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Routes in Horsethief Butte

Cojones V2 5+ R
Cool Corner V1-2 5
Corner V2-3 5+
Crack Seam V1 5
Entrance Crack - Left/Finger T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Entrance Crack - Left/Hand T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Entrance Crack - Right/Stem TR 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Flake V-easy 3
Hugs & Crevices V0 4
I dynno if I should try this. V1 5
Little Dipper V2-3 5+
Nightmares V3-4 6A+
Spot You to Death V0 4
Steep Face TR 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Thin Crack V1-2 5
Thin Face V3 6A
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Elevation: 417 ft
GPS: 45.648, -121.097 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 17,875 total · 118/month
Shared By: Peter Franzen on Apr 20, 2006
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick
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A fun Columbia Gorge destination with a nice variety of top rope climbs and boulder problems. This picturesque area on the Washington side of the river sits atop the basalt columns of Horsethief Butte; a trail circumnavigates the butte and a handful of trails snake through the corridors that hold most of the exposed rock.

The basalt here is generally of good quality and has some fun features, but be wary of loose blocks. The tops of many of the boulder problems have some loose chunks on them, and there are undoubtedly plenty of ticking time bombs on top of the top rope areas.

No bolts are allowed here so be sure to bring a trad rack and plenty of long slings if you're going to be setting up topropes. There are probably a couple hundred toprope climbs so pick out a line that looks good and go for it.

Getting There

Take I-84 East from Portland to The Dalles. Cross over the bridge to Washington and take a right on Hwy. 14 after a mile or so. Go a few miles (past the state park with Horsethief Lake) and park at the pullout for the Horsethief Butte Trail. The bulk of the bouldering is on top of the butte along with much of the toproping.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Horsethief Butte

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5
I dynno if I should try this.
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
I dynno if I should try this.
V1 5 Boulder
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Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
There are only a few short sections with worthwhile roped climbs. A crash pad would be far more useful if you're not set on doing longer routes. Olson's NW Oregon book mostly lists boulder problems, but does include the Entrance Cracks and a few at the Long Wall. These are pretty great, though maybe not worth the trip by themselves because of how short they are. These two walls are mostly north-facing but do get nice afternoon sun. Great place to bring beginners and/or get on some sunny rock this time of year. Be aware that a Discovery Pass ($30/annual) is required, otherwise it's a $10/day fee. Feb 12, 2017
Great place if its ever raining in Portland to get some outdoor in the gorge. Worth the trip and a great hike for your friends that don't climb. Scramble/explore mania for the little's and great place to practice trad. Had a great time. Bring a wind breaker! possibly ear plugs if your ears are sensitive to wind & a blanket if you are just "chilling" watching. Killer views of the gorge and right off hwy 14 getting your rocks off! Feb 28, 2017

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