Monday August 18, 2008
This past weekend was my first real trip to Gold Bar
for bouldering–thanks to the Vertical World company
truck that Rich Johnston (owner of Vertical World)
brought for the event. Among the crew were the
Redmond gym affiliates: KJ (manager), Adam (head routesetter) and Chris (assistant manager). Adam was
kind enough to invite me to this event and I'm glad
I had the opportunity to join.
I'd been to Gold Bar, twice, but always to the Five
Star boulder, which is accessible by my little Audi.
I would not consider driving further up to reach the
boulders there, but, I had heard that the bouldering
was quite good up there and have always wanted to go
check it out.
Getting to the 'trail head' is trivial from Seattle.
Drive out on Hwy 2 until you get to Gold Bar (~20
minutes from Monroe), take a left onto Reiter Rd
(the sign at the road is missing, but there is a
sign a few hundred feet back that is a useful
indicator), then stay right at the fork until you
come to a dirt road. Here, you will need to decide
if your vehicle is appropriate to continue. If you
don't have a four wheel drive vehicle with good
clearance, then I suggest you stop here and plan for
a long hike. Otherwise, you can continue up the
road, staying left until you come to an open place
to park. Hike a bit up road, or drive it if you are
brave, until you come to the end. At this point, you
can find a kind of trail or wash that heads up the
hillside. Take this and continue in a bit east to
the warm up boulders. You really should have a
guidebook to help you find the boulders.
At the warm up boulders, we found some V0, V1 climbs
and some traverses that made for excellent fun. I
was having a blast on the boulder that I kept making
up problems. They were most likely already
accomplished lines, but they looked fun and had to
be attempted. Moving on to another boulder and
played on a problem called 'Samurai.' Really fun
but a bit sandbagged.
Moving on to another set of boulders, we did this
amazing slab climb and a
fun V3. The rock features are amazing! scoops,
cracks, and overhangs. We even tried a climb called
'Contra,' but it would have none of us. Adam made
the best progress on this one, but despite the
efforts, could not pull it off. If the
approach wasn't so difficult, I think Gold Bar would
be an amazing place to frequent. If you are curious,
I highly recommend the visit. It's worth it. The
rock is quality, the climbs are stellar, and there
are lots of boulders waiting to be developed.