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Routes in Pandora

Artemis T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Artemis (full) T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Breakdancer T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Lost Ninja T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Orange Beard T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Quest, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
See Through T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wind of the North T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
河蟹 (Hé Xiè) / River Crabbed T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c


Pandora is the commanding line of cliffs directly south of Li Ming. The Southern Oracle, between Pandora and the Primitive Buttress, is also included in this section since it has few routes and has the same approach. While the hike up to Pandora is very steep and not obvious, there are many great climbs, making it worthy of a visit. This area is mostly northwest facing, ideal for warmer weather.

While there is plenty of quality climbing accessible from the ground to keep folks busy for a couple days, there is even more climbing that requires approach pitches to access ledge systems higher up. There is still a good amount of undeveloped rock here also. And for the lovers of dirty, veg climbing, the north facing aspect provides plenty of it.

Getting There

Study the guidebook or ask somebody that has been up there. The approach starts from the bridge in Li Ming, trends southwest then takes the valley between two steep conglomerate gullies. Along the approach, make sure you are looking and walking toward the giant white cave feature.

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Nate Ball
Portland, OR
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
If you climb at least 5.11, have exhausted everything else at your grade at the Lisu Area, Dinner Wall, and the Holidays, you don't want to take the drive into the South Valley, and don't mind long, steep walks on indiscernible trails, then Pandora is definitely worth a visit. That is to say, after one visit, this 5.10+ crack climber didn't find anything worth coming back for in three weeks.

The area gets a lot less traffic, is mostly north-facing, and thus gets a lot more lichen growth and cracks filled with dirt. Perhaps a good hot-weather crag.

Once you leave the trail that follows the east side of the river, the path up the hillside is basically non-existent. As noted above, make for the big white/yellow cave feature and you should be alright. Turn left off the trail before you reach the corn field that borders the trail on the left, and try not to walk through it. It is steep for a long time, trending generally right. You will eventually come to a trail that goes right around a grassy gully, which at least one version of the guidebook tells you to go up, and follows a grassy ridge up past some boulders. This section is fairly clear. You will find yourself at the base of two rocky gullies. Go up the one on the left for a very short distance (10-20m) and then try to find a trail through the brush onto the slope between the two gullies. Follow this, very overgrown as of 10/2016, switching back up the hillside, until you come into a more treed hillside, then just keep following the now-obvious trail upwards. You will come to a branch at a conglomerate face. Left goes to the majority of the climbs, starting at Orange Beard and The Quest. Right goes to some other climbs and the Southern Oracle, which appeared to be very sketchy to access at best (mud slides and very steep cliffs below). Nov 10, 2016

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