Sport and Highball bouldering
The Governor Lister Cliff is an impressive sandstone cliff on Blanchard Mtn. The crag got it's name from a large boulder off Chuckanut Drive (the start of the trail) that says "in memorium of Governor Lister". The main cliff body is 70ft high and overhangs 10-18ft. So despite a few seeps the Governor Lister Cliff is dry year round.
There are 11 bolted or mixed routes, I'll describe the routes I've done that are worth doing. Other numerous bolts are littered around from unfinished projects. Bolts here should be regarded with some suspicion, they were placed by hand drills and some are in poor condition, most are okay though. There's also fixed pitons, trust these with caution. Gear placed in Chuckanut sandstone is always somewhat ornamental. If the offwidth section of a trad route near Grog Supply were bolted it would make an interesting and technical line. Top roping is possible on a few route that have good anchors. You'll need a ropegun, top roping from the top of the cliff is not recommended. Great bouldering, year round.
Caution: Rock quality varies. Much of it is actually very good, the orange streaks tend to be quite poor. Holds do break, some of the rock is quite friable. The rock is quite beautiful and makes for good photographs. The view from up on the wall is excellent.
For more information consult the Bellingham Rock Climbing Guide, available at the public library.
- Drive South on Chuckanut Drive from Bellingham
- drive .2 miles past mile marker 12 around a sharp bend to a large parking area on the right. A large boulder will be plainly visible on the east (left) side of Chuckanut Dr.
- Walk across Chuckanut Dr. to the boulder and hike up trail
The hike up is interesting, it involves crossing creeks over mossy old growth logs with fixed lines, then a few switchbacks and another fixed line up a mossy slab. You'll be following downed trees much of the time, and close to the cliff you should pass under a large fallen tree. The hike is about .5 miles and gains ~400ft of elevation.
Clicking Barnacles 5.9 30' (3 bolts)Probably the best route at the Governor Lister Cliff. A bouldery start leads to stems up a shallow crack. Reach out right and clip the first bolt. Continue straight up getting steeper, clip bolt 2. Move right and clear a bulge to bolt 3. finish with a pinch and mantle up to the anchors. The anchors have cold shuts you can rappel from.
When you first get to the cliff on the trail this is the climb you'll see. See pictures.
Grog Supply 5.9 slab (3 bolts, gear to 1', + anchor)This climb provides an exhilarating lead, mostly because of the poor rock quality and seldom available microholds. It is fun. If you climb this route bring some new webbing and replace or add to the rappel slings (there's a rap ring). Don't be a fool and use an american triangle, bring a knife and cut away old suspect slings.
This climb is located left off the trail past a roof section. You'll see a large offwidth crack to left of this climb, and large orange streak (terrible rock).