December 2017 – Vantage Update

2017 Update:

Earlier this year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed that we needed a second toilet in Frenchman Coulee. With the help of the Access Fund, the American Alpine Club, The Mountaineers, climbing gyms, and the Washington Alpine Club, we raised the funds and Fish and Wildlife plans to install the toilet early next year.

This remarkable desert recreation area is a long way from the nearest rest stop. The area is used by hundreds of climbers on busy weekends during the Spring and Fall climbing season, and the first thing many are looking for upon arrival is a toilet. There was nothing here for many years, and the desert landscape was littered with blowing toilet paper. After twenty years of asking permission to raise money so we could install a toilet, the answer suddenly became “yes” in 2012, and we went to work.

Special Delivery by Kevin Newell

Special Delivery by Kevin Newell

The WCC worked with the American Alpine Club, the Mountaineers, and Washington Fish and Wildlife on this project. The Spokane Mountaineers made a generous donation. Several hundred individual climbers, the Mazamas, and Climbers for Christ… Everyone loves a good toilet and your grandmother probably donated too!

Installing a toilet is not as easy as you might think. In March 2012 we used funds donated by the former Frenchman Coulee Climbers Coalition to hire a team to complete a cultural resources survey (required prior to any development on State land) They found no cultural artifacts or other reason we could not proceed.  In April we had a septic designer study the feasibility of installing a vault to contain the toilet waste at each of four potential sites and this, too, came out positive.

We began fundraising in May 2012 and we met our fundraising goal of $50,000.00 in June 2013 Permitting and project planning continued through Fall 2013 and, on February 21, 2014, the eagle landed. In 2017 we raised funds for a second one. It is due for installation early in 2018.