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Easy multi-pitch to learn on within 3-4 hours of Portland?


Original Post
Eric Anderson 3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

My brother and I are starting to climb more outside and moving to multi-pitch. We just did a couple laps on Giant's Staircase at French's to get the hang of belaying from above and all that. We're looking for something longer with multiple raps down as well. Has to be bolted and 5.9 or under so we can focus on the logistics. I know not using gear will limit our options but I'm more interested in the adventure of multi-pitch than placing gear for now. Any suggestions?

BBQ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 10,329

Voyage of the Cowdog at Smith Rock.

Chuck Becker · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 10

Wherever I May Roam at Smith is exactly what it sounds like you're looking for. Just be ready to wait in line and feel crowded most of the day

bryans · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Round River (Koala Rock) and Cave Route (Brogan Spire), both in the Marsupials at Smith Rock. Both can easily be done in a day. Or the Marsupial traverse which would include the Cave Route summit. These all involve large run-outs (some could be protected by gear if you had any, though some couldn't), but on terrain that is 5-5 and under.

Also, multiple raps are the most dangerous thing most climbers ever do. It's not really something you "practice" or seek out. Especially at smith rock on a weekend, you don't want people above you rapping and you don't want them below you when you're rapping. IMHO.

Spend some time on the Smith Rock page here and you will find more bolted multis.

Hell, even Ozone has at least 5 or so bolted second pitches, with midway anchors.

Chris Winter · · Portland, OR · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 305

Leavenworth is maybe a bit more than 4 hours, but Straight Street and Gun Rack would both fit the bill and are really good.

At Smith, along with the other ideas, First Kiss might be good. You can also break Bunny Face up into two pitches.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

If you do first kiss follow the walk off, rappelling into "the climb" is a pita and you'll likely have some rockfall pulling ropes. Fun route, probably a better option to get yourself dialed in on belay transitions before Wherever I May Roam (which as mentioned above gets crowded).

Eric Anderson 3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

Nice, I'll look those all up. We're going to go on a weekday so hopefully we can avoid crowds. We're confident we'll be safe but we'll be taking it slow and working through everything slowly.

I didn't realize I could search for routes on here by number of pitches. These areas are farther away but what about one of the routes on Goat Wall or Toy Box at Flagstone?

Darrin Stein · · Vancouver, WA · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 365

Pinto Rock. Wear helmets as rock fall will happen, but a fun place.

Zach Holt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 60

Wherever I may roam as previously mentioned, or Methow Inspirational Route on Goat Wall.

Ben Stabley · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 171

I would suggest Living Blindly (5.7) on brogan spire or First Kiss (5.7) at Smith. You could also try The 3p 5.6 sport route on the Santiam Pinnacle for something with a more alpine feeling. There are also potential options at Coethedral.

Other options at Smith are the routes mentioned in above posts, as well as combining Gingersnap (5.8) and Cry Babies (5.9, excellent exposure) in the dihedrals. You can do a long rappel down the karate crack wall with 2 60m ropes (maybe 1 70m?). In addition to both pitches of Bunny Face, you can combine Ancylostoma (5.9) and p2 of Bunny Face, or Rebirth (5.8 chimney) and p2 of Bunny Face.

Andrew Child · · Santa Clara · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 655

As has been said before. Wherever I may roam is exactly what you're looking for.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

Have you heard of Wherever I May Roam?

Eric Anderson 3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

I asked a friend and he said 'Wherever I may roam' might fit. I'll look that one up.

Thanks a bunch for all the ideas.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

Have you climbed at Smith before? A Smith 5.9 may feel really spicy if your accustomed to steep climbs on positive holds (like gym climbs), depending on how hard you climb.

Eric Anderson 3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Kyle Tarry wrote:Have you climbed at Smith before? A Smith 5.9 may feel really spicy if your accustomed to steep climbs on positive holds (like gym climbs), depending on how hard you climb.
Ya a couple times. I've been out of the country awhile so just getting back into this. We'll get out a few more times to make sure we'll be comfortable with that grade at Smith before we pick a multi-pitch route out there.
Ted Wogan · · Ashland, OR · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Prime rib of the goat at mazama washington is an awesome bolted adventure. It is 5.9- (11 pitchs) and very well bolted. You can walk off or do 13 rappels down to the base.

Whenever I May roam is really good too as mentioned earlier but can be very busy so go early or do it on a weekend.

Jason L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 40

I did both Wherever I may roam and prime rib of the goat in the last month. No way would I lead 2 of the pitches on roam, scary lead in several spots, specifically that airy move out left. Prime rib is much easier, but start very early, the approach is brutal. Roam was led by a guide, but extraordinary climb. Rib easy, less epic, but good.

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

Agree that Prime Rib is great, but requires a decently long approach and if you're rapping down can lead to a long day. I did it with a friend as my first multi-pitch (and her 1st in about 3 years) and we were 15 hours car-to-car.

Definitely fun, exposed climbing though, and (all but one of) the belay stations are very solid and give you good stances.

Jayson Nissen · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 273

When you eventually climb wherever I may roam, make sure you know which anchors to use if you are going to rappel. There is a set of anchors above the belay for the fourth pitch that require a 70 meter to get off of. The walls near the rappel line are also apparently loaded with choss if you get off the line. I have never found this choss but have been on the receiving end of it.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650
Gavin W wrote:Agree that Prime Rib is great, but requires a decently long approach and if you're rapping down can lead to a long day.
That route's approach is very short by Cascades standards. The rappel descent is a good way to work on multipitch rappel efficiency!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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