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Elwha River

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Elwhall, The 
Underhood, The 
Waka Beach 

Elwha River Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 96'
Location: 48.09666, -123.55679 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,260
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Scott Underwood on Apr 12, 2016
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Lead/roped solo bolting Flatter Matter


Sandstone and conglomerate climbing near the old lower dam site. See the movie "The Hunted" to have a look at the old dam. Climbing areas are located on both the west and east side of the river, the west side being the oldest area with the most climbing.

Getting There 

Take HWY 101 west to HWY 112.

East-side climbs at the Underhood and other areas can be accessed by taking the last left turn before the bridge as you head west on hwy 112.

To access west-side climbs, at the Ehlwall, cross the Elwha river bridge as you head west on hwy 112 and park on the left side of the road at the trailhead parking for the Adventure Route section of the Olympic Discovery Trail. ANGLE PARK ONLY PLEASE!

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.1 miles from here

47 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Elwha River

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Elwha River:
3-Toed Relay   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Waka Beach
Donut Run   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Waka Beach
Slappin Skeeters   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Elwhall
Waka/Jawaka   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Waka Beach
Bigfoot Sprint   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 30'   Waka Beach
Get A Handle On It   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   The Elwhall
The Trench   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   The Elwhall
Buzz Away AKA Hollywood Dyno   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   The Elwhall
The Breeze   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Elwhall
One Shot Deal   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   The Elwhall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Elwha River

Featured Route For Elwha River
Rock Climbing Photo: Transition from the slab

All-View Motel 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  Washington : Olympics & Pacific Coast : ... : The Elwhall
Was a project started in the winter 2015/16 ascending the obvious blunt prow in the middle of the wall. This amazing route climbs through some of the funnest features the Elwha has to offer: edges, popcorn nubbins, flakes and jugs. If you can climb the grade and can handle the pump, this is a must do. Two no-hands rests slightly spoil the route and ease the grade. Regardless, other visiting climbers have declared it the king line on the wall. Who am I to disagree? :)...[more]   Browse More Classics in Washington

Comments on Elwha River Add Comment
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By mikehilbert
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 5, 2017
FYI, this place is seriously sandbagged - either because of age of climbs, broken/worn away holds or both. Also, it doesn't help that there is a layer of friction reducing sand/dust on everything. Even the easiest of climbs here felt like 5.10s. If you're looking for seriously stout climbs, give it a go, otherwise, head to Tyler Peak crags for an easier outing.
By Carl Fischberg
Jul 29, 2017
The wall looks really cool here, I second the slippery-sandyness though. We tried to do some of the "easier" routes on the right side of the wall and were pretty sketched out by the quality of the bolting. Most of the bolts are pretty rusted and surrounded by empty, torn up bolt holes(sometimes 4 or more). There are several different kinds of bolts on each route, often with what appears to be non-stainless bolts holding stainless hangers(galvanic corrosion). We got the heeby-jeebies and left after a single sport route and some bouldering around the base. The left side of the wall has clearly been redone fairly recently with glue-ins which looked decent and are supposedly more appropriate for softer rock such as this.
By Scott Underwood
Aug 3, 2017
To explain a bit on what Carl mentioned: yes there are many rusted bolt heads and differing types of bolts on the routes at the Elwha. I think you will find similar circumstances at many crags around the country that were bolted in the same era. The local community is aware of the situation and aware of mixed metal use consequences--SS hangers and zinc-plated bolts=galvanic action and rusted out bolts. This is why an effort was begun in 2015 to re-bolt all of the routes at the Elhwa with SS glue-in bolts. So far, 8 routes have been rebolted and a 9th, "Slappin Skeeters", has been re-drilled in preparation for rebolting (that is why it appears there are "empty, torn up holes"--a notch is required for porper glue-in placement). Some of the old bolts refused to be removed and have been left in place until we can bring out the proper equipment to pull them or cut them off.

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