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By Charles Porter
Jul 11, 2012
The caves are just the gaps between large boulders that fell off the cliff. They are very fun to explore though. Some of them go pretty deep. The Oyster Dome is the top of the cliff in the picture. It's named that because you can see the oyster farm in the water below. There are some bolts at the top but I don't know about the climb yet. I saw 2 guys attempt to go up once but they quickly became stuck and turned back. There are some campsites up there. You cannot park or camp at the overlook but if you park outside the gate you can camp near the top at the campsites. No fires so bring a backpacking stove. I always camp next to the caves though.
I plan on climbing that by next summer. But I will need some help and guidance to get up to that level. This refereed to sometimes as Blanchard Hill or Blanchard Mountain.
By this point in this one cave we had passed 2 drops about 20 feet and this one was about 12 feet. Almost lost my flashlight in a pool down there. Bring rope with you when you go in here or you can get stuck.
It's work the hike just for the view. This was taken from the highest point at the bottom of the cliff.
From: Bellingham, WA
Sep 22, 2013
First off, I love that the only other comments are photos of non-climbers camping on a closed trail... How did you find this forum?
So, the bat caves are closed but it does not seem to be a climber issue if you are not in the caves. Pardon my ignorance, if I am mistaken. The rock is quite good and there is a variety of worthwhile climbing, though nothing to write home about. At the base of Oyster Dome (ie "The Bat Caves") there are a few obvious lines. On the left overhanging prow is a bolted 5.12c called Meltdown. There is a clean-ish top to bottom crack system to the right called Hang Loose at 5.10+, as well as a number of bolted routes from 5.8 to 5.12 accessed from the top. Routes are overgrown with plants and lichen but have surprisingly good bolts.
I got on Hang Loose and would recommend bringing a full rack to 5" with doubles of .75 - 4. It goes with a single rack to 4" if you are prepared to run out some wide and dirty 5.8 crack. just sayin'
The first pitch is 5.7 but crumbly and nasty as you traverse the ramp up and left to reach a solid bolted anchor at the base of the crack. Then follow the splitter (through a few very unpleasant bushes) to a chock stone stance where it starts to get wide (a bolted anchor would be great here). The third pitch continues through 4-5" crack to the upper terrace and the top out.
You can find more pictures on Cascade Climbers, and elsewhere.