This obscure area is the most remote crag at Smith. It's at least a 90-minute walk from the main area, and I guarantee you will not see any other climbers. This area only features two known routes, but one of them, the Poplar, is a must-do.
The quickest, most legal approach seems to be to head over Asterix pass from the main area, follow the river trail past the Monkey, then up on to the plateau above the rimrock after passing the Kiss of the Lepers cliffs. From here, head NE to the exit of the Canal tunnel, then follow the canal to the next tunnel (under Gunsight rock). Presumably if you're walking all this way you intend to climb a few of the routes on Indian Ridge, so start scrambling up Indian at this point, to Gunsight rock first, then on to Squaw Rock. Continue up the ridge to its intersection with Mendenhall Ridge, then follow the Ridge down to the Poplar.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mendenhall Ridge:
The Poplar, South Chimney 5.7 R Trad, 1 pitch, 80 feet, Grade II
Featured Route For Mendenhall Ridge
The Poplar, South Chimney 5.7 R OR : Smith Rock : Mendenhall Ridge
The Poplar is one of the most amazing bulbous rock towers you will ever see. If you've never heard of or seen it, go to the Crooked River Bridge (aka Rex T Barber Bridge) on Highway 97 and look NE. The Poplar is the unbelievable looking spire on the nearest Ridge. The inexplicably tiny base of stone that supports the massive, leaning pillar at once defies logic and gravity. This thing simply HAS to be climbed!The rock is not what you would call "good", but since you will be chimneying, you s...[more] Browse More Classics in OR