The lower Tieton crags (Royal Columns and the Bend) are closed for raptor nesting beginning February 1 each year. Depending on nest location and success, the closure can be lifted as early as April or as late as July.
Originally dubbed "The Crackhouse," the Bend is a small paradise for 5.10 tradsters. There are scores of fine finger and hand cracks, including some two-pitch routes. There are only a few sport routes, although one of them (Tragically Hip, 5.11c) is one of the best pure arete liebacking routes in the state.
Somewhat remarkably, the Bend was ignored for years by Tieton climbers. The first recorded exploration didn't happen until 1987. Most of the 70 or so routes were developed in a two-year flurry that followed.
About a mile west of the Royal Columns, perched above a bend of the river.
Park in a gravel lot next to a metal Quonset hut (WDFW parking decal required), or on the shoulder of the highway if you don't have a decal. From the parking area, follow an obvious trail west to a suspension footbridge over the Tieton River, then turn left on the Tieton Nature Trail. After a short distance, take a right fork up to the cliff.
Fun roof moves (crux) lead to a killer thin hand crack. As of March 2008, you need to build a gear anchor and rap off a route to the (climber's) right. Named after the salmon-colored lichen under the roof....[more]Browse More Classics in WA