Posts Tagged ‘Bouldering’

Leavenworth, WA – Summer Edition

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Leavenworth, WashingtonWhat’s to Love:  If your family is into outdoor adventure, Leavenworth, WA is an ABSOLUTE must!  It’s a relatively-short, 5-hour drive to some of the best outdoor recreation you could possibly imagine: mountain biking, road biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, traditional rock climbing, sport climbing, and some of the best bouldering in the country.  For outdoor enthusiasts, Leavenworth is like a dream come true. 

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Government Cove Peninsula

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Government CoveWhat’s to Love:  I know I’ve been a bit heavy on climbing destinations lately, but Government Cove is a little gem that provides more than rock climbing, scrambling, and bouldering.  This is a relatively undeveloped location (i.e., no fees, no restrooms, no water, no parking area, etc.). Despite that fact, the entire area was very clean with some nice paved and unpaved trails for hiking and biking.

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Portland Rock Gym – 2012 Update!

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What’s to Love: Originally opened in 1988, Portland Rock Gym (PRG) has become a cornerstone of the Pacific Northwest climbing scene. When opened, it was one of the first modular climbing gyms in the United States (history).  Many Portland area climbers are affiliated with this gym in one way or another.  Even among competing businesses, I have never heard a negative word about the gym, and it’s reputation is just as strong today as it was 12 years ago when I first climbed there.

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Beacon Rock State Park

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Beacon Rock State ParkWhat’s to Love:  Being a climber, I’ve always been fascinated, and a bit intimidated, by the 848 foot high monolith – “Beacon Rock.” So intimidated that my first trip to the top was along the mile-long paved walkway and not roped-up hanging off the side of the rock. While the hike (1.8 miles round trip) to the top and back is exhilerating, the volcanic core is just a small piece of the whole picture.  Upon further exploration, you’ll see that Beacon Rock has much to offer the whole family.

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Horsethief Lake State Park

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Horsethief ButteWhat’s to Love:  Horsethief Lake State Park and Horsethief Butte provide a nice one-two-punch for a full-day family outing.  Located about 90 miles east (via WA 14 or OR 84), you might try these two destinations for an adventurous combination of camping, technical rock climbing, rock scrambling, bouldering, hiking, boating, and fishing. For reviews on outdoor gear, visit GearWeAre.com. This link covers family tents.

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Orchard Park – Hillsboro

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Orchard Park - Hillsboro, ORWhat’s to Love:  If your family is into disc golf, the 21 acre Orchard Park is worth the drive to Hillsboro.  The park has a VERY nice 3-par, 9-hole course with a paved path winding throughout the length of the course.  The paved path makes a 1/2 mile loop, which is a decent length for beginning bikers or kids on scooters.  

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Rocky Butte – Joseph Wood Hill Park

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Rocky Butte - Joseph Wood Hill ParkWhat’s to Love:  I’ve explored the rock climbing area up at Rocky Butte many times.  I’ve been turned off by the trash and noise from highway 205, which runs underneath the bluff.  The climbing itself looks pretty good and worth a shot.  I’ll give that a try this summer with the kids.  This trip, I was interested in exploring the structure on the summit of Rocky Butte, which I’ve heard offers excellent bouldering.

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The Source Climbing Center – Vancouver, WA

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The Source Climbing CenterWhat’s to Love:  For climbers, especially with kids, it doesn’t get much better than here in the Portland area.  We have some world-class bouldering and climbing gyms all within a 15 mile radius of downtown Portland.  Opening November of 2011, The Source Climbing Center in downtown Vancouver, WA is the latest addition to the climbing community.  Beautifully designed, The Source was built from scratch and offers a totally separate area for young children and beginners interested in climbing.

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Stoneworks Climbing Gym

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Stoneworks GymWhat’s to Love:  This is our third update to our first visit way back in 2007. Stoneworks continues to grow by adding  bunch of new climbing, auto belays, and a “highball” bouldering area with walls up to 20 feet high. This is perhaps the friendliest gym you’ll visit on your quest to get pumped up. In addition, Stoneworks offers excellent instruction, unpretentious, and no attitude whatsoever from fellow climbers.  If you and your kids have never climbed before, Stoneworks Gym is an excellent place to learn the basics!

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Bouldering at The Circuit Gym

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What’s to Love: I’m republishing this article because The Circuit now has a Northeast location (410 NE 17th Ave.) as well as their SW Macadam location (6050 SW Macadam Ave).  The NE location is EVEN BIGGER than their Macadam spot, which is hard to believe.  Also, the NE location has more kid-friendly climbing with a cool slide and bridge structure.  I’ve included some pictures and a video clip.

Over the years, The Circuit has been one of my absolute favorite indoor places to take my oldest son (now 7). We were going so often that I had to get a yearly membership, which can be paid monthly via automatic debit (nice!). This is an amazing experience for young children, and we started our first son here when he was around two years old. Bouldering is a form of climbing where there is no need for a rope due to the fact that you’re never very far off the ground. The emphasis is practicing and mastering hard sequences of moves.

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