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Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)

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Vantage (Frenchman Coulee) Rock Climbing 

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Location: 47.025, -119.9686 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 273,398
Administrators: Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Luke Stefurak on Jan 30, 2006  with updates from GLD and 2 more
This Afternoon

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You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Climbing a typical stemming route @ Frenchman's Co...


Vantage is one of Washington's great winter crags. The columnar basalt creates a great balance of sport and trad routes. The sport routes stick to the faces and range from 5.5 - 5.12+ and the cracks are found in between the columns and are of similar grades. All of the faces are out in the open and will get sun at some point in the day.

Getting There 

Head East on I-90 from Seattle. Follow this over the Columbia River past Vantage, WA.

Go up the hill and take exit 143 (the second exit after the river). At the bottom of the exit ramp take a left onto Silica road. Follow this road under the highway and take the first left onto Vantage road. Go down the canyon 1.4 miles. You will see parking on the left.

Video overview 

Drone footage from Tom Pittman VIII:

Climbing Season

Weather station 13.3 miles from here

386 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',124],['2 Stars',200],['1 Star',44],['Bomb',7]

Classic Climbing Routes in Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Vantage (Frenchman Coulee):
Seven Virgins and a Mule   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
The Chossmaster   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 2 pitches, 90'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Crossing the Threshold   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 75'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Party in Your Pants   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Sunshine Wall : Near End of Sunshine Wall (...
Pony Keg   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Ride 'em Cowboy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Sunshine Wall : Near End of Sunshine Wall (...
Tangled up in Blue   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Sex Party   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Middle East Wall
Air Guitar   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Sunshine Buttress   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 75'   Sunshine Wall : Coyote Wall
George and Martha   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Boschido   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Hakuna Matata   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 75'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Satan's Wagon   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   The Feathers : The North Side
Sinsemilla   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Narlux   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Easy Off   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 90'   Sunshine Wall : Near End of Sunshine Wall (...
Bob's Your Uncle   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Stems and Seeds   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Red M&Ms   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch   Sunshine Wall : King Pins
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)

Featured Route For Vantage (Frenchman Coulee)
Rock Climbing Photo: .

Party in Your Pants 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Washington : Vantage (Frenchman Coulee) : ... : Near End of Sunshine Wall (...

Photos of Vantage (Frenchman Coulee) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Zig Zag wall
Zig Zag wall
Rock Climbing Photo: :)
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach trail. Stay right toward the cliff ed...
BETA PHOTO: The approach trail. Stay right toward the cliff ed...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking over sunshine wall
Looking over sunshine wall
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Sunshine Wall
View from Sunshine Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: A typical sport arete at Frenchman's Coulee
A typical sport arete at Frenchman's Coulee
Rock Climbing Photo: Partied out concert goers!
Partied out concert goers!
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset at Frenchman's Coulee
Sunset at Frenchman's Coulee
Rock Climbing Photo: view of the columbia river valley from the camp ar...
view of the columbia river valley from the camp ar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging on Sunshine wall
Hanging on Sunshine wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of route "Savage Heart" on Middle Ea...
BETA PHOTO: Top of route "Savage Heart" on Middle Ea...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matthew taking a rest before the crux on his first...
Matthew taking a rest before the crux on his first...
Rock Climbing Photo: The coulee.
The coulee.
Rock Climbing Photo: Frenchman Coulee from the head
Frenchman Coulee from the head
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the campground, South side of the ...
Looking back at the campground, South side of the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: When there's a concert at the Gorge, the collectiv...
When there's a concert at the Gorge, the collectiv...
Rock Climbing Photo: Vantage, not sure what route
Vantage, not sure what route
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunshine Wall, as you first see it when coming out...
Sunshine Wall, as you first see it when coming out...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sand choked!
Sand choked!

Comments on Vantage (Frenchman Coulee) Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 5, 2017
By ScottH
Feb 4, 2006
There is free camping available at Vantage, limited to the area on the south side of the Feathers. If you are climbing for the day or camping, please note that you are required to display one of the yellow Fish and Wildlife Deparment stickers on your vehicle. There is a fairly substanstial ticket if you are caught without one. You can pick up the stickers many places in Seattle, and Fred Meyer in Ellensburg sells them as well.
By Bryson Slothower
Jun 3, 2007
Avoid the Coulee on Spring concert weekends if you like sleeping.
By Joey Wolfe
Aug 15, 2007
What is the story behind the name Frenchman Coulee?
By mcarizona
From: Flag
Aug 24, 2007
I used to live out there near the coulee and on a topo you can see that the area is called the frenchman hills. Maybe thats why they transferred the name. The canyon is a result of the big flood of glacier park way back when (discovery channel has an engaging history about it if you have time on a rainy day to sit on the couch). Who knows what its like to camp behind the feathers these days? It was getting pretty trashed last time I was there.
By kimmo
Oct 11, 2007
ok then
By John Calder
From: Spokane, WA
Oct 23, 2007
Frenchman Coulee is actually the large coulee you can see from the camping area. Sunshine wall is in Echo Basin.
By Scott W
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 24, 2008
This area is also known as Exit 143.
By BenCooper
May 12, 2009
Camping Update:
Camping is only allowed on the south side of the feathers (the area with the bulletin board and the trailhead for the hike into Echo Basin).

There are currently NO TOILETS. The old sani-cans were getting hammered by concert-goers. The company that cleaned them kept finding syringes, rocks, etc. in the toilets, and decided it wasn't worth it. Can't blame 'em. Anyway, the Frenchmen's Coulee Climbing Coalition is currently raising money for a permanent toilet structure that is badly needed. They need the money and the go-ahead from WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

So do your part: bring wag-bags or your own shitter system, or drive into George or back to Vantage and use their toilets. Do not dig catholes! The place gets too much use to take this type of waste. This could quickly turn into the sesspool that Indian Creek is trying to deal with. Let's not let that happen.
By JimL
Feb 28, 2011
Any word on the toilet situation?
By Michael Davidson
From: San Diego, CA
Apr 22, 2011
Info about the Toilets
By CHopwood
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 19, 2012
A porta-potty was placed in the parking lot a week ago but it was still locked when I left. You need to buy a Discover Pass to camp overnight or park for the day. The pass is $11.50 per day or $30 for a year. You can pick them in George, WA or Vantage, WA, both of which are less than 10 miles from the coulee. Addresses below:

George Washington Petroleum
GEORGE, WA 98824

Havilah Inc

You can also purchase passes online or by phone: or
By Colin Parker
From: Idyllwild, CA
Apr 9, 2012
Great free guide here:

Kudos to Marc Dilley for this effort!
By Mark Roberts
From: Vancouver, BC
Apr 11, 2012
Some things I wish I knew the first time I went:

There's some awesome climbing here, but also a lot of chossy crap. IMHO the guidebook (the free one too) is far too liberal with stars on the minor crags, there's a ton of garbage crags/routes I tried when exploring.

I found the guidebook was inaccurate for more than half of the climbs I got on in the Coulee. Nothing major, but just don't expect gospel. Five bolts instead of six, three chain anchors instead of a single bolt, that sort of thing.

The guidebook suggests that at Fugs and a few other areas you should beware of loose rock, which is misleading because there's loose rock everywhere. Bring a helmet, wear it when climbing and hanging out underneath climbers. I accidentally pulled a piece of rock off Party In Your Pants, which is probably one of the most climbed gear routes there. That being said, the upper routes were much better. I was often surprised at the poor quality and stability of the rock in the lower routes.

I went on Easter Weekend and the place was a gong show. Ropes everywhere along Sunshine Wall. If you want to get on the classics I'd recommend planning your trip in the middle of the week or a quiet weekend, because when you can get on these routes they're definitely worth the trip but if you can't then your plan B has a good chance of being pretty bad.

I found the entablature routes quite cryptic and sequency. From below everything looks like a hold, but few are. This lead to a lot of slapping around. This isn't a criticism but just know that this is true if you're planning on ticking a lot of the lower routes on your trip, I found I'd get pumped out constantly slapping every sloper searching for a hold. This is probably less of an issue if you climb later in the year than I did, when things will start getting chalked up more.

Bring toilet paper. Bring a small bag, or pick one up at the gas station. Take a roll every time you visit the chemical toilets and leave it there until you get to your last. If more people did this it'd make one element of the awful toilets managable.

If you're camping, there's tons of room and it's pretty nice, just make sure to bring large water jugs. You can refill them every couple of days at the Wanapum State Park just South of Vantage, and you can use their $.50/minute showers too to wash off your gunk.

There's a g Taco Stand at George. Cheap and bona fide. Make it happen. Oh, and there's nothing else in George.
By Matt Perkins
From: Seattle, Washington
Jun 9, 2012
The Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) is raising money for a permanent toilet facility at Vantage. We have reached an agreement with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that they will support this project if climbers can fund it, and we believe it is long overdue.

This project is a joint effort of the WCC, the American Alpine Club, and the Mountaineers and, as of June 2012, we have raised $10,000 toward an estimated $50,000 project cost (we only started raising money in April with a formal fund raising kickoff in May).

We can do this!

The Washington Climbers Coalition update is here:

The American Alpine Club has information here:
By dylanfllr dylandylandylananddylan
Jan 16, 2013
What's vantage like right now? Can you get out there with 2wd?
By shotgunnelson
Feb 11, 2013
Yeah you can get in with a 2wd.not sure when you would need 4wd unless there is a ton of snow which. Is pretty rare. It's basically paved roads to dirt parking spots
By Lhotsa
From: Telluride, CO
Jul 10, 2016
These your keys?
Advantage in Vantage.
Rock Climbing Photo: Keys
By Connor Culver
From: Bellingham, WA
Nov 8, 2016
Can you use a Discover pass to park overnight at the campground at The Feathers?
By Jason Curtis
Apr 5, 2017
It occurred to me that it'd be nice to have a big, labeled poster of sunshine wall, both as a wall decoration and to help me find things. So I made one and brought it out this weekend. A lot of folks asked if I would sell them online, so here it is:

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