The climbing destination known as “Vantage” exploded in popularity in the 1990’s. The environment is fragile and the area requires tender loving care. The Access Fund and the Washington Climbers Coalition have been doing stewardship projects here for 25 years and, with the help of the American Alpine Club, The Mountaineers, the Mazamas, and the Spokane Mountaineers, we raised funds to install a toilet here in 2014 (gone are the “desert flowers” — wads of toilet paper blown around the desert landscape). We are raising money for a second toilet in 2017.
The Washington Climbers Coalition has been doing trail projects here since 2013 and annual cleanups before that. A 2015 crew is pictured here, building stone steps on the trail over the mesa between Frenchman Coulee and Echo Basin. The rigging shown here allows us to move large rocks weighing hundreds of pounds so that we can build steps out of local stone rather than using imported timbers. This trail was badly eroded and vaguely treacherous before we did some stabilization here in 2014 and 2015.