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Areas in Rocky Butte

(1) Trivial Wall 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
(2) Silver Bullet Bluff 5 / 1 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
(3) Video Bluff 4 / 5 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
(4) Bill's Buttress 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
(5) Dream Weaver Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
(6) Far East Wall 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
(7) Warrior Wall 2 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
(8) Wizard Wall 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
(9) Toothpick Wall 1 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
(91) Breakfast Cracks 4 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Rocky Butte Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0

Description

Rocky Butte is perhaps Portland’s most accessible crag. Rocky Butte is located in Northeast Portland near I-205. Although noisy, somewhat overgrown, and often dirty it is a worthy crag for the happy-hour crowd or a quick weekend afternoon. It tends to be pretty damp during the rainy season but is quite climbable during the rest of the year.

There are reports of lots of broken glass here, including on some of the climbing holds. Pack some out if possible, and use care for your hands and feet!

Getting There

To reach the climbing area take I-84 East from downtown to the 82nd St. exit. Drive North on 82nd to Freemont Street, and take a right. Freemont will turn into 91st Street and will lead to Rocky Butte Rd, which loops around the top of the butte. Park at the gravel pullout across the street from the large church domes. The cliffs lie just beyond the trees to the East. Pick your favorite tree and rappel down.

37 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Rocky Butte

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Flakey Old Man
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Glenns Route
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Ace
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Blueberry Jam
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Vertical Therapy
TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Emotional Rescue
TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mind Games
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Bikini
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Panes of Reality
TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Power Surge
TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Blackberry Jam
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
White Rabbit
Trad, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Fandango
Trad, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Birds of Paradise
Trad, TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Edge of Might
Sport
Flakey Old Man (3) Video Bluff 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR
Glenns Route (2) Silver Bullet Bluff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Ace (3) Video Bluff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Blueberry Jam (9) Toothpick Wall 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Vertical Therapy (9) Toothpick Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Emotional Rescue (7) Warrior Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Mind Games (8) Wizard Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, TR
Bikini (3) Video Bluff 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Panes of Reality (3) Video Bluff 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Power Surge (9) Toothpick Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
Blackberry Jam (91) Breakfast Cracks 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
White Rabbit (91) Breakfast Cracks 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Fandango (2) Silver Bullet Bluff 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, TR
Birds of Paradise (91) Breakfast Cracks 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, TR
Edge of Might (3) Video Bluff 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Rocky Butte »

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Photos

another Chad - As you mentioned, the signs I saw prohibiting climbing were at the top of the hill. I incorrectly assumed they applied to the whole area.

I've removed my photo & prior comments. Note to others -- apparently it is safe to ignore those signs at the top of the hill en route to Rocky Butte. Sep 1, 2016
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
I really have to agree with Bryan on this. My gripe isn't about the trash, it's not about the noise, but about the dirtiness and lack of accessibility.

Most routes must be rapped down to. Not a big deal, as long as there are accessible trees or anchors to rap from, which there often aren't.

Most popular cliffs don't have easy walks to the top. You rap in, you climb out, or you do that gnarly 4th-class scramble.

Most routes have a layer of dirt/cobwebs/glass on them. Many routes are polished as well.

There may be fantastic climbs interspersed among the debris - the Breakfast Cracks climbs are especially rad - but it's just not worth it. Now if someone were to set new top anchors... Aug 8, 2014
Bryan Hall
Portland, Oregon
Bryan Hall   Portland, Oregon
I've got to admit, yes it's easy to find and access, but no, it's just not worth it. So much noise from the highway forces you to yell to your climber when they are only 40 feet away! May 30, 2012
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
Yeah, the scars are definitely from dry-tooling. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between axe/crampon scars and bullet scars.

And wow-- that statement sure says something about this place, doesn't it! Feb 9, 2012
Unfortunately, a lot of older, established climbs at Rocky Butte are sporting new-ish drytooling scars. Sixteen years ago, they weren't there.


Chad Feb 8, 2012
Rocky Butte, was a quarry before it was used as target practice by the Military Academy that used to occupy the Domes. It's possible that some of the scars are from dry tooling, but more likely, you're seeing the bullet scars. Jun 23, 2011
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
There seems to be a lot of dry tooling going on out at the 'Butte. Some of the faces are scarred pretty badly. Feb 2, 2010
cerickson
Portland, OR
cerickson   Portland, OR
My buddies and I committed to cleaning up the Butte everytime we climbed there. Bring a plastic bag and don't leave til it's full. If everyone does it ... it makes a difference. Sep 30, 2009
Caleb Phillips
Boulder, CO
Caleb Phillips   Boulder, CO
The Butte is dirty and the rock isn't perfect, but, if you live in Portland and want to catch a climb after work, or ride your bike to the crag, this is your only choice. If you give it a chance, you can fall in love with the dirty appeal of the 'Butte. Oct 20, 2007

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