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Areas in Power House Hill (Pumphouse, Baker City Crags)

Pumphouse, The 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Elevation: 1,513 ft
GPS: 48.906, -121.827 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,483 total · 120/month
Shared By: Jon Nelson on Jun 4, 2016
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick
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Description

This band of cliff lies very close to the Mt. Baker Hwy and seemingly, just above the N. Fork of the Nooksack river. It is a relatively shady area in the forest, with beautiful huge firs and cedars. Though it mainly faces south, much of the wall readily grows moss and other vegetation due to the region having so much rainfall, being shaded, and perhaps from drainage coming down the hillside above.

The rock texture varies, from a volcanic-ish cobblestone on the left to a type somewhat like that of Little Si or Newhalem on the right.

Various sources break the cliff band into four or six sections. I think the two furthest east of the six are on a distinct cliff, so I don't include them here. The other four, left (west) to right (east): Cobblestone Wall, Baker City Cliff, The Pumphouse, and Big Daddy.

The Cobblestone Wall has some of the easiest routes, starting from 5.8, and has the lowest angle, being a little less than vertical and having a fairly straight profile. The other walls are steeper on average, blockier, and most sections contain fairly large overhangs or roofs.

The access trails are obvious and short, both starting just across from the first parking area.

Different sources give different names for the cliff band. Power House Hill comes from Jeff Smoot's guide for Washington. The other names appear online, but also seem to be names of specific sections of the cliff.

Getting There

Drive the Mt. Baker Highway (#542) east from Bellingham. About 13.4 miles past the small town of Maple Falls (Fuel station at corner of Silver Lake Rd.) you should see mile marker #39 on the right and cross over a small bridge. Go another 0.8 miles, passing very close to the river before the road curves left and goes up into trees. Park at the first pullout on the right. (Takes ~3-5 cars. If full, there are other pullouts a short ways further up the highway.) If you reach the road for Excelsior Campground, you've gone too far.

You should be able to see the wall on the other side of the highway. One trail, to the higher part of the cliff band, is directly across the road. Another trail, the one that goes directly to the "Pumphouse Wall" section, is about 60-80 feet further down, just right of a huge cedar. See the photo below.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Power House Hill (Pumphouse, Baker City Crags)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
Jungle Boogie
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 3
Go-go Gadget
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Jungle Boogie Pumphouse
 3
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Go-go Gadget Pumphouse
 3
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
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Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
Jon Nelson   Redmond, WA  
I have some good scraping tools and would be game. My preference is for cleaning new lines, but could rescrub some old as well.

Perhaps we can meet there sometime so I could learn where the routes are. Oct 25, 2016
It looks like someone has done a lot of re-bolting at Cobblestone, Baker City and the Pumphouse! Many of the sketchy and rusted out bolts have been replaced with what looks like 3/8" SS wedge bolts and new anchors with either rap rings or fixed biners. If whoever is doing the work is interested in doing more and would like the gear to do so, please contact me. The Washington Climbers Coalition has taken on WARP (Washington Anchor Replacement Project) and is looking for developers who are interested in replacement work. Thank you for your efforts so far! Jul 16, 2017

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