Had a fun day last week bouldering up the Columbia Gorge. A short drive from Portland I found some new rock that kind of resembles Larch Mountains boulders a little bit. Some of the rock is very clean, unfortunately I took no photos of those and quite frankly due to low light, got some pretty mankey shots this trip anyway. If you spend a little time cleaning this area, I think it would be pretty similar to Larch but like other Gorge areas it just takes time and travel by locals who want to get outside and breathe in a lot of moss for a few hours.
The spot has a good concentration and some really solid highballs. I’m amazed lately how many boulders in the Columbia River hillsides lie hidden from view and reside in shaded forest. I guess that’s one of the things I love about the Pacific Northwest: a plentiful amount of desolate bouldering spots to choose from.
One of the shorter 15 foot problems called Wasp starts deep in the pit pictured above and climbs across a steep wall to an overhang at a solid lip. Then you brave some chossy terrain to the vegetated top–sounds appealing, I know. Again, I’m not claiming this is the next Leavenworth, just a random spot up the river.
The forest here is not super thick so you can get around pretty easy and even spot eagles high above through the trees. This area is located on the Washington side of the river and can provide a quick “sesh” loop for after work if you want. I’ve scouted out about 40 boulders in the area and I think there is potential to find more if you don’t mind walking through brush with no trails–again, I’m making this spot sound irresistible right: almost-choss, moss, no trails, probably poison oak but I haven’t started itching yet. Well, it’s not all bad. Once the rock is cleaned it really does have some high-quality movement and some really nice problems on some really large boulders.The next photo is an 18-foot high boulder that might look nice of it had no moss. This boulder marks a start of a group of larger blocks that scatter across a nice little patch of forest.
The low down is it’s a spot with potential if someone wants to clean and enjoy some big boulders. It’s never going to make the cover of Rock and Ice–well, maybe Urban Climber–but it’s close to Portland and offers something new.