Submitted by: Eric Hirst
Access is via private land and past a locked gate. Only WCC members are allowed to open the gate and drive the approach road. A WCC sticker and a Discover Pass are both required to drive the approach road.
for current access details. You can join Washington Climbers Coalition for free (if you're a cheapskate!) or as part of an Access Fund membership. WCC membership gets you, among other things, a sticker and the combination to the lock on the gate at Reiter Road.
Please don't cheat. If you share the combination with non WCC members, you jeopardize access. If you drive in without a WCC sticker and a Discover Pass, you jeopardize access. And so on.
Manke owns the land below the wall and has done climbers a HUGE favor by granting climbers and boulderers a legal easement to go past the DNR gate at Reiter Road. Please don't take this one for granted.
DescriptionGranite walls above Gold Bar boulders, visible to the N from Highway 2 a few miles W of Index. Home to several full length 4-6 pitch lines and a number of shorter routes and longer active projects. Median grade is hard 5.11, and most climbs are a mix of sport and trad. The routes on Waterfall Wall (not fully listed here, but readily apparent when you hike up to Flow) are particularly remarkable.
The length of the approach varies from year to year depending on local politics, condition of the access road, and the nature of your vehicle. Expect 30-45 minutes if you can drive the road, 60-90 if you have to walk from the Reiter gate. See access notes for current information.
A number of the climbs tend to dry slowly, so most people will want to wait for a spell of dry weather before their first visit. Regular Zekers will usually develop a bit of tolerance for the occasional damp spot.
There is water at the base year round, which you can, at your own risk, consider drinking untreated. The waterfall next to Flow is the most reliable source, but is probably risky during spring runoff. There is also an excellent seasonal spring coming out of the cliff wall a short bushwhack beyond Mortal Coil, about 15 minutes from the base of the Flow waterfall.
At least 2 of the full length climbs (Flow and Mortal Coil) can be descended with a single 60m rope and a bit of caution. If you go exploring, however, you will usually be happier with 2 ropes, or, at a minimum, a single 70m and some downclimbing skills.
The most gear you might consider lugging up on a first visit would be a Flow rack (see details for that route) plus a few extra pieces in the thin hand size range for Hanna Deanna (the amazing wet-start 11d just L of Flow).
Getting There1. From Highway 2 just E of Gold Bar, turn N on Rieter Road, then bear R at junction to reach a heavily used ORV staging area on the L. Just after the ORV staging area is a gated road, also to the L. You will have views up to the wall, above some large clear cuts, from here. Many large boulders are visible in the upper clear cut. These are described in the Gold Bar section of Kelly Sheridan's 2007 "Central Washington Bouldering" book.
2. Somehow get yourself to the top west (climber's L) side of the upper clearcut, using the road spur that forks L at the bottom of the upper clearcut. See access notes for details on getting your car past the locked gate at Reiter Road. You can also just walk up from Reiter, optionally taking a short cut by scrambling left up an ORV-eroded rocky slab to bypass the first long switchback and reach the lower western edge of the upper clearcut directly.
2. Find a small cairn hidden in the brush on your right, just at the point where the road finally levels off. If you reach the end of the road, you've gone about 100 yards too far.
3. Bash through saplings for about 20 feet to find the trail. The trail switchbacks briefly through slash, then up through forest to a level bench. At a junction in the bench, bear R.
4. Follow rough trail for about 25 minutes to the base of the hugest section of the wall, climbing steadily and traversing R in a few places. The trickiest part of the trail is probably navigating a rightward traverse through an open talus field, just above a somewhat outlandish offwidth roof crack boulder problem.
5. As you face the hugeness, Ryan's Corner and Leanne's ledges are to your left, and most everything else is up and to the R, along a rough trail. Look for splitters and chickenheads.
View of the wall from low in the clear cut. The prominent sunny buttress near the center is home to several outstanding routes, including Squeaky (12b), Hanna Deanna (11d), and Flow (11a).
Zeke's Wall courtesy of MS Maps
CommentsEric Hirst Sep 20, 2009
A map which may help on the approach is at:
I've marked a few routes on the map as landmarks, as well as the waterfall next to Flow and the spring above Mortal Coil.
Eric Hirst Sep 22, 2009
As of winter 2012, you can again legally drive up to the boulders below the wall. The catch is you need to be a member of the Washington Climber's coalition, and you need to know the combination to the gate at Reiter. You also will need a Discover pass.
See www.washingtonclimbers.org/Climbing/goldbar.htm for current details on how to do all this.
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