The Backdoor is the southernmost area at Long Dong. It is accessed via the south parking area and is almost completely self-contained. It also has one of the highest concentrations of routes, especially hard sport. Thus, on most decent days it will be swarming with people... or, if you're lucky, completely empty. It is made up of four distinct areas: B1, B2, Old Man Wall, and Little Turtle Island. All of these areas have their own characteristics.

The first crag you come to, just below the stone stairs, is B1. It is fairly short and contains several beginner to moderate climbs of decent quality that can have anchors setup from above for top-roping parties. This is now a bolt-free zone, so trad gear is required for leading and top anchors. The shallow cave is oriented northeast, so it gets shade earlier than most of the rest of the crag. Routes here start at Under the Staircase and continue to Water Heater Route.

Once you climb down the groove in the rock to the narrow platform below, you have entered B2. This is the area that most people refer to when they say "Backdoor" as this is where the crowds congregate. Several short and rarely-done trad/boulder routes ascend the cracks from here back up to the platform above. Passing below these, you will step up onto the main deck. Here, just to the right of the Basement Corner, a tall, beautiful, grid-bolted cliff presents itself. Starting with Olive Branch, and continuing all the way to Hermit Crab and beyond, twenty sport routes are squeezed in here. They range in grade from hard 10's to easy 14's, and are all of fairly good quality, until you reach the far right side.

In October 2013, Alex Honnold sent an unfinished project that was thought to be 14-, but which he reported to be 13-.

The rock here is notably different from the rest of the area. It is less frictiony and porous than other areas, holds tend to be less juggy and obvious, and there are few slabs. As a result, grades tend to be a bit steeper for the sport climbs. However, there are a few high-quality trad climbs that break up the face. The rock here used to be chossy, but the crowds have done a good job of cleaning things up. However, to the right of Rodeo Clown, the rock gets nasty again. Check out the fallen slab with a bolt in it that perfectly illustrates the "big" overall problem of instability at Long Dong.

If you continue up and over the boulders you will arrive at the oft-wet section called Old Man Wall. Here you will find a dozen more routes ranging from 10's to 13's. This section is rarely climbed, although the routes are supposedly decent quality, if you don't mind half of your holds being glued on.

Little Turtle Mountain, on the other side of the gully, is almost never climbed. There are some leftover relics of early climbing here, as well as the curving weakness of Three Legged Dog that takes you up to the scenic platform above.

When tides are calm, pretty much only in the summer, you can walk out Crocodile Cape and swim in the inlet. Or bust a backflip off of the snout. You could also traverse from here over to the Cathouse. Just be careful though as there are strong currents and sneaker waves.

Getting There

Previously, the area was accessed from the southern entrance by walking down an obvious dirt path to a stone staircase. This staircase has since been destroyed, leaving a scarred face that you have to down-climb in order to get to the B1 area, with the usual scramble down to B2 below. This will be updated if/when a new access route is established.

Rain & Shade

All routes get wet in the rain. All walls tend to seep somewhat, though High-class Quickdraw, Redhead, and the entirety of the Old Man Wall are the worst.

The entire wall goes into the shade around 11am.

37 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at {10} Backdoor

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
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Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
A stick clip is highly recommended for climbing any of the hard sport routes here. The bolts aren't necessarily high, but you have to step onto a 2-meter bench and then pull super-awkward bouldery moves to mount the face on most routes. Mar 6, 2014
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
As of Feb. 13th, 2016, the stone staircase that led down to this area was intentionally destroyed. We assume this was done by the NE Coast Scenic Area folks to prevent access to the fishing below. This was done without any forewarning and no note was left. That's how things are done around here. However, you can still scramble down this section fairly easily. Just try to avoid the protruding rebar and ignore the mess of rubble they left laying around...

EDIT 2/17: It was intentionally destroyed for the purpose of dissuading tourists from going down to the water. It is still passable but be careful. There was still protruding rebar last I checked. Feb 13, 2016