An amazing route, and certainly one of the best and longest trad climbs in Oregon. Worthy of a visit from anyone up to the challenge, Barad Dur is inarguably one of the classiest of our Northwestern adventure climbs. Over the course of eight pitches of mostly excellent rock climbing, a combination of moderate face and crack climbing, plenty of bolts, and a few bold, steep, awesome crux pitches lead you through an audacious series of roofs and up to the top of Wolf Rock. Expect to run it out on easy terrain, but to be well-protected, often by bolts, at all of the route's cruxes. Though there is some loose rock on the route and it is fairly a serious undertaking, climbers adept at heads-up route-finding will find the rock to be mostly quite solid (at least by Oregonian standards).
P1: Follow a line of well-spaced bolts on dark rock up to a bolted belay. 25m (5.9)
P2: Climb up and right past bolts until you can climb a somewhat loose & manky right-facing corner to another bolted belay. 25m (5.9)
Note: P1 & P2 can be linked with a 60m rope.
P3: Climb up past two bolts and trend slightly right along the cleanest rock to a third bolt. From here traverse up and left along ledges placing gear as necessary until reaching another bolted belay on a small ledge. 35m (5.8)
P4: Head up and right on easy climbing (5.4) along a low-angled ramp. Follow the ramp to a left-facing corner, and climb the corner until you can traverse left under a roof. Head left and then up to a belay stance with some unique bolt hangers. 40m (5.9)
P5. Head right and traverse past the obvious line of bolts and around the tricky corner, then up to a cramped, semi-hanging belay on your right. 15m (5.10d)
P6. Climb straight up passing bolts to the crux move over a roof. Make a strenuous mantle onto the sloping shelf on your right. From there, make an airy traverse out right around the corner and up to another bolted belay. 25m (5.11b)
P7: Head up and left on easy but sparsely protected terrain passing a two bolt anchor and following the path of least resistance towards the skyline ridge. 60m (5.4)
P8: Continue up on low-5th and 4th-class terrain until the technical climbing eases to scrambling. 60m (5.2)
Continue scrambling up and left following a narrow but exposed and loose ridge until you can eventually gain the summit pinnacle.
Descent: From the summit, trend west/southwest along the ridgeline following a faint trail when possible until you can gain the Southwest Gully descent. A mix of grassy hillsides and 3rd-4th class down-climbing in a water groove will lead down the drainage until it is possible to exit onto a climber's path on your left. Follow the path back to the road.
Located about 35 miles from Eugene near the Blue River Reservoir on the west side of the Oregon Cascades, whether approached from the east or west, getting to Wolf Rock will involve about ten miles of driving on well-maintained gravel roads. Though it is probably simpler to find your way from the west, the directions provided from the east aren't quite as complicated as they sound. Barring any changes from July 2011, the roads both ways are completely passable with a low-clearence, 2WD vehicle. From the east, drive Hwy 126 to make a right on Deer Creek Rd (FS140). Take that 0.6 miles to make a left onto Rd 2655. Drive that 1.3 miles until you can take a right onto Rd 2654. Drive that 4.8 miles until you can take a slight left onto Rd 2656. Drive that 1.1 mi to Rd 700. Take a left onto Rd 15. Drive that 1.3 mi until the wall is obvious on your right. From the west, drive 126 about 35 miles from Eugene to take a left on Blue River Reservoir Rd. Pass a number of campgrounds and signs for an experimental forest, staying all of the time on Rd. 15. Bearing right at most intersections (again staying on Rd. 15), about 10 miles of dirt road will lead you to find the wall on your left. Park at a pull-out on the south side of the road under The Great Arch. Follow a climber's trail up through the woods until you reach the wall, heading right to the base of the route, which is easily identified by two patched bolt holes at chest height.
Medium rack to 3" with many slings. No RPs or tiny micro-cams necessary.
Thanks to an excellent re-bolting job, all of the belays are sound and all of the lead bolts that needed replacing have been replaced. A few old bolts do remain throughout the route, but it is unlikely that any will ruin your day.
Pete Keane working it out on P6.
A lousy view of Chris Wright finishing up P6.
Pete Keane on one of the many fine moderates low o...
Pete Keane contemplates the steepness from low on ...
FFA entry into the summit register.
Barad Dur takes on the wild roof system in the cen...
FA entry in the summit register.
Jonny just through the crux on P5.
BETA PHOTO: Looking back on the 5th belay from the end of pitc...
Sep 2, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Totally Awesome Climb! The most memorable climb I've ever done to date. Reasonably well protected and really unique climbing. A must do for anyone up for the challenge. Be warned though... definitely an adventure route. Above the P6 roof, be ready for extensive exposed and loose scrambling.
By Topher Dabrowski
Sep 13, 2015
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
After climbing this line a few weeks earlier I returned on September 12 and climbed again replacing the older 1/4" bolts that remained on route as well as beefed up a couple of belay stations. Some of these bolts snapped as I tried to loosen the hangers!
Here is what was replaced:
Pitch 2 - 1st bolt 1/4" SMC
Pitch 3 - 1/4" belay anchor bolt replaced with a 1/2" SS
- 1st & 2nd 1/4" bolts on route replaced (these had hardly any x-section remaining that wasn't rusted thru!)
Pitch 7 - 1/4" belay anchor bolt replaced with 1/2" SS
Any remaining 1/4" bolts are either close to newer bolts, in places where gear could be used or were located at belay stations. For example there is a 1/4" Leeper on the 5th pitch traverse but it can be protected just prior with a cam and slightly afterwards with a new bolt so the situation doesn't warrant a replacement. It was left for historical/novelty sake.
The route is still sporty but at least you have the same level of protection as when those older bolts were first put in.
Thanks to the Portland Vicinity Re-Bolting Group, The Mazamas and the American Safe Climbing Association for their support with this project.
First bolt on pitch 2, 1/4"
P2 1st bolt on left has been replaced and removed.
P3 new bolts, 1/4" removed and replaced
By Bob Graham
Sep 20, 2015
Thanks for the bolt/anchor updates! Wild crux climbing with good exposure making it memorable. In many places the rock reminds me of French's Dome, but much of it is friable and loose. An adventure.
By Trevor James
Oct 23, 2015
Thank you Topher Dabrowski for putting in the time and effort in replacing those bolts. You rock!