those people would all be at a crag I was trying to climb at!

 

HEY FOLKS VANTAGE IS RAD PLS CLIMB THERE MORE K THX BYE

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Funny thing is it did used to be a chosspile, but so many people have climbed there it's not chossy anymore.

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Funny thing is it did it's not chossy anymore.

 

Oh don't worry; plenty of choss still to be had in the coulee. I found some just the other day and will gladly share!

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Thanks for bringing this up, MM. This weekend (3/28-3/29) I counted over 130 cars on Saturday eve. It is unsustainable.

 

I wonder whether one way to help is for the various "commercial/organized" groups (like Mountaineers, Boeing Climbers, YMCA, Seattle Climbing Meet Up, Whitman/other college groups, and private school groups) to perhaps make a shared calendar or something so they all know which group is going to be there. Most of these groups love the Feathers, but the Feathers cannot accommodate more than one of these big groups, really. How about a voluntary limit of one or two organized groups, max?

 

Even better? What about all of these groups making a pledge for "no weekend use"? And even a group size limit? Some of these organized groups often bring 30 or more people--and over a dozen cars. Imagine them confining their semi-commercial use to week days and promising not to bring more than 15 or so people (less would be even better). I often lead organized groups to the area, and I would be willing to adopt these changes.

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Thanks for bringing this up, MM. This weekend (3/28-3/29) I counted over 130 cars on Saturday eve. It is unsustainable.

 

I wonder whether one way to help is for the various "commercial/organized" groups (like Mountaineers, Boeing Climbers, YMCA, Seattle Climbing Meet Up, Whitman/other college groups, and private school groups) to perhaps make a shared calendar or something so they all know which group is going to be there. Most of these groups love the Feathers, but the Feathers cannot accommodate more than one of these big groups, really. How about a voluntary limit of one or two organized groups, max?

 

Even better? What about all of these groups making a pledge for "no weekend use"? And even a group size limit? Some of these organized groups often bring 30 or more people--and over a dozen cars. Imagine them confining their semi-commercial use to week days and promising not to bring more than 15 or so people (less would be even better). I often lead organized groups to the area, and I would be willing to adopt these changes.

 

You're trying to herd cats, coming up with a complicated solution to an impossible situation.

 

Keep it simple: Ban camping at Frenchman's Coulee from March to mid May. There are other places to camp, and this may cut down on those craggers who can't seem to climb in groups of fewer than 5 people.

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Thanks for bringing this up, MM. This weekend (3/28-3/29) I counted over 130 cars on Saturday eve. It is unsustainable.

 

I wonder whether one way to help is for the various "commercial/organized" groups (like Mountaineers, Boeing Climbers, YMCA, Seattle Climbing Meet Up, Whitman/other college groups, and private school groups) to perhaps make a shared calendar or something so they all know which group is going to be there. Most of these groups love the Feathers, but the Feathers cannot accommodate more than one of these big groups, really. How about a voluntary limit of one or two organized groups, max?

 

Even better? What about all of these groups making a pledge for "no weekend use"? And even a group size limit? Some of these organized groups often bring 30 or more people--and over a dozen cars. Imagine them confining their semi-commercial use to week days and promising not to bring more than 15 or so people (less would be even better). I often lead organized groups to the area, and I would be willing to adopt these changes.

I was there this weekend, had a good time, enough room for me and the crew, sure there was a lot of climbers, but there were camping spaces available and all the climbs to choose from you could want. oh_coulee_reduced.JPG

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