Overused Vantage Toilet Needs Our Help

The Vantage toilet has served us faithfully - but some tasks are just too great to take on alone. Join The Mountaineers in asking for a second toilet at Vantage.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 21, 2016

As it turns out, if you build it, they will poop. A lot.

Three years ago, the climbing community rose up to fund a pit toilet at the Frenchman Coulee climbing area - better known as Vantage - in Central Washington. Now, those same voices are calling for a second toilet to meet the growing needs of the popular climbing destination.

Of course, climbers electing to use the toilet, rather than ‘taking care of business’ near the trail or crag, is terrific. The trouble is the toilet is becoming a victim of its own success. 

Climber Katy Pfannenstein explains, “The problem is there’s now a huge turd tower that is about to poke above the toilet seat. And the smell is so bad in there – it’s like huffing from a bottle of ammonia in high school chemistry class.”

The woes of climbers like Katy haven’t fallen on deaf ears. Washington Climber’s Coalition (WCC), the Access Fund, and The Mountaineers are working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to increase the frequency of pumping and hope to get a second toilet installed at Vantage.  Due largely to the leadership of Matt Perkins of WCC, WDFW has agreed to consider the placement of a second toilet. The geological work and studies are complete to approve another one - it’s just a matter of timing on their end.

Make this Toilet Happen!

That’s where you come in. The Northwest climbing community provided the will and resources to make Toilet #1 a success.

Now, we need your help for Toilet #2. If you’d like to see more waste resources at Vantage, let us know by filling out the form on our feedback page. It’s most effective to have one point person communicating with the agency, so fill out the form and we’ll pass your comments along. Your feedback is crucial in communicating the needs of the people to land managers. It's up to us to help the agency understand the amount of use the Vantage toilet gets, especially in the ‘off season.’

Make this Toilet HappeN

It is also up to us, as the climbing community, to steward Vantage. The amount of human waste behind rocks and bushes and at the sides of trails is pretty darn gross. It’s up to us to pack out our waste. Have a plan for when nature calls. You can learn more basics about how to be a low-impact recreationist here.