Summer sun can see local climbers sizzling like fried eggs on the granite slabs. However, just because the mercury’s climbing, it doesn’t mean you can’t, especially if you’re smart about seeking out shady routes. Charlie Hickenbottom sent us this beta on the best times to catch shade at local and regional climbing hotspots. In general, expect south-facing walls to broil around lunchtime and west-facing walls to be hottest in late afternoon and evening.

Frenchman Coulee

  • 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 walls: 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).


  • Rattlesnake Rock: morning until midday or so.
  • Castle Rock: early morning, late afternoon, depending upon routes chosen.
  • Drip Wall: mornings.
  • Puzzle Palace: mornings.
  • Hobo Gulch: early mornings, late afternoon into evening.
  • The Parasol: mornings.


  • Trundle Dome: late afternoon into evening.
  • Pearly Gates: mid morning to late afternoon.
  • Goat Dome: morning.
  • Snow Creek Wall: begin at dawn or get fried.
  • Alphabet Rock: “Return of the Womb” gets lots of shade until afternoon.
  • 8-Mile Rock: evenings.

Peshastin Pinnacles

  • Start as early as possible in the morning. Find shade on southwest-facing slabs until late morning.
  • Grand Central Tower: east side routes are shady in the late afternoon and evenings.

Exit 38: A 2-hour drive from Wenatchee, with lots of shade. Consider this when it’s very hot on the east side of the Cascades. Look for Substation, Nevermind Wall, Amazonia Bob’s Area and several other shady areas.

Mazama: 2 to 2+ hour drive from Wenatchee, with lots of shade options.

  • Prospector Wall: mornings.
  • Goat Wall: mornings, start at dawn when it’s hot.
  • Fun Rock: lower left side.
  • Rhinozone and adjacent walls: best in the mornings, although trees provide afternoon shade as well, at least for the belayer.

Tieton: 2 to 2+ hour drive from Wenatchee, depending upon crag location.

  • Royal Columns: mornings.
  • Wildcat Wall: mid morning to late afternoon.

Index: less than 2 hours from Wenatchee.

  • Inner Wall: late afternoon into the evening

Climbs in North Central Washington, less than two hours from Wenatchee:

  • Lake Coulee: morning and evening shade.
  • Highway Rock: starting in the morning on the face opposite the sun, continue working clockwise around the entire massif to climb in the shade the entire day.
  • Golf Course Rocks: not sure if this area is still open to climbing, but gets nice shade about mid afternoon.
  • Picnic Table Rock: morning shade.

This story was first posted 7/02/2013.

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