Type: Trad, 200 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 9,991 total · 63/month
Shared By: Karsten Duncan on Jan 23, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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This stunning line is one of the longest and best climbs at Broughton. The climb is on the north face, facing the Columbia river and can be seen from highway 84.

It is usually done in 3 pitches but can be done as one pitch with a 60m rope if long runners are used.

Pitch 1: 5.9 The climb starts up a steep crack and then angles left onto the face through a few bolts. Continue up through a small roof (crux) and onto an angled ledge and a 3 bolt belay.

Pitch 2: 5.8 Continue up a right facing dihedral until it angles to the right and forms a small stance.

Pitch 3: 5.7 The last pitch goes up a wide and sometimes dirty chimney. Belay off a tree at the top.

Walk off to the left (east) or rap
-1 rap with 2 60m ropes or. . .
-2 raps down route


A regular rack of doubles to #3 camalot with one optional larger piece for the last pitch is recommended as well as a few quickdraws and double length slings


Anthony Stout
Albuquerque, NM
Anthony Stout   Albuquerque, NM  
Great route. Been a while since I have done it though (around 2003 when I lived in rainy Portland area). Would be nice to have some photos! Feb 1, 2006
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
I agree on the photos stout. The one of Katherine at the crux is nice but I'll try to get a pic of the whole route in this summer when I in the neighborhood. Apr 14, 2006
matt bruton
Colorado Springs, Colorado
matt bruton   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I'll load some pics, if you tell me you used the big tree 15 ft back from the face, not the little (albeit tempting) tree/shrub at to top of the route. Sep 11, 2008
This has gotta be the hardest 5.9+ routes I've done, at least the first pitch. The finger crack, although solid is kind of intimidating, followed by what I would call a couple of .10 moves when you get to the bolts. Go ahead and flame all you want, I know a lot of other locals who agree. Mar 11, 2009
What a great 1st pitch! Some fun, weird, more-solid-than-you-think rock leads to a very nice finger crack. I'd call this section 5.9-ish. The face moves above and to the left of the crack seemed a little harder than 5.9. But then again, 5.9+ is a notorious rating just about anywhere. May 10, 2009
jrex Anderson
Portland, OR
jrex Anderson   Portland, OR
Just put this route up last week and had a great time. Protects well and route finding is straight forward. Jun 2, 2011
Colin Parker
Idyllwild, CA
Colin Parker   Idyllwild, CA  
Climbed this yesterday and I agree with the rating comments. However, since it's such a classic, well-protected climb, I think Gandalf's should remain the notorious 5.9+ at Broughton. It seems like every 'older' crag has one.

Also, the second two pitches can easily be combined, and there are some anchors at the top of the crag so it's not necessary to use a tree. Jun 22, 2011
Nathan Scherneck
Portland, OR
Nathan Scherneck   Portland, OR
5.9+ is a pretty heavy sandbag. We rappelled from the top of P2 to the ground with a 70m rope. Doubt this would work with a 60m rope. Jun 7, 2013
Brush Prairie, Washington
BrianWilson   Brush Prairie, Washington

Some notes on the climb from a first-timer.

Starting out P1, quickly realized the first bolt is made superfluous by a nice finger crack 3 ft away which takes cams perfectly. Found the crux to be the section just beyond the 2nd upper bolt, no gear placements available until a wider flaring crack and then the strenuous mantle finish.
P2 was our favorite section with perfect finger jam after finger jam through 2 small roofs, good chance you will use all of your small cams here.
It was hard to call P3 a 'pitch' as it was so short! Being not so adept at fist/hand crack it seemed to be a lot harder than thought. Used the biggest cam that we brought here. If you linked up P2 and P3 you could easily use a full set of cams almost in succession.
Didn't really want to belay off a tree so I stayed on route and used a nut, 0.5, and #3 to make an anchor above the rap anchor, worked out pretty well.
Rapping off the top to P1 belay was funky as the anchor is set under a sizable bugle and 10 ft left making getting to the anchor interesting. Fun route for sure, definitely felt harder than 5.9+ but hey that's just me... Apr 1, 2015
when rappelling the route, it's definitely easier to use a 70M rope, and just rap from the top of P2 to the ground. it avoids the hanging/swinging acrobatics to reach the P1 anchors. if you don't have a 70M, maybe just do the walk-off (keeping an eye out for poison oak).

and yes, just linking P2 and P3 together is an easier way to do it, since P3 is so short (and the gear on P2 and P3 don't overlap at all in sizes). Apr 1, 2015
George Zack
Orting, WA
George Zack   Orting, WA
Did this route for the first time today. Overall was a fun line and I would do it again. Some notes: P1 is solid 5.10a, although the crux (third bolt for me) is well protected by a bolt. Don't waste your time like I did trying to fiddle in gear (never got anything anyways) in the flaring, diagonal crack below the upper roof bolt, it is easier to get to that bolt than it looks. P2 and P3 would link up very nicely, then you can either belay from a tree and walk off, or belay from the anchor 10' below the top and rap from there (2 raps with a 60). A single rack from .3 - 3 BD is plenty (even if you link pitches 2 & 3) if you have a decent eye for nut placements. If you always reach for a cam first, or are leading near your limit, then I would recommend also bringing doubles from .3 - .5. I forgot to mention that P3 is not a chimney, but a 20' crack that goes from fingers to OW. However, the OW stretch is only a couple of feet and OW technique can easily be avoided by using face holds. Jun 27, 2015
Carson Baker
Portland, OR
Carson Baker   Portland, OR
First pitch felt like 5.9 to me. I linked p2 and p3. Good climb. The first pitch crux is well protected by a bolt. Aug 5, 2015
Vince Schreck
Portland, OR
Vince Schreck   Portland, OR
I've top roped soloed this route twice now, so I know most of the pitches quite well. Here is my experience working the pitches and climbing them more than once each.

Pitch 1: The crux sections are definitely harder than 5.9. I would compare the crux sections to 1-2 move (V4-V5 Circuit Bouldering Gym) problems. The hardest part for me was the first crux, which involved matching a very painful crimp, reaching to a left hand crimp that is pretty polished, then transitioning to left side pull with a left foot smear. I felt this first crux section should make the pitch 5.10b/c. It's short lived, but it truly felt a bit desperate for a couple moves.

I think the second crux is a bit more feared, because you have to mantle up to the belay ledge, but if you find the right holds, it's solid 5.9. There is a great ledge to kick your left foot up to on top. This will help you push away with your right hand and finish with style.

Pitch 2: 5.8 rating is a bit low, in my opinion. It's basically moving through a series of roofs in a dihedral. If you have good stemming/smearing/shoulder scumming, etc...it's probably 5.8. To work through those sections without the various techniques, you're looking at a pitch that is 5.9. The crack is good fingers with solid protection. Although, I did have a cam pull out while working a directional descent due to the HIGH polish in the crack. Be careful of this polish through the hard sections. The thing about this pitch is that it's pretty sustained the entire time.

Pitch 3: Wide and forgettable. Bring a big cam for this section. My advice is to get a good right hand jam, get your feet up, and switch to a layback using feet on both the left and right side of the crack. If you use the stemming feet, it's 5.7. if you try to jam the wide crack without stemming, it's hard and very strenuous.

The anchor station at the last pitch is 10 feet below the top of the cliff. It's not the most comfortable setup, and it feels a bit awkward. If I would have been climbing with a partner, I would have topped out, and used a BIG tree that is 15 feet back from the cliff edge (on top). Bring shoes, and just walk off back around to the bottom, which is easier and safer than rapping the route. Again, just my opinion. Jun 6, 2016
Chris Fedorczak
Portland, OR
Chris Fedorczak   Portland, OR
My climbing partner and I did this route over the weekend. We were just barely able to rap all the way to the ground with a 70m rope from the three bolt anchor pictured above. Careful to tie knots in the rope though, as you definitely wouldn't want to come off and slide down the hill. Jul 24, 2017
Luis Armando Gil
Portland Oregon
Luis Armando Gil   Portland Oregon
I have climbed this route a couple times. I think overall is good. First pitch is the exciting one. But it's a great route overall. The crappy thing is that is right next to the freeway, it's noisy and for that reason I don't climb it as often. I kind of like the sound of nature more than anything.

I would recommend not to rap down but to walk off. I seems to be safer in a way. Also, I like waking off if I have the chance. Feb 9, 2018
Ryan O
Portland, OR
Ryan O   Portland, OR
You can rappel to the ground from the top of pitch two’s anchors with a single 70m if you lower from the top to the second pitch anchors. Tie knots in your rope of course because it’s a rope stretch. Jun 21, 2018
Alex Hoxie
Redmond Oregon
Alex Hoxie   Redmond Oregon
This route literally has it all - fingers, slopers, boulder problem, spice, bolts, nuts, cams, offwidth. It made me open my eyes to enjoy this place. Aug 6, 2018
Max Rausch
Portland, OR
Max Rausch   Portland, OR
Pitch 2 has a loose block with an X on it, 10 feet below the P3 anchor. It moves, a lot. But after messing with it a bit, it seems to be well chocked in place. I wouldn't worry too much about yarding on it. Nov 25, 2018