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Areas in River Boulders

All of the Above Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Chutzpah Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Flower Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Hagakure Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Hueco Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Leggo my Eggo Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
NBD 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Elevation: 395 ft
GPS: 47.817, -121.602 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 10,828 total, 194/month
Shared By: Jon Nelson on May 6, 2013
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick


Right on the side of the Skykomish River. There are also several nice boulders in the forest, before reaching the railroad tracks.

Though this might not apply to climbers, see the comment below about placing bolts that may be nearly or fully submerged during high water periods.
2017 Seasonal Raptor Closure: UTW from waterfall to Golden Arch Details

Getting There

Drive past the parking for the Lower Town Wall, past the Lower Lump and cross the railroad tracks. Continue about 0.6-0.7 miles until reaching the gate on the left (i.e., river) side with a sign saying "Forks of the Sky" State Park. Park near here and walk the road-trail downhill towards the river. The trail turns west at the railroad tracks to parallel the tracks. Around here look for several boulders in the woods on the right. For the main boulders, follow the railroad tracks further west (down river), looking for boulders down and left. After about 100 yards, some side trails down left will appear.

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Thank you very much for your response. And yes some sort of a removable bolt would do the trick so long as whoever uses them makes sure to take them back out when they are finished. And as you point out, a lot of what I said was done to educate people on aspects of climbing around rivers they may not be fully aware of.

In the 3rd paragraph I was trying to point out that most of the rivers in the PNW but especially the Skykomish are prone to huge floods and greatly fluctuating water levels, stating that the placement of those bolts would have been underwater at the time I wrote that. However, as you have noted I have cut both of these bolts out. I initially tried to use an impact wrench to unscrew them so as to return them to whoever put them in since I have no use for them. But when I wasn't getting anywhere with that I resorted to cutting them off for everyones safety. Oct 13, 2017
Jon Nelson
Bellingham, WA
Jon Nelson   Bellingham, WA  
Thanks Alex. I imagine most climbers or slackliners would not even have thought of the issue you raised.

One question: In your 3rd paragraph, you write "probably underwater now". But at the end, you say you removed them. So, do know of bolts that remain?

Now, we have easily removeable bolts called the Titen HD. The zinc-plated ones are only about one dollar for 3-5" long 3/8th diameter. Few climbers know about them, but they might be a good choice for whoever installed the ones you saw. One only needs a standard wrench to put them in and take them out. Oct 10, 2017
River Boulders...

I am predominately a whitewater kayaker, and am writing predominately as such. With that said I am also an avid climber, and am writing as an ambassador of sorts between both of these amazing sports.

With that said, I recently came across 2 bolts on rocks that are probably underwater now, and if not then they will be in the next couple of days. I assume it was for the purpose of slack lining over the river, and I can't honestly blame anyone for wanting to do that it sounds like fun. But placing the bolts in the river is a huge safety hazard to everyone involved.

From a whitewater perspective at flows between 3,000cfs and 5,000cfs there is a really good chance that one of the bolts right on top of a rock in the center of what is at that point the main flow of the river could seriously injure a swimmer, as they smash into it anywhere on their body, or it becomes caught on their gear. Or tear a raft in any number of ways, or crack a kayak as we try to jump off the rock. None of which are in any way desirable obviously. The other bolt isn't in what would be considered the main flow however these risks are still very much so present at similar flows.

From a climbers perspective all of those rocks you call the River Boulders are underwater for a few weeks minimum every year when the Skykomish (and most of the PNW) floods in the fall and spring. That's part of what creates the really cool unique texture in the rock. But the damage done by a flooding river and all the sediment and debris the river brings down with it would seriously impact the integrity of the bolt. Imagine falling into the river and having your slack line get tangled around you as you are dragged thru the current, it's not pleasant I can tell you from similar experiences. Or relying on it for safety while climbing a high ball route and the bolt breaks. Obviously no one wants either of those to happen to them.

The point I'm ultimately trying to convey here is that any where a bolt would end up underwater, or even close, for prolonged periods is a risk to both the whitewater and climbing communities. I am not angry at whoever did this, and I have already removed the bolts, I am only trying to educate. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I will be posting this write up in various places. Feel free to share elsewhere if you want to help spread the word. Oct 10, 2017

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