Wallula Gap Rock Climbing
|GPS:||46.037, -118.935 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||54,521 total · 536/month|
|Shared By:||Kemper Brightman on May 15, 2014 · Updates|
|Admins:||Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters|
Wallula Gap or perhaps more appropriately, "The Loo", is a pair of basalt cliff bands perched above the Columbia River a few hundred meters off the side of Highway 730. The climbs here are short, sometimes chossy and often one-move-wonders. Still, people stop by on the way to or from Portland just to stretch their legs, local college students come out to blow off steam after class or spend a lazy Sunday on the rock and locals stop by to put down a few routes after work.
Currently there are 38 routes on the lower cliff, with possibility for a few more. Theres a mix of trad and sport lines ranging from 5.3 to 5.11. Conveniently, many of the trad lines share anchors with sport climbs, or are accessible from the top. Thus, a rack is not necessary, but can be worth while if you want to mix things up. Inset bolts at the top of the cliff can be used to set up TR's if you have long webbing and don't want to lead. Most routes are between 20 and 35 feet long, so you can leave the 70m rope at home.
The upper cliff hosts about twenty routes from 5.4 to 5.10+ on extremely fractured basalt entablature. There is potential for many more routes on this second cliff but intensive cleaning (understatement) is required. Those willing to make the longer approach and pull thoughtfully are rewarded with 60ft routes high above the Columbia.
When it comes to weather, the gap is almost always better than walla walla. Its not uncommon to leave Walla Walla in the rain or inversion and climb in direct sun at wallula. The west aspect of the cliff makes The Loo a perfect candidate for the sunset session on a clear afternoon. This orientation also means the area remains climbable (for the hardy) throughout the year, summer mornings and winter afternoons are the way to go if you just need to scratch the itch for real rock. The one thing that can really blow your day at wallula is the wind. Anything above 20 mph will make it hard to communicate with your belayer (even though you can practically touch them).
A Printable PDF guide to the lower cliff can be found HERE
*For best results print double sided and staple into a book
Classic Climbing Routes at Wallula Gap
Days w Precip