Home - Destinations - iPhone/Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Illumination Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
SE Buttress 
West Ridge 

Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Gunsight Ridge Trail
A short, but rigorous ridge trail that has spectacular views of Mt. Hood. Near Hood River, OR
Gunsight Ridge
A rigorous ridge trail that has spectacular views of Mt. Hood. Near Hood River, OR
Sandy Ridge Trail System - Full Tour
Excellent flow and downhill singletrack; an exceptional gravity experience. Near Sandy, OR
Quid Pro Flow
A flow trail with big jumps, rollers and multiple lines. Near Sandy, OR
Three Thirty Eight
A cross-country style loop at the top of Sandy Ridge. Near Sandy, OR
Hide and Seek
Fast and rowdy; a top to bottom experience of Sandy Ridge. Near Sandy, OR
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Illumination Rock 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,533'
Lat, Long: 45.3695, -121.7 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 927
Administrators: Peter Franzen, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ben Beckerich on Jun 24, 2013
Good Page?1 person likes this page. Your opinion:   

Make this area a Favorite
What's New
  Print a Mini-Guide with routes

Add Route Add Photo Add Comment Add Event 

iRock

Description 

"...a crumbly hellscape fit for neither man nor beast."

- Ian Kyle

Illumination Rock is a unique place in the world. A sub-peak of Mount Hood, Illumination Rock Massif is made of better stuff than the rest of the mountain, but its basalt slabs and cracks are blasted and raw, locked in snow and ice for most of the year, and rarely touched by man. Holds are not to be trusted, and one must always keep a watchful eye and ear above, for the telltale sound of rockfall. The several hundred feet of scree-ramp surrounding the entire massif give warning to the overall stability and rockfall history of this beast... and traversing the summit ridge, for those few, brave men who attain it, is more an exercise of constitution than climbing skill.

The north face features lesser climbed, significantly steeper, and more hazardous, lines. The south face offers the majority of established lines, as well as significantly easier to find rap anchors, for convenience of an easy exit, or, more commonly, retreat. Both east and west ridges are climbable as well, with the west being the longest, and technically easiest, route on the massif. The east ridge is probably the shortest path to the summit, but has definitely seen more bails than topouts, due to the deceptively long stretches of unprotectable vertical steps, and poor ice.

The best ice will be found on the south face, between February and March, but some lines will form up earlier and some will occasionally last well into June, depending on how a given year shapes up. Generally, March is considered the best month to climb her.

The summit register is located directly under the teetering summit boulder. Most climbers bold enough to make it that far will settle for simply touching the summit bloc. Fewer still will boulder up the east side of the boulder and, panting and sweating with anxiety, reach out and slap the high-point, let out a yelp, and quickly shimmy back down. Very, very few have actually placed foot on that high place- only the hardest of hardmen will dare.

Will you?


Getting There 

The massif is generally, and definitely most practically, accessed via the south side of the mountain from Timberline Lodge, at about 5,900'. In good visibility, the rock will be immediately apparent to climber's-left of the main peak. Otherwise, the peak is within yards of exactly due-north of the lodge (adjusting for declination), and maintaining a north course will bring one to the rock itself, or the col between it and the mountain.

Above the Palmer lift, or from about 7,600' up (if navigating by compass), one must traverse the Zig Zag glacier. The Zig Zag is not known for crevasses, and none typically open up until well into summer, but bear in mind this glacier DOES crack open. Roping-up for glacier safety is not overkill, after a fresh snowfall.


2 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]


Featured Route For Illumination Rock
Approximate line in stripped summer conditions... but as with most routes on this rock, pick your path

SE Buttress 5.6 4c 14 V S 4b M4- R  OR : Illumination Rock
Follows the steep ridge to the right of the South Chamber on the S/SE side/face of the massif.Highly conditions dependent, if the whole route is skinned over and hard, it'll actually be very easy ice with a few mixed/rock moves thrown in. Otherwise, this seems to be one of the more commonly bailed-from routes on the massif.Descend by rapping the "anchor" at the top of the West Gable- the prominent boulder at the farthest west end of the lower ridge (under, and to the west of, the summit ridge). ...[more]   Browse More Classics in OR

Photos of Illumination Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Halfway up the East Arete
Halfway up the East Arete
Part of the summit ridge
BETA PHOTO: Part of the summit ridge
East Ridge
BETA PHOTO: East Ridge
Second pitch of SE Buttress
Second pitch of SE Buttress
Comments on Illumination Rock Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -