Type: Trad, Aid, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: 7/50 F. Richardson, G. Richardson, D. Baars, L. Rice, R. Shay
Page Views: 5,130 total · 33/month
Shared By: corvegas on Apr 27, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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P1 - 5.5 - climb short chimney to belay on big ledge
p2 - 5.7 C2 - on far right end of ledge free climb then resort to aid in crack heading up left follow crack and fixed stuff using hooks. be very carful of the loose block midway. end on small ledge.
p3 - 5.4 C2 - traverse left along ledge and resort to aid in the crack. follow crack to fixed gear then some free to another big ledge.

p4 - 5.8 C1 reach high for first fixed piece follow fixed gear with some hooks to mantle to tiny ledge.

p5 - 5.4 C1 climb fixed ladder with some hooks to some free to the summit.

descent with 2 ropes rap from 5 to 3 then from 3 to the ground. watch for stuck ropes on the first rap.


Follow the trail for about 1.5 miles to pillar


Small clean aid rack to # 2 or # 3 Camalot, hooks, small pin selection(sawed-offs) incase fixed stuff is missing, lots of tie offs. All belays have nice bolts.



Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
One of the classic "desert towers of Oregon". Great adventure climb (some of the fixed gear is unforgettable :) on an AWSOME formation! FFA by J. Thomas at 11a (damn!). May 9, 2006
Don Baars  
I see several comments about the terrible nature of fixed gear and drill holes on this route. I drilled many of the 110 bolt holes on this route in 1950, and could become sensitive to such language. Have fun anyway!
Don Baars Nov 2, 2006
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Don Baars, that was a lot of work. It looks like you made a lot of the gear yourself. Did you make the lag bolt hangers?

We did the west face route and the rappel from the top gives you a great look at this route. The hardware (bolts) are some of the funkiest I have seen in thirty years of climbing. They make those angle iron bed frame hangers seem like star wars technology. Lag bolts that had been bent into loops then screw into lead sleeves. Quarter inch to 3/8ths with old SMC and Leeper hangers drilled pins it is all there. Probably a fun aid line but I would not want to fall far on a lot of that stuff.

If someone updates the route I hope they clean it up (fill holes etc.) but it would be cool if the Lag bolts remain just for the history they represent. Jun 15, 2008
Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
One of Don's lag bolts from his FA of the tower is in the upper right hand corner below (the other stuff is also from the route as it was in '04):

I think "cleaning up" the NE Face route would take away from its character. Seemed as though there were enough new/good bolts already to make it pretty stress free as it is.

E.R., if you liked Steins, you should check out the Turkey Monster...as well as some other Oregon towers:

summitpost.org/area/range/1… Jun 18, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
I am glad you posted the photos rpc. I have been trying to tell people about that stuff but a picture is worth a 1000 words. When I say clean up I mean fill in some of the old bolt holes with epoxy and sand. I think all the old hardware is a trip to look at and probably more so to climb past or aid. The funny thing about Stein's is that I generally don't do stuff like that but my buddy here, Jimbo, strongly urged me to do it. As usual once I am off the ground I enjoy the heck out of things like the pillar. Thanks, EFR Jun 18, 2008
Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
Eric, thanks for the info. on the SW face. Sounds like the protection was reasonable? Looks like a great line!

BTW, here's what the old guidebooks say about the history of the SW a.k.a. W Face route: First ascent of this route made by J. Nieland, E. Dod in October 1967. First free ascent made by B. McGown and J. Thomas in July 1977. Jun 19, 2008
Nathan Scherneck
Portland, OR
  5.9 C2
Nathan Scherneck   Portland, OR
  5.9 C2
P1 - 5.9 (one move)
P2 - 5.7 C2F
P3 - 5.4 C2F
P4 - 5.8 C2F
P5 - 5.9 C2F

I placed a purple C4 twice, three nut placements (small-medium). Lots of tie-offs and quick draws. We made a stick clip but never used it. We easily linked P4 and 5. Rappeled as described above. This worked fine, but the summit anchor is a ways back from the edge, therefore there's a lot of friction. Very hard to pull the ropes. Jul 1, 2013
For Free variation:

P1: 5.9 Chimney
P2: 5.10
p3: 5.10 Make sure to wander left half way up then back right to ledge instead of the direct bolt ladder line to the ledge (didn't go this way) but the direct line felt like 11+, ended up frenching through the ladder.
p4: 5.11-
p5: 5.10+ Thought this pitch was the actual crux

All the pitches are fairly short but wandery. P4 & 5 can be combined easily though if you bring enough draws.

We brought a ton a gear and used very little of it, there are so many pitons and bolts you hardly need to place gear. I would recommend nuts and a few assorted cams going light, and maybe a singe rack if you wanted to go heavy. Bring lots of draws. Oct 9, 2016
Dave McRae
Bend, OR
Dave McRae   Bend, OR
While free climbing, we placed nuts but didn't use any of the cams we brought, but a 0 or 00 Metolius might have been useful on the scary second pitch traverse.

The brief cruxes on the third and fifth pitches feel more like solid 5.11

A single 70 meter rope works for descent Jul 4, 2017
Belay bolts are bomber but lots of ledges. Ripped the (formerly) first fixed pin, and a subsequent nut, on P3 at the end of the initial free section & fell to ledge. Required only one hook placement at the beginning of P4 which could have gone free with moderate moves if not solo. Summiting with accumulating snow blowing upwards was the icing on the cake of a fun adventure climb.

Memorable route and gear. Great location. Expect to clip rusty fixed gear from what feels like every decade of climbing history for good times. Feb 15, 2018