Washington State has a few known, dedicated dry tool venues. They are mostly easy, and not known for their quality:
SR-900 (aka, Cougar mt.)Easy, not great
Black Ice Crag, Upper area(CYA) Exit 38. Easy, not great
Tool Shed, Baker area, never been there personally
Shuksan Crag, never been there personally
Rap Wall, Alpental (Fun when it has ice! Rock is not holding up well, not “easy”)
Then, at the suggestion of the local guru, we found this!!
Nestled not very deep in the Snoqualmie Alps are a set of undeveloped crags that offer a very fun, difficult dry tool (d/t) experience. A couple of friends and I had been poking around for months and eventually found the perfect venue. Thanks to the encouragement from the various guide book authors, and the original area route setters, we felt safe to develop these unnamed crags as a d/t area. It is remote and insulated enough from free climbing walls, as to not be prime free climbing rock nor suitable sport climbing projects. So far, we have 5+ amazing climbs up!! All completed routes are bolted. We are hoping to plan a low key, introductory festival soon! Feb 8th.
I do not bear the responsibility lightly in producing high quality and safe routes. I want to keep the standards very high in our amazing home forests. There is also plenty of room to develop routes and I encourage others to develop routes at this amazing location. All that I ask, is that you please develop in a way that is sustainable to our rock, and safe for our community.
My philosophy on dry tooling impact is best summed up by this great essay from Furnace Industries!
It will be a work-in-progress out there, so heads up! To support our endeavor, please visit our go fund me page.
Suggested rules of conduct at this crag
-Please limit scratching the rock with your points, take care with crampons while lowering or rappelling.
-Please use mono-point crampons, or rock shoes only, stick with existing placements when possible
-Safety attire: Helmets, eye protection, sheltered belays, etc. There is loose rock here! Climb at own risk.
-Do NOT use any resident ropes left on crag. Please feel free to use the resident ropes to pull your rope through, if you want to tr a climb. There is also reasonable top rope access from the top, approached from the far left side of the crag. Most trs need directionals.
-Please respect “closed projects”, they should be tagged so. Don’t d/t at the free climbing crags.
-Respect the access road, and watch for vehicles! Use proper trails. Have necessary parking passes, etc
Some history… After a 2016 visit to the Playground with the Polish guy, I became very interested in finding a local crag that was not easy, crappy, or both. Years passed, and we halfheartedly looked around.
10-’19. Enter the author of the recent guidebook! I emailed him and it took a while for me to get to see both of his suggestions. In mid December, I saw what is now called(not by me) : Waynes World(WW). I was floored with the potential of the area, yet scared of the single bolted line I saw out there. This obscure crag had a smattering of top anchors from a 2003-2006 development that pushed all through the surrounding of crags. Too dark, chossy and jumbled, the far left crags (WW), never took hold on Garth and the gang that were the driving explorers at the time. I found that though the single project may have been climbed long ago, the entire crag has since laid abandoned until the recent d/t development. So far, the redevelopment idea receives near total support from the community and institutions that have chosen to speak up.
Thanks for your support, if that is the case, and critique, if also warranted…. No doubt I have done “pick enhancements” on a couple of routes. My main motivation along with sustainable pick holes is: safety. I refuse to send my friends up steep leads with sketchy clips on the first 3 bolts.
Safety, and also sustainability.
The many popular existing d/t climbing areas around the U.S. and Canada all suffer from blown-out placement holes. Presumably, this is from hundreds of people falling off, degrading the placement to the point of rendering them useless. Recent remedies are to make more aggressive pick and crampon placement holes with a power drill, thereby making the route pick-hole placements sustainable over the life of the route. Dry tooling will mark and scar the rock. With that, for a crag to be sustainable with everyone using it, should the occasional non-positive hold be enhanced to a point that use does not destroy the feature? I know this also makes the climb easier, but this particular crag is so steep that most any climber will be fully engaged! All improvements are kept to a minimum as well. Good luck climbing here it’s stout, steep, and climbs fantastic!
Routes at Waynes World:
Boulderdash D3-D7? TR Routes 0% Complete (Lead D3 then TR Face for D7 Natural)
The Aspirant D5 60% complete
Imperial March D8 90% complete
Highstepping For Jesus D7 11 bolts. FA Tom Beirne 100% Complete
Painted Ruins D6 FA Wayne Wallace 100% Complete
Cold Therapy D7 10 bolts90% . Complete and SICK ROUTE
Social Candy D6+ 6 bolts
Routes at the Dark Side:
Agent Orange D7-8 5% Complete (tight right facing corner)
Dingleberries Of Eden D6 100% Complete
Rhinestone Cowboy D6 75% Complete (fully bolted, needs work on start)
Unknown Route with Chain Anchor and blue sling. 10% Complete
Vader Built My Hotrod 0% Complete (chimney route)
Alpine Corner D6 10% Complete (also TR access to the arete and left face likely D5, has bolted anchor)