Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bouldering in winter at Larrabee State Park

January bouldering at the beach

We are back in Seattle this week, and I am remembering everything I love about Western Washington.  Sunny, warm bouldering at Larrabee Park during the winter is one of those things.

Soft sandstone formations line the beach, creating really interesting shapes to traverse and a few fun harder problems.  The cliffs face West, catching and holding the sun, and the sunsets over the water are magnificent.

Larrabee is just outside of Bellhingham, and in a bit of a rainshadow, so it is sometimes dry when it is raining in Seattle.

Park at the main parking lot for Larrabee State Park, and take the trail that leaves closest to the entrance of the parking lot (it is across the street from the lot).  Head downhill and across the railroad tracks, and take one of the smaller trails that head down to the beach.  Getting down to the beach is a bit of a scramble in places.  Walk along the beach until you see a place to climb.  The one thing to watch out for here is the tide coming in...we have waded out more than once.  You can also scramble up the steep bank to the railroad track in a few places if you get stuck.

This photo and the one below were taken in summer, not in January as were the rest.  I also like heading to Larrabee when it is hot, to keep cool in the breeze off the Sound and take a dip in the water.