Photo: A climber at Frenchman Coulee atop Human Sacrifice (5.10c) on Middle East Wall
Our Selected Climbs of Frenchman Coulee was compiled, photographed, and written in 2006 by Marc A. Dilley, a Wenatchee-based climber well-versed in the area’s routes and natural history. This page, and our affiliated listings about rock climbing at Frenchman Coulee/Vantage, will tell you much about this area housing some of the best rock climbs in Washington State and routes ranging from 5.5 and 5.13 in difficulty.
Our coverage of this destination and its walls is not intended to compete with the excellent, comprehensive book Frenchman Coulee by Marlene Ford and Jim Yoder, the authoritative guide to the Coulee. The objective of our coverage is to provide an easy read for those of you who are new to the area or visiting from out of the area. This guide will get you going, familiarize you with the area, and lead you to many of the best routes.
Many routes have been omitted because they aren’t the best ones to concentrate on if you’re not a Frenchman regular. Likewise entire Frenchman Coulee walls have been omitted because they do not, in our opinion, offer routes of high enough quality. Also, the many fine routes of the Clearview Crag area were nixed because they are relatively remote and spread across a broad area, surrounded by a sea of choss.
Read the full introduction. Learn about the area’s environment, seasons, required permits, camping, geology, botany, bird life, other activities… (this pdf) takes a moment to load).
Other Chapters to this Guide
Note: the pdfs listed below take a moment to load but are worth the wait
- Maps to Vantage/Frenchman Coulee. Get there and find the walls.
- Feathers – Sunshine Wall( pdf). Pictures and route info.
- Fat Man, Skinny Man, Powerhouse, M-M (pdf). Pictures and route info.
- Jigsaw, Tomato and Riverview (pdf). Pictures and route info.
- Middle East, Dungeon, Sanctuary (pdf). Pictures and route info.
- Corn Millennium, Hen, House Walls (pdf). Pictures and routes.
Shady summer climbing:
- Feathers: all day
- Zig Zag Wall: late morning to late afternoon Moonshine Wall
- Powerhouse Wall, The Empire, The Launch Pad: mornings until about noon or so
- Sunshine Wall, other south facing falls: late afternoon into the evening or early mornings
- Middle East Wall (sometimes closed in the summer for falcon nesting) Postal Wall, The Dungeon, other north facing walls below Middle East Wall: mid morning to late afternoon (possible summer closures)
Photo: Charlie Hickenbottom on a pumpy bolted route on the Sunshine Wall
Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.