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River Boulders

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River Boulders Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 395'
Location: 47.8172, -121.6018 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 10,371
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jon Nelson on May 6, 2013
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12th boulder at river. The left side, in the shade...

2017 Seasonal Raptor Closure: UTW from waterfall to Golden Arch MORE INFO >>>


Right on the side of the Skykomish River. There are also several nice boulders in the forest, before reaching the railroad tracks.

Though this might not apply to climbers, see the comment below about placing bolts that may be nearly or fully submerged during high water periods.

Getting There 

Drive past the parking for the Lower Town Wall, past the Lower Lump and cross the railroad tracks. Continue about 0.6-0.7 miles until reaching the gate on the left (i.e., river) side with a sign saying "Forks of the Sky" State Park. Park near here and walk the road-trail downhill towards the river. The trail turns west at the railroad tracks to parallel the tracks. Around here look for several boulders in the woods on the right. For the main boulders, follow the railroad tracks further west (down river), looking for boulders down and left. After about 100 yards, some side trails down left will appear.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.7 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in River Boulders

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for River Boulders:
[Unnamed]   V2 5+     Boulder, Grade V   Leggo my Eggo Boulder
River Slab   V3 6A     Boulder   Chutzpah Boulder
Leggo my Eggo   V7- 7A+     Boulder   Leggo my Eggo Boulder
River Arete   V7 7A+     Boulder   Chutzpah Boulder
Flower   V8 7B     Boulder   Flower Boulder
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in River Boulders

Featured Route For River Boulders
Rock Climbing Photo: J. Wood working into the side pull on Leggo My Ego...

Leggo my Eggo V7- 7A+  Washington : Index : ... : Leggo my Eggo Boulder
Middle line in the photo....[more]   Browse More Classics in Washington

Photos of River Boulders Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Saw this guy on the walk to the River Boulders tod...
Saw this guy on the walk to the River Boulders tod...
Rock Climbing Photo: 11th boulder at river.
11th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 8th boulder at river.
8th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 10th boulder at river.
10th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 5th boulder at river.
5th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 7th boulder at river.
7th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 5th boulder at river.
5th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 4th boulder at river.
4th boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 3rd boulder at river.
3rd boulder at river.
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd boulder at river. The Chutzpah boulder.
2nd boulder at river. The Chutzpah boulder.
Rock Climbing Photo: First boulder at river. The profile appears to be ...
First boulder at river. The profile appears to be ...

Comments on River Boulders Add Comment
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By Alex Dodge
Oct 10, 2017
River Boulders...

I am predominately a whitewater kayaker, and am writing predominately as such. With that said I am also an avid climber, and am writing as an ambassador of sorts between both of these amazing sports.

With that said, I recently came across 2 bolts on rocks that are probably underwater now, and if not then they will be in the next couple of days. I assume it was for the purpose of slack lining over the river, and I can't honestly blame anyone for wanting to do that it sounds like fun. But placing the bolts in the river is a huge safety hazard to everyone involved.

From a whitewater perspective at flows between 3,000cfs and 5,000cfs there is a really good chance that one of the bolts right on top of a rock in the center of what is at that point the main flow of the river could seriously injure a swimmer, as they smash into it anywhere on their body, or it becomes caught on their gear. Or tear a raft in any number of ways, or crack a kayak as we try to jump off the rock. None of which are in any way desirable obviously. The other bolt isn't in what would be considered the main flow however these risks are still very much so present at similar flows.

From a climbers perspective all of those rocks you call the River Boulders are underwater for a few weeks minimum every year when the Skykomish (and most of the PNW) floods in the fall and spring. That's part of what creates the really cool unique texture in the rock. But the damage done by a flooding river and all the sediment and debris the river brings down with it would seriously impact the integrity of the bolt. Imagine falling into the river and having your slack line get tangled around you as you are dragged thru the current, it's not pleasant I can tell you from similar experiences. Or relying on it for safety while climbing a high ball route and the bolt breaks. Obviously no one wants either of those to happen to them.

The point I'm ultimately trying to convey here is that any where a bolt would end up underwater, or even close, for prolonged periods is a risk to both the whitewater and climbing communities. I am not angry at whoever did this, and I have already removed the bolts, I am only trying to educate. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I will be posting this write up in various places. Feel free to share elsewhere if you want to help spread the word.
By Jon Nelson
From: Bellingham, WA
Oct 10, 2017
Thanks Alex. I imagine most climbers or slackliners would not even have thought of the issue you raised.

One question: In your 3rd paragraph, you write "probably underwater now". But at the end, you say you removed them. So, do know of bolts that remain?

Now, we have easily removeable bolts called the Titen HD. The zinc-plated ones are only about one dollar for 3-5" long 3/8th diameter. Few climbers know about them, but they might be a good choice for whoever installed the ones you saw. One only needs a standard wrench to put them in and take them out.
By Alex Dodge
6 days ago
Thank you very much for your response. And yes some sort of a removable bolt would do the trick so long as whoever uses them makes sure to take them back out when they are finished. And as you point out, a lot of what I said was done to educate people on aspects of climbing around rivers they may not be fully aware of.

In the 3rd paragraph I was trying to point out that most of the rivers in the PNW but especially the Skykomish are prone to huge floods and greatly fluctuating water levels, stating that the placement of those bolts would have been underwater at the time I wrote that. However, as you have noted I have cut both of these bolts out. I initially tried to use an impact wrench to unscrew them so as to return them to whoever put them in since I have no use for them. But when I wasn't getting anywhere with that I resorted to cutting them off for everyones safety.

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