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French's Dome
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Giant's Staircase 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
Page Views: 4,729
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jun 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (48)
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Derrick belaying the second pitch route that moves...


This is the easiest route at French's and provides a nice route to the top of the dome.

There are two starts to this route-- the first (listed as #1 in the Portland Rock Climbs book) starts at the far downhill side of the dome and climbs up a ramp/ledge sytem to an anchor. There's a fine variation that starts just uphill (climber's left) of this and goes up 4 or 5 bolts to the same anchor. This is listed as #4 in the book (it also says there's no pro, which is incorrect).

There are 2 options for the second pitch. One can traverse way around to the right before going up past a manky anchor to the summit (60m rope required), or go straight up and right through some steeper 5.10 climbing. Moving around and right is recommended.

To descend from the top walk to the uphill side of the dome (nearest the parking lot) to an ancor and do a free rappel down (50m rope is ok).


The bottom-most route at French's. Walk down the trail to the bottom of the rock and look for the bolts up the slabby jumbled face.



Photos of Giant's Staircase Slideshow Add Photo
up the first pitch.
up the first pitch.
Sarah leading Giant's Staircase, 5.6. Wet & muddy ...
BETA PHOTO: Sarah leading Giant's Staircase, 5.6. Wet & muddy ...
 Top of the first pitch. fun and easy.
Top of the first pitch. fun and easy.
Aaron starting on the second pitch
Aaron starting on the second pitch

Comments on Giant's Staircase Add Comment
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By jeb013
From: Portland
Apr 14, 2014

A few bolts have been added to this climb. There is now an anchor bolted directly above the first pitch (alternate) start. I assume this is for toprope so everything runs cleaner (Caution: no rap rings on this anchor, so be prepared). There is also a new anchor bolted at the end of the 2nd pitch where the old manky anchor was, and 2 or 3 bolts added to the 3rd pitch (mostly 4th class anyways).
By Adra
From: Portland, OR
Aug 21, 2014

This is a fun, easy way to the top of the formation. Stunning view of Mt. Hood while climbing and at the top. You could easily do this in two pitches and just by pass the second set of anchors. Due to rope drag it would be better to do the climb in two pitches, although you could probably do it in one.

The anchor set up at the top is a little odd. Two rusty hangers very far apart from each other (about 2.5 feet). If you bring a longer cordelette you should be fine. I had a 6m cordelette and was able to build a decent two point anchor. If you had anything shorter it would be tricky.

In response to jeb013's comment, there are not rap rings at the first belay but if you solo (easy territory) to the left about 15 feet there is a rap station with fairly new-looking rap rings.
By Micah Klesick
From: Vancouver, WA
Oct 8, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

A old rusted, 1/4" bolt on the 2nd half of Giant's Staircase has been removed, and relocated about 5' down to better protect the climber. 4 old and empty bolts studs were removed, and two old rusty bolts/hangers were removed (they had been left when someone added new bolts). Two other extra bolts were removed, and two bolts were relocated to reduce rope drag.
The rusty old anchors were removed and relocated with closer spacing to make it easier/safer to set up a belay anchor. Still recommended to rap off the rap rings on the front of the Dome though, due to rope drag over the edge going towards the start of Giant's Staircase.
By Byron Marohn
From: Portland, OR
Sep 8, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Just went up this on September 7, 2015. Bolts and anchors seemed new/solid/beautiful, and are much better than a year ago. This is an excellent route to bring friends/family who have perhaps climbed once or twice in the gym, and have never been outside. The view is fantastic, and the climbing is very easy. We did this as a group of three and in three pitches, with new climber tied to the middle of our 70m rope (I think a 60 would barely work too, if doing all three pitches none seem longer than ~27m).

The first pitch was quite mossy/wet after a recent rainstorm, but is still easy enough that it wasn't a problem. There seem to be ~5 bolts on this pitch now, plus anchors.
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