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Windy Slab

Washington > South-W & Tacoma > Columbia Gorge

Description

The Windy Slab is a small roadside crag about 6 miles East of Stevenson, Wa. It has a handful of balancy, low to moderately technical climbs ranging from 5.3 to 5.10d. It's located on a convenient plateau that is the remainder of the old Evergreen Highway, which makes for a great belay area. The climbs are short (45'), but make for nice views of the Columbia River Gorge looking into Oregon.

The slab is best visited in late spring to early fall. The wind is constantly blowing out of The Gorge can be great in the summer, but is quite chilling in the winter months.

Getting There

From Vancouver drive East on HW14. Pass through Stevenson heading East, Windy Slab is about 6.5 miles ahead on the North side of the road slightly past MP 54 1/4. You will see Windy Mountain looming as you drive out of Stevenson.

There is a large gravel pullout on the North side of HW14. The crag will be slightly visible above the large roadside hill. It's easiest to climb up the rock fall fence on the stepped 'trail' on the West side of the pull out area. Descend by rappelling off the large tree at the East end of the upper plateau down the scree. A 60M rope will make the rap.

Routes from Left to Right

5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 7
The Steppes
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 6
Dare
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 25
Night Music
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 30
Icon
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 30
East Wind
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 11
Dark Apron
TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 4
Not By the Book
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 30
Apron
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 4
No Strings Attached
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 5
Heatwave
TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 11
Braille
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 6
West Wind
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Steppes
 7
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
Dare
 6
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Night Music
 25
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Icon
 30
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
East Wind
 30
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Dark Apron
 11
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Not By the Book
 4
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Apron
 30
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
No Strings Attached
 4
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Heatwave
 5
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b TR
Braille
 11
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
West Wind
 6
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

1 - The Steppes, 5.3<br>
2 - Dare, 5.5<br>
3 - Night Music, 5.6<br>
4 - Icon, 5.7<br>
5 - East Wind, 5.10a<br>
6 - Dark Apron, 5.10a TR<br>
7 - Apron, 5.10a<br>
8 - Heatwave, 5.10d<br>
9 - Braille, 5.10a<br>
10 - West Wind, 5.9
[Hide Photo] 1 - The Steppes, 5.3 2 - Dare, 5.5 3 - Night Music, 5.6 4 - Icon, 5.7 5 - East Wind, 5.10a 6 - Dark Apron, 5.10a TR 7 - Apron, 5.10a 8 - Heatwave, 5.10d 9 - Braille, 5.10a 10 - West Wind,…
Working through the first move on 'Apron" (5.10a). The crack following the ceiling is the best feature of this climb.
[Hide Photo] Working through the first move on 'Apron" (5.10a). The crack following the ceiling is the best feature of this climb.
Harry at the anchor of 'Night Music' (5.6) and enjoying the view!!
[Hide Photo] Harry at the anchor of 'Night Music' (5.6) and enjoying the view!!
Windy slab in all it's glory.  KT is at the shared anchor for Icon, East Wind and  Dark Apron.
[Hide Photo] Windy slab in all it's glory. KT is at the shared anchor for Icon, East Wind and Dark Apron.
Working out the last couple moves on 'Icon" (5.7).
[Hide Photo] Working out the last couple moves on 'Icon" (5.7).
Approach and descent to the wall. We did not feel the need to rappel anywhere to descend, seems unnecessary
[Hide Photo] Approach and descent to the wall. We did not feel the need to rappel anywhere to descend, seems unnecessary
View of the Windy Slab from the parking. You can approach here but the left side is better
[Hide Photo] View of the Windy Slab from the parking. You can approach here but the left side is better

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Micah Klesick
Charlotte, NC
[Hide Comment] Thanks for adding Windy Slab! Jul 26, 2014
Lan Dogan
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] I found this free ebook for the area. Same routes as in mountain project but could be a bit more beta in there.

portlandrockclimbs.com/eboo… Jul 30, 2014
[Hide Comment] Pro tip: During the approach be sure and climb up the rock fence on the west side of the turn out on SR14. People try and climb up the scree slope, but this is difficult and dangerous as its very loose with large rocks (although the pine at the top provides a great anchor for the rap down). The fence has a great cable to hold onto as you climb up! Aug 21, 2016
[Hide Comment] Finally got out to do some requested work here. The right anchor bolt and hanger on Night Music and the three lead hangers on Braille still need to be replaced. The two "routes" on the far left and the one on the far right should be and effectively are abandoned. The top-rope variations of Dark Apron and Heatwave don't need to be bolted. No trad gear is necessary.

The bolts here are a bit of a hodge-podge, mostly 3/8" plated steel in both the sleeve and stud variety. They will need to be replaced sooner than stainless ones would but, from my experience of rebolting in this region, I would say they're all probably okay for now. I did tighten a few down but most were properly torqued. I didn't check all of them though.

Some of the hangers were pretty gross - a good lesson in why stainless is necessary in the PNW. I replaced most of these with stainless ones. I replaced anchor hardware on the Icon + East Wind shared anchor with stainless quick-links + rap rings and added the same plus a length of chain to the Braille anchors to "equalize" the lower-off point (they were staggered and had aluminum rap rings before). All of this hardware was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association.

The path beside the metal retention netting is definitely the ideal ascent. Though I didn't try the pine tree rappel, this is probably the ideal descent. I'd say access is pretty well in hand here.

To support work like this, please consider a donation to the Portland Area Climbers Coalition. Jun 3, 2020
[Hide Comment] Visited today. A bit warm but the wind kept temperatures down enough. Rock was fantastic and the new hangers look great.

Scree slope isn't fun but doable. No need to rappel, but just had to stagger our group.

One thing to note this is this is by mile marker 51.25 not 54.25. 54.25 is another pull out but not sure there is climbing there. Google is accurate for directions. Jul 26, 2020