SEASONAL CLOSURE TAKES EFFECT 1/15/13!! No top access - private land MORE INFO >>>
SEASONAL CLOSURE TAKES EFFECT 1/15/13!! The golden eagle nesting season is underway and the closure begins tomorrow, 1/15/2013. Last year, climbers demonstrated a 100% compliance rate with the voluntary test closure, and we need to make sure to repeat that showing. Unlike last year, this is a mandatory, not voluntary closure for all users including climbers and hikers. This means the BLM will be monitoring the territory and has the power to issue tickets for entering the closure area, which includes all of the crags and the approach trails. The soonest the closure could be partially lifted is May 15th, depending on the nesting scenarios at that time. Please spread the word, climb elsewhere until further notice!
NO TOP ACCESS - PRIVATE LAND
Taken verbatim from a post by Jeff Wenger on the topic: "The climbing and part of the approach at Trout Creek sit on a fuzzy boundary of BLM and private land. The land on the mesa above the columns is part of a huge piece of property owned by the original settlers of Gateway, the Vibbert family. It is used to graze cattle and for several months every year as a pay-to-play bird hunting “preserve”. The property also contains an old homestead, a large productive farm, ponds, creeks, 4x4 roads, and an amazing solitary gravesite on the canyon rim between the crag and the campground. What we have here is an old sprawling property with several spotty boundaries on its BLM borders. The family had some BIG reservations about people being up there, mostly because they assumed climbers would want to cross their property and of course they had concerns about liability.
Why have things changed? By NOT attempting to access the crag over private property, we’ve built trust with the before-weary Vibberts. They feel much better about us being in the area (and that REALLY matters in this case) compared to their initial, understandable reservations. So long as we continue to respect their land by NOT using it to access the cliff, more climbers shouldn’t be a big deal…and more climbers is what posting will bring.
I had the recent opportunity to meet with the guy who manages the hunting preserve for the Vibberts. He mentioned that he checks-in on the crag (what the family calls ‘dry island’) and has been very impressed with the fact that people have been respectful of the land. The Vibbert family loves the area and appreciates the fact others do too (even if the climbing is abrasive and physical!!). They’re thankful we take the time to walk in from the campground and that we encourage others to only access the climbing from below (I.E. lead rather than walk around to TR/rap ). Since neither the county nor the Vibberts are 100% clear on the boundary lines with the BLM and since they once owned all of what is now Gateway, the positive relations we have established are key for long-term access."
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Trout Creek is Oregon's premier destination for pure crack climbs. The climbing is physical, the rock is rough, and the approach is long if you're not used to hiking. The bulk of the climbing is vertical cracks in corners and stem-boxes on enormous basalt columns coming in at the 5.10-5.12 range. There are also a handful of lower angle crack climbs on the North side of the crag that come in at 5.7-5.10. The main wall faces west and this fact dictates when it is best to climb there. It is possible to climb at Trout year round if you climb in the sun/shade accordingly. There is a published guidebook that is free to download at stores.lulu.com/jeffwenger. It is an excellent resource and comes highly recommended, especially if you're interested in ethics, history, and thoughts behind grades. It was recently updated in October 2009.
The position of the crag is spectacular and contributes to Trout's special vibe. It's possible to climb there without tape, but it sure feels nice to have something between your skin and the rock. In terms of gear, lots of people have complained about how many cams you need, but my experience is that you can get by with a double rack if you have a couple choice supplements for specific routes. Extra hand and finger sized pieces are definitely a good idea. There are still a couple lines that haven't been done, but they're mostly thin and difficult.
Additionally, one of Trout's most outstanding characteristics is the sense of welcome, stewardship, and community that the people who climb there bring to it. Evidence of this can be found in the steel carabiners that the chains on the vast majority of the classic routes are equipped with. These are meant for simplifying the top-rope-cleaning process and were contributed by the generosity of others. Please respect that by leaving them in place. Additionally, there is a community bucket currently located under a boulder in the vicinity of the bench-like columns beneath Gold Rush. It usually contains a guidebook, a first aid kit, various odds and ends, and a quart mason jar of hand cream that, while it looks slightly dubious, is reputed to be very good stuff. This bucket, like all the other human artifacts 90% of Trout's visitors use during their stay, (bolts, hangers, chains, carabiners, etc...) are there thanks to the generosity of others.
It's worth noting that Trout's Main Wall requires exposed boulder-hopping to enjoy fully. People and/or dogs not comfortable walking and 3rd/4th classing in exposed situations probably won't enjoy visiting. Lastly, FA information is based on the guidebook but is a sticky subject due to the area's development history. For the whole story, check out the guidebook.
From the city of Madras: drive 97 North past Safeway and out of town. Turn left of NE Cora Drive. It'll turn into NE Clark Drive which you'll follow into the town of Gateway, OR. Cross the train tracks and take a right following signs to Trout Creek Recreational Area. From the day-use area at the up-stream end of the campground, follow the trail/road up stream for about 10 minutes. There are currently two trails up to the crag. One leaves the river right after the road jogs around a small berm (right after you pass a bench on your right) and switchbacks up to the Northern End. To get to the other, older trail, follow the road past the first trail for another 5 minutes, cross a small cattle guard (the second you will have encountered if you include the very first one you cross after leaving the parking lot), and look for a trail heading up and left during a long straightaway.
This is an amazing area, and I want to thank all of the people who have worked on its development.
I was really struck by the rock here-- I came expecting the usual slick-as-ice basalt that we're used to in the Northwest, but I was surprised to see that it has an incredible texture that is reminiscent of the tuff at Smith Rock. Among other things, that tends to make the climbing a bit sportier than some other purely trad areas that you might visit; because of the abrasive texture there's a chance that you might actually stick that desperate deadpoint to a far-away fingerjam.
Passive pro does work well in many places, but there are certain routes where you do actually need triples or quadruples of a given size in order to place gear every ten feet. "You'll be able to climb with a "regular" rack on many of the routes. If you climb solid 5.10 and have a double set of cams and stoppers you should be fine on some of the most popular climbs like Wonder Twins, U2, The Guillotine, Sleepy Hallow, Gods Must Be Angry, Two Step, Usual Suspects, Talkin' it Clean (and the routes close by), The Long March, Rock Around the Block, Mr Squiggles, Lively Up Yourself...and many others. So don't let the lack of gear talk you out of heading up there.
Jr Token, Gold Rush, Fingerlings, Alchemy and many of the finger cracks (typically) require more than doubles." -Jeffw (a pretty knowledgeable guy) on the subject of gear requirements at Trout.
The closure does not include the campground. The river road and campground are unaffected by the closure. If you do hike the river road, do not leave it and head up the trails to cliff. The closure only affects the climber's trails and crag. There should be signs after a couple hundred feet of trail.