OverviewWest Tumwater Rock is one of the farthest north, and least visited, of the Leavenworth crags. According to Viktor Kramer it was originally an aid area but starting in 2004 Brian Behle, the owner of Leavenworth Mountain Sports, put up a series of free routes in the 5.10-11 range. Although close to the road, the approach is steep, unpleasant, and probably the main reason this area is not more popular. With that lack of popularity comes both benefits – on days when Castle Rock, Clem’s Holler, and the like are packed, this crag will be empty, and detriments – the approach trail is very faint and the climbs themselves are more than a little brushy, sandy, and, at certain specific spots, loose.
ApproachThe crag itself is just above milepost 93 in Tumwater Canyon, but to access it drive just past this point and park either on the side of the road or up a forest service road that is gated a few hundred yards from hwy 2. Kramer advised you to hike into the forest and make for a rocky ridge crest, where there is a climber trail/goat path, but we found it to be far easier to return to hwy 2 and walk south until about half-way between the forest service road and the end of the gravel bar and then head straight up. Once on the ridge the trail was faint but discernable. At the top of the ridge you have two options, either rappel from a tree or scramble down to the first set of bolted anchors and then rappel to the base of the crag (a sling around a large tree indicates that others have done this), or take an unpleasant dirt gully down and around to the south (class 3).
Route DescriptionsOsprey Crack - 5.10d
Follows the prominent, central, largely overhanging crack to a sizable roof, above which is a set of bolted anchors. Gear to 2 inches, but mostly small cams. Belay from the top if you doubt your second can make it because of swing issues (while top roping I fell after removing the last piece, and about fifty times before that, and swung 20 feet to hang in midair directly above my belayer). This route could use some additional cleaning.
Cross Current - 5.10b
Follow the Osprey Crack until the first roof and then traverse right, across the bolt line for Ripples, to another crack that leads in short order to a bolted anchor.
Ripples - 5.11d
The slab to the right of the Osprey Crack, 11 bolts, Kramer gives it three stars.
Bad Little Monkey - 5.11c
The arete to the left of the Osprey Crack, 8 bolts, be careful of the massive loose flake to the right.
Gear RecomendationsThe two sport climbs obviously need nothing but quickdraws; Kramer recommends gear to 2 inches for both trad lines, but I don’t think we (and by we I mean Ryan) placed anything over 1 inch.
A 70 meter rope allows the belayer to stay at the bottom of the mossy 4th class approach blocks.