Alpinism Home

Frenchman Coulee Cragging

Feathers and the Sunshine Wall

July 14, 2012

I had taken our cousin, John, climbing at Vertical World and the Mountaineers climbing wall so what better place to put those skills to use outside than Frenchman Coulee! I had a great day introducing John to some of my favorite climbs that seem like old friends.

On the drive home we reflected on the fun day and passed the time by composing haiku taking turns to add the next line. I included a few of these poems, interspersed among the pictures. Enjoy!


Proud basalt pillars

Tents and vanagons below

Cliffs hide good luck car


Hurling rocks downward

Clang rings hollow shell of car

Silica road sport

We started off at the Feathers with Feather in My Cap and then the route to the left. We walked over to Shake It Don't Break It and John took the sharp end of the rope and make his first lead!

Leading 2

Clipping bolts up high

Rope snaking down below me

Judging hands limbs and feet

Afterwards we drove over to the parking lot and hiked up and over to the Sunshine Wall. I had John lead us down the trail where it seemingly dead ends at the cliff, only to show him the narrow "canyon" that leads down to the base of the walls.


Plateau sloping slot

Gripping seekers gripping you

Portal to brightness


Rock doves coo gently

Swallows dart past my shoulders

High into the sky

We started with the classic Clip Em or Skip Em then we moved over to Vantage Point. Then we continued down the wall to Peaceful Warrior which John lead also! We saw a couple other parties while climbing at the Sunshine Wall, but for the most part it was pretty quiet. It may have been because the temperature was in the high 90's!

Gimme Shelter

Womb sheltered shadowed

Cool seven virgins sanctum

Rays canít penetrate


Mighty love river

Respite from basalt and sage

Universal truth

It was a fun day but the heat was getting to us, so we hiked back to the car and drove down to the river to cool off with a nice swim! Thanks Kim and John for a very memorable day climbing!