Vantage, Washington, is at the junction of Interstate 90 and the Columbia River. Tourists who visit Vantage have a number of recreational options, including birdwatching, hiking, hunting and a variety of water sports. Rock climbing is also one of the featured activities available in Vantage, and enthusiasts come from all over the United States to try out the climbing challenges here.
Located near the Gorge Amphitheater, on the Silica Road (exit 143 from Interstate 90), the Sunshine Wall consists of basalt columns throughout the entire canyon. This wall features 14 different climbing sections with 221 identified climbing routes, although every new climber can potentially develop a new route. Some of the routes have already had chains installed to help climbers.
About a mile down Vantage Road past the Sunshine Wall, you'll see a set of shorter basalt columns in the shape of feathers. On the four sides of the formation, you can find 41 different climbing routes, just about all of which have bolts in place to help you work your way up.
Agatha Tower and the Zig Zag Wall
On the south side of the Feathers, you'll see a parking lot with a 200-foot tower behind it. This is Agathla Tower, and there are four different climbing routes that will take you to the top. Between the parking lot and the tower, you'll see a pond -- or a pond bed, depending on the season. The Zig Zag Wall is on the other side of the pond and has a ledge halfway up it. There are 13 different routes to the top of this wall.
Between the Sunshine Wall and the Feathers is Fugs Wall. With 33 routes of its own, Fugs Wall is also well bolted and offers some of the more colorfully named sections, such as Hacky Sack, Nuts and Bolts and Pins and Needles.
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images