For next few days, REI will DOUBLE your gift to the Access Fund - up to $65,000. Donate Now!
Mountain Project Logo

Corvallis Climbing?


Original Post
Rees LaBree · · Centennial, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 118

Hey everyone,

I'm a highschool senior applying to colleges right now and am trying to evaluate the ever important element that goes into college decisions: the quality of the climbing around the school. I'm applying to OSU in Corvallis and was wondering if there was much climbing near/around Corvallis? Growing up in Colorado, I'm not expecting anything close to the climbing around Boulder or Golden but was wondering if I could even treat Corvallis as a viable option.

Much thanks in the college commitment decision

dave hill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0

Hey there; I'm an engineering prof at OSU. Corvallis is great. Nearby climbing is marginal, though. Some interesting stuff in the cascades (Wolf Rock, Flagstone, etc.) within 1.5 hrs. Smith is like 3 hrs. Some sketch adventure climbing in Menagerie, etc. I spent my school days climbing in Yosemite, so I'm a bit spoiled. But, that all said, Corvallis is a great place to be, truly!

Perry Norris · · Truckee · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 45

When I was in high school in the early 70s there was a crag called the Corvallis Quarry. The last time I was there, maybe 1973,  the owner chased us away. I don't recall much about the climbing.

Brian B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

The Gardens is an area that has been recently developed by a couple of grad students at OSU. It is nothing special, but has ~15 bolted sport routes on pretty good rock about 45 minutes from town. 

Dave Bn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 10

If climbing is a priority, then OSU should be at the bottom of the list for just about any school in a western state.  Yes, there is climbing there, but in the same vein as there is skiing in Ohio.

Good mtb, and the coast is close, though.  It also rains from late September until July 4th and people in Oregon have this weird self-important too-cool-for-school dickishness.

When I moved to CO after two years in Corvallis (masters degree), it was like being let out of prison.

YMMV.


Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146

I went to school at OSU. The near by climbing and skiing is marginal. We drove 2-3 hours any time we wanted quality climbing and skiing.

Here is my suggestion, hopefully you will be in college four years so  pick a college that will get you a job in a place that has good climbing for a really long time.

Dave, there is good building outside your office. BITD before there was a climbing gym we used to builder on Owen Hall regularly. And if you see Scott Asford tell him hello for me. 

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Dave Bn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 10
AndrewArroz wrote:

Forest ecology is pretty top notch at OSU. 

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Dave Bn wrote:

Forest ecology is pretty top notch at OSU. 

Curious if it's actually focused on ecology or is it timber industry forestry?

Anthony L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25
AndrewArroz wrote:

Curious if it's actually focused on ecology or is it timber industry forestry?

Also interested in this... Oregon has a history of being beholden to the timber industry, so I'd imagine the public university is no different. 

Dave Bn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 10
AndrewArroz wrote:

Curious if it's actually focused on ecology or is it timber industry forestry?

The department as a whole is definitely slanted towards industry - both timber harvesting/management and engineered wood products - but there is a pretty strong and historical Forest Ecology (graduate degree and research) emphasis at OSU that has churned out some highly influential scientists. 

Kerrick Robinson · · Corvallis, OR · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 5

I'd say focus on academics, but consider outdoor recreation opportunities. No school is going to be perfect for everything you want. The benefit to Corvallis being small is that nearby trails/crags/rivers aren't super crowded. Going out to the Garden for a day can give you a nice sense of solitude.
I don't associate much with the undergraduate climbing community here, but based on their conversations at the gym someone goes out to Smith at least every weekend. Seems like a supportive scene if you like groups. If you are into placing gear, good luck finding a partner.
There are two indoor gyms here, which you could probably check out if you do a campus tour. Setting is mediocre (student setters & no public setting allowed anymore). Oh, and no one leads in the gym. You can, if you take the $50 class, but no one does anyway. This is my biggest complaint.

Academically, the programs that stand out as being above average are Fisheries and Wildlife, Forestry, Oceanography, and Engineering. Don't know much about UO, but it seems like we are bit more STEM focused.
Also, I heard OSU has the most research funding in the entire state.

If you are interested in more info, feel free to send me a message and we can get in touch. Bonus points if you are interested in fisheries.


Curt Veldhuisen · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 596
AndrewArroz wrote:

Curious if it's actually focused on ecology or is it timber industry forestry?

You can go either direction and both are solid. One of the Forest Service's major research facilities is right across the parking lot from the OSU forestry building. EPA has (had?) their science facility across the street.  Lots of smart folks around and generally very accessible to students. I did my Masters there and loved it.  

But yeah, the mountain biking and ultimate frisbee options were better than the climbing  

KyleSmith · · Cañon City, CO · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 299

I graduated OSU and got into climbing while in school there. It's got a spectacular outdoor program in general, the Adventure Leadership Institute, that I found awesome. And the two campus gyms are sweet, certainly a fun community. Like people have mentioned there are a few crags minimum 1 hour away from Corvallis but driving to Smith Rock three hours away was generally the place to be.

Gage Bryers · · Salem · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0
Scoop wrote:

When I was in high school in the early 70s there was a crag called the Corvallis Quarry. The last time I was there, maybe 1973,  the owner chased us away. I don't recall much about the climbing.

The Quarry is so sketchy. I don't know how to bolt, but there are routes up there that have bolts that are clearly vintage, with hangers like I've never seen anywhere else. However that's only if you are lucky(?) enough for there to still be bolts. I went 2 years ago. It was maybe my 6th time climbing outside ever and having to down climb because the anchors are missing (or crap) is enough to make you crap ha.

Andrew Child · · Santa Clara · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 660

The garden and other small Willamette valley crags are wonderful for what they are, but you should also bear in mind that it rains a ton in the valley and most of these crags have short seasons. Smith has a ton to offer and it can be climbed year round. Its not too far away for day trips if you're determined. Beyond that you'll have to drive pretty far to get to another destination crag. Lots of people go to Bishop and Redrocks on breaks, but they are each 13+ hours away.

The school gyms are well equipped as far as college gyms go, but don't expect the setting quality or frequency of a commercial gym. There are also three commercial gyms within an hour radius so you kind of have options, but none of them are very close (and one of them is terrible).

Ryan Swanson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 50
Dave Bn wrote:

The department as a whole is definitely slanted towards industry - both timber harvesting/management and engineered wood products - but there is a pretty strong and historical Forest Ecology (graduate degree and research) emphasis at OSU that has churned out some highly influential scientists. 

What is wrong with the timber industry?  Engineered wood products are the way of the future.  I work designing machines that optimize the utilization of fiber for engineered wood products, thus minimizing waste, and maximizing the uses of the most renewable resource we have.  Oregon has a reforestaion law on the books, so the abundant new growth forests harbor more wildlife, and are much less prone to wildfires.  Not to mention the forest products industries is one of the largest collective employers in the nation.

Ryan Palo · · Bend, oregon · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 595

OSU grad. I used to make that 106 mile commute to Smith all the time. Loved my time at that school. I will say all of the climbing nearby is terrible by any standard. So dont base your decision off of that. 

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Ryan Swanson wrote:

What is wrong with the timber industry?  

Historical precedent of destroying nature without regard?

I'm glad to hear things are changing. 

M. G. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

In addition to the Garden there's also the Druid boulders on Mary's Peak....some decent stuff there

Adam Oliver · · Corvallis Or · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 105

If climbing isn't the only thing that peeks your interest the mountain biking right outside of Corvallis is top notch in my opinion. I'm a current OSU student I'd have to agree with what Andrew Child wrote, the garden is only crag semi-worthwhile that isn't smith or a multi hour drive away. That being said, from a glass half perspective the campus climbing facilities are great for what they are, there's a pretty big community of climbers and if you're friendly enough it's not hard to find a group of people heading to Smith just about every climbable weekend. Over the break many groups of students road trip to the larger destination crags in the west like Bishop, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks etc.  As for trad climbing, there are only a few students in the community that I've met that like to push themselves on gear, but I'm just one student and I haven't met everybody at the gym. All in all it's a pretty good school and I'm pretty happy here but if climbing is the deciding factor for where you go to school (which is shouldn't be) I wouldn't consider OSU a prime choice.

Oh yeah and it rains here....a lot...  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Corvallis Climbing?"
in the Pacific Northwest

Log In to Reply