In the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area, on the east side of the Columbia River, is Frenchman Coulee.  This unique climbing destination has rock that looks like 90 foot mustard spattered crinkle french fries standing up on end.  All in a surprisingly desert like surrounding.  Arid and dry most of the year.  It’s hard to believe this is in central Washington.  I bet the folks from seattle make good use of this area.

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After a night of camping, under Indian Feathers rocks, we woke to enjoy a day of climbing.

DSCN1139 It’s a treat to visit a new place and have it all to yourself. When that happens, it seems to open a whole separate room in the ol’ memory bank. Things seem a touch more vivid.

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These short routes are just right for a quick warm up.  Hit them early enough, and you can get a taste of both sides of the feathers.  After lunch we drove down the road to find something taller, shaded, and ready to be climbed.  People have been climbing these basalt columns since 1953.  I bet Gene is STILL with Julie. I wish the routes here were meant to last as long as this math experts equation.

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The talus slopes below the base of the routes are clear evidence that,  like a dried spinal column, these silent giants will tumble in time.  Being in a place like this you can almost tell what the route might be rated just looking at it from the ground.   Having my own personal “rope gun” allows me to feel the shape of the holds that may not be here tomorrow.

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DSCN1200                                         Well, like I was sayin’,…. in due time. DSCN1203In between climbs, we talk about whats next on the list. The basalt rock is dreamy to climb but like Bob Marley sang, we need to push on through.  Donn read in Tim Toula’s Rock and Road that one of the best 5.10 climbs in Washington is located just down the road. Wow, stay tuned. DSCN1217