Newhalem remains a little known gem within the abundance of Washington crags. Still in it's infancy, the surrounding area holds huge potential for further development. The rock is a gneiss (metamorphosed granitic rock) that is both solid and beautiful, offering quality aesthetic lines of 5.9 through 5.13 in difficulty.
The town of Newhalem is located on Highway 20, just west of the Diablo dam. Crags are distributed through the surrounding area of the town proper.
The first line that Andrew and I bolted at Ryan's Wall, established in 2001 as I recall.Start immediately to the right of Zloi. Follow a right-facing corner system with interesting moves to the anchors of Zloi and continue upwards to a ledge. Leave the ledge with difficulty and continue up the overhanging face with long, cool pulls between good holds. Varied and fun!...[more]Browse More Classics in WA
Thanks to the years of effort of the Access Fund, the Washington Climbers Coalition and the great National Park Service staff, Newhalem is once again open for new routes!! The above parties in conjunction with the Vertical World climbing team, the Wilderness Society and the Washington Trails Association just built a new trail to a new mega cliff just down the road. Walk down and check it out and bring your new-routing mojo! There is a decade's worth of potential in this gorge and years of new routes on the new cliff alone!
Also, the late, great badass and all-around great friend Ryan Triplett put up a bunch of new-school hard classics at the main Newhalem cliff ("Newhalem West"). Check 'em out! I'll try to post route info...
Someone else might know better, but I believe Ryan's Wall is south or southeast facing while the other larger wall is south to southwest facing. I think one could potentially climb here year round in the right conditions. Ryan's Wall seems to both dry quickly after and stay dry during most rainstorms. Most of it is in the shade in early afternoon as well.