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Bouldering in Leavenworth in Winter

Original Post
Daniel Park · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Hey all,

I was wondering what the conditions were like in Leavenworth over the winter season. I recently went to gold bar in December and although there was snow on the ground there were some decent boulders that I could hop on and work on. Is it the case for Leavenworth as well? I mainly was shooting for either Forestland or Swiftwater. I'm mainly interested for conditions this weekend, but info regarding the general trends throughout january and february are welcome as well!


ryanb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 85

I don't live near the area anymore but used to do this. It really depends on recent snowfall but if its sunny and warm enough to climb you can usually find something to climb on.

Parking and walking along highway 2 can be sketchy. The swift water lots may be blocked by snow berms leaving only small pullouts.

The icycle is gaited above mountaineers creek. I'd also expect the forest land lot to be blocked by snow. You can park along the road and walk in but you may find yourself post holing. Bring rubber boots or i'd recommend checking out some of the south facing boulders closer to the road.

Also you may have better luck at goldbar or consider hitting up larbee...unless its activelly raining the west side tends to have less snow and warmer temps in the winter.

Daniel Park · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

It looks like it'll be around 25-35 degrees F (along with partly cloudy for the next few days), which is definitely warmer than when I went to gold bar (10-15 F). I am ok with parking on a turnout as I remember doing that for mad meadows once over the summer. How do you determine whether the conditions are good enough to make the trip?

ryanb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 85

Check the webcams and see if the payment looks dry...if it is some rock should be:


Personally I'd wait for it to be a bit warmer or at least sunny. You can always find spots where it is nice if its sunny and their isn't much wind.

The turnouts won't be the same as in summer if there is much snow...the snowplow leaves berms along the side of the road that prevent you from using most of them and limit the shoulder room for walking. Keep a shovel in the car incase you get stuck.

s kf · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

A friend and I tried our luck there a few weeks ago and found it lacking. Mad meadows was accessible through about a foot of snow but the only boulders we actually got on were in the Hueco/Sail caves. This was partly the result of not being well-equipped or all that interested to hike through more snow. The Forestland parking lot had a two foot berm blocking it which we unsuccessfully tried to drive over. A shovel and high-traction tires would have helped. Looked for the entrance to the Labyrinth area but it was hopelessly snowy on the steep trail. We probably would have had a better experience if we had more time to spend than a day and a half, and had more adequate equipment for navigating in the snow. (Warm waterproof boots, e.g.)

ryanb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 85

Yeah i'd recommend skipping the areas with any sort of hike in and focusing on some of the smaller road/creek side areas though sunny spots like the forestland can be really nice once you posthole in.

I'd check out spots like Twisted Tree, The Carnival Boulders, the Straight Away Boulders (Was, Is, Icehouse etc).

The water levels can also be quite low in winter (and the temps good for slopers) so it can be a great time to work on the sunny boulders right along the creek/river. Also a great time for the river boulders near index.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

So whenever I wanted conditions in Leavenworth I would give a call in to Leavenworth Mountain Sports. They are super helpful and always willing to give you the low down on anything in the area including conditions.

That way you aren't guessing.

BenJamN · · Washington State · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 95

Sorry Lots of snow on the boulders currently. especially swiftwater.
Go Skiing... or to the gym...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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