But there’s more…

Elsbeth Otto

Vantage is just the beginning. Check out these other local climbing areas:

Spring Mountain: About an hour and half drive, Spring Mountain is the closest rock climbing destination to Walla Walla, and thus is often used by Whitman climbing classes. While the crack climbing leaves a bit to be desired and it’s smaller than Frenchman Coulee, Spring Mountain is “basically Whitman’s private crag” according to Ryan Leary, who has rarely seen anyone but Whitman groups there. The climbing is generally shorter and features a lot of sport climbing. Also, the andesite rock provides better, sturdier rock quality than basalt.

Smith Rocks: Outside of Bend, Ore., Smith Rocks is the birthplace of American sport climbing. While Smith is at least a four and a half hour drive from Walla Walla, the climbing is world class, and the scenery is breathtaking. Most rock faces are tuff, a compressed volcanic ash. With over 1,500 climbs Smith is a great climbing destination if you have a few days to spend there.

Leavenworth: Leavenworth’s climbs are mostly granite which is ideal for climbing. With everything from bouldering to climbs 10 pitches in length, Leavenworth provides fantastic variety of climbing. Weather can be an issue, especially in spring, and when it does get nice, Leavenworth gets quite crowded.

Sherwood: While the breathtaking views may be limited to the cute guy in your Russian Poetry class, it’s no more than five minutes away. Climb night or day, inside or out: Sherwood offers it all. Both the indoor and outdoor facilities feature a variety of easy to hard climbs including crack climbing. To use the wall, make sure to sign a liability waiver and pass a proficiency test. Belay certification is available during open climb from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. Following spring break, open climb will also be at the same time on Thursday. Also, the Sweet Onion Crank climbing competition will be Saturday, Apr. 28.