Back to Banks Lake

Rock climbing in the summer can be brutal. The sun turns any rock face into a giant skillet, frying whoever decides to climb it. So to avoid the summer heat, our climbing crew chose to hit up Banks Lake in Washington.

This place is a climber’s paradise. Located near the Grand Coulee Dam, Banks Lake offers a trove of climbable rock, including bolted sport routes on Highway Rock and tons of free water soloing along the lake itself.

With a handful of climbing friends, a rented pontoon boat and a campsite just off Highway 155, we spent two days exploring the cliffs on the water’s edge. Our friend Cynthia took a ton of rad photos throughout the weekend, so without further adieu, here’s a collection of rockin’ photos (sorry, that was a super lame pun).

banks lake deep water soloing
This is our friend, Katie (aka K2). Do I see a MTN Talk tank? (New tanks coming soon…)
banks lake Washington climbing
If my memory is correct, which it rarely is, we had eight climbers total.
banks lake climbing routes in washington
We managed to find a handful of bolted sport routes on the lake, so we broke out these bad boys!
rock climbing banks lake
Being so close to the water, the rock wall was cool to the touch.
deep water solo rock climbing at banks lake
Cynthia is an experienced climber and a fantastic photographer.
banks lake deep water soloing
We managed to find three routes next to one another, so we couldn’t pass up a group shot!
Just chillin’ in the sun, reading up on the climbing routes nearby.
washington deep water solo rock climbing
This cliff was just begging to be soloed! The rock was perfect and the water was deep.
deep water solo climb at banks lake
Our buddy Matt is an Italian spider monkey.
rock climbing at banks lake
We found a sweet little rock to chill on while others climbed on the wall.
solo train at banks lake
This is quite possibly my favorite shot of them all. All aboard the solo train!
banks lake steamboat rock state park
What’s a weekend away without a little relaxation? Gotta keep those climbing muscles rested!

If you’re looking for a perfect weekend away and you love to climb, Banks Lake is your best bet. This climbing pilgrimage has become a tradition for our climbing crew.

Have you ever been to Banks Lake or know of other places to deep water solo in the Inland Northwest? Let us know in the comments below!



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