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Routes in (6) Northwest Face

Adventurous 9904 S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bits and Pieces S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Chalk Therapy S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chalk Wave S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Confused and Disfigured S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Cryptesthesia S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Earth Tone T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Fall For Anything S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
My Little Pony S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Of Wolf And Man T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Pocket Pool S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Pony Up S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Stained S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Stand for Something S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Thieves Like Us S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Unforgiven Variation S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wherever I May Roam S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Why Art Thou? S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Sport, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Ryan Lawson, Thomas Emde, 2000
Page Views: 44,257 total, 313/month
Shared By: Bryson Slothower on May 2, 2006 with updates
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

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Description

A good sustained climb at the 5.8/5.9 level that makes for an enjoyable few hours.

Start by climbing Adventurous 9904 which is on a large pillar. From near Asterisk pass the pillar looks partially detached.

Pitch 1: 5.8
Romp up on knobs past several bolts to the top of the Pillar and belay.

Pitch 2: 5.9
Start by leaning over the chimney that separates the main wall and the pillar to clip a bolt then step across. Climb up and left to a belay anchor.

Pitch 3: 5.9
Move up and left to a small ledge just above the belay and make an airy move onto the face. Climb up and left on knobs and pockets, airy and exciting! There is another bolted line that goes straight up a few bolts after stepping across, do not follow it. Belay at the base of an arete after about 60 feet.

Pitch 4: 5.9
Make a few exciting moves up the arete before veering right and following an edge dropping away below your feet. The climbing eases a bit before reaching a belay on a low angled slab.

Pitch 5: 5.8
Race up the slab and then finish on jugs on one final steep section of the headwall and belay.

Location

Adventurous 9904 starts about 100 yards West of Asterisk Pass on a partially separated pillar.

Protection

Bolts

Descent

With single 60m rope...

1- Rappel from the perch to the ledge below. Rap to the East. Walk down hill about 50 feet and look for another rappel anchor on the West side.

2- Rap back down to the anchor on the arete at the start of pitch 4. There is another possible rap point that has more secure bolts just before the one from the start of pitch 4 however it can only be used with a 70m rope.

3- Rap down and look for another anchor on a ledge to the right a bit.

4- Rap to the ground.
John Sullivan
Eugene, OR
 
John Sullivan   Eugene, OR
 
Did this on 12/1/2017. I thought it was super fun and cruiser. None of the climbing felt very hard for the grade, however, the quality of the movement and the stellar positions kept things entertaining.

The route seemed to be in great shape and totally safe.

We rapped off the back into the gulley, and then joined 70 meter ropes with another party and made it to the ground from there in one 70 meter rappel.

Classic. Dec 4, 2017
Jake Patoski
Medford, OR
Jake Patoski   Medford, OR
I don't know if this is already known, but as of 9/29/17, the hangers at the pitch two anchors are loose. The bolts themselves seem solid (only had my fingers to try to torque them).

They supported weight and operated normally, but I wanted to point this out. Sep 30, 2017
Rob S: You mean you belayed the climber and did not use an anchor at the top of pitch 1? I hope I am misunderstanding your post. Yes, they are set back, but anchoring into them would prevent the terrible possibility of what you stated in your post. I apologize if I am misinterpreting your post. As you so sincerely stated, "bottom line I don't want to see people get hurt or worse." Jul 24, 2017
Rob S  
A few notes on this route from a recent trip up it on 5/7/17

1. Others have mentioned the walk off but I wanted to reiterate that this is definitely the preferred option. Follow the directions in the post above carefully and look for cairns. We had another party of two that started the raps before us. We did the first rap right behind them and opted for the walk off without having been down this way before. When we arrived at the base they were still at 2 raps from the ground and they easily had another 30+ minutes. There were also multiple parties below them that were directly in the fall line with lots of loose junk on the raps.

2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned this but the belay situation for the start of pitch two is sketchy. You are standing on a nice flat area with a 3ft wide chasm that drops down into a 4th class gully between you and the wall. If the leader whips, the belayer will almost certainly get pulled towards the wall and likely end up dropping down into this hole. This would be an ugly scenario for both belayer and leader. I didn't really think about this until my leader was partway up the pitch but I scouted around and didn't really see any options for building a suitable ground anchor with gear or natural anchors. Unfortunately the pitch one anchors are too far back to do any good. A single bolt would probably be ideal.

3. We witnessed a lot of scary Sh*&@ on this route with newbies that should not have been up here. Folks...just because this is a sport route this is not the place to work out how to build anchors on a multi pitch route and figure how to belay from above for the first time. This is one of the most popular routes at Smith and you need to be able to build efficient anchors and know how to get yourself out of trouble if something goes wrong. Have your systems dialed in and know how to make safe and efficient transitions at belay stations. This should take 3-5 minutes on a route like this, not 20 minutes or more. Okay enough of my ranting...bottom line I don't want to see people get hurt or worse. May 8, 2017
Michael Nill
Seattle, WA
  5.9-
Michael Nill   Seattle, WA
  5.9-
Very well protected for smith, easy for the grade (for Smith) and great exposure! The 3rd pitch belay was a little wonky last Labor Day, so be wary of loose-ish bolts. Linking P4 and P5 recommended. Apr 24, 2017
wesleys  
I, being a genius, left my gray CAMP helmet with my gopro attached to it at the bottom of this route on saturday (4/30/16). If anyone found it I would be be super thankful and even compensate you! (208)559-7633 May 2, 2016
Stephen Montgomery
Maryland
  5.9+
Stephen Montgomery   Maryland
  5.9+
third pitch can be a touch unsettling to a tiny little belay ledge. Also make sure you tie knots in your rope for the rappel. Oct 18, 2015
Lan Dogan
Seattle, WA
  5.9
Lan Dogan   Seattle, WA
  5.9
Awesome route!

If rappelling on a single rope be sure to use the Belay Station for the Fourth Pitch as the third rap station. I recommend not using the rap rings 15 ft above on the climbers left -- my partner and I used these and ran out our 70m rope, barely making it to the next station. This last one was a little sketchy to find.

Also if it is a busy weekend get there early! We waited probably 2 hours. We couldn't see several parties backed up on top of the first pitch (there's a large amount of room).

Otherwise a great route, and a classic. Lots of exposure. Many people said Pitch 3 (the traverse) was there favorite, but I personally thought the exposure on Pitch 4 was stunning to climb. Jun 3, 2015
Matt Farrell
Bend, Oregon
Matt Farrell   Bend, Oregon
Kent went over and inspected the route. He replaced the 4th anchor, and found the 3rd anchor tight and looking decent. As of April 2015, the anchors on this route all should be safe.

Loose bolts don't necessarily mean unsafe bolts, they might just need tightening, which somebody probably did. Easy to do, just make sure not to overtighten.

There is talk about putting in a completely separate rap route that does not share any anchors with Wherever I May Roam. If that happens, somebody will update this page. Until then, everybody enjoy one of the best moderate multipitches at Smith! Apr 19, 2015
Jon Daniels
Portland, OR
Jon Daniels   Portland, OR
Both bolts on the third pitch anchor are loose. They visibly move up and down with moderate pressure. Loosest bolts ive ever seen. This is also the anchor used for the 3rd rap i believe. Apr 3, 2015
Tony Litke
La Crosse, Wisconsin
  5.8+
Tony Litke   La Crosse, Wisconsin
  5.8+
I've always walked off of this one... Beautiful climb with great exposure on pitch 3 (if I remember correctly). Mar 4, 2015
We did the route a couple of days ago. Some of the bolts are away from the easiest climbing, so on a few clips we had to reach down and across. I highly recommend walking off rather than rapping. Previous posters have detailed this. One bonus of going that way is you can bag Sunset Slab on the way back around to the base. Nov 8, 2014
Andrew G
Silver Spring, MD
  5.9
Andrew G   Silver Spring, MD
  5.9
Most of pitch 3 seems hollow, a few head-scratcher bolt placements, and uninspiring climbing movement left me wondering why I climbed this route. Views of the Smith formations lit up by the setting sun answered my question. In summary: less than impressive climbing to very impressive views. Oct 16, 2014
Sergey Shevelev
San Francisco, CA
 
Sergey Shevelev   San Francisco, CA
 
We were able to rappel from the bolts of the 2nd pitch with a single 60m rope, though ends of the rope were ~4ft from the ground, so it's barely enough. Sep 11, 2014
Sam Bedell
Bend, OR
Sam Bedell   Bend, OR
While most people and the guide book suggest that people rappel for the descent there is an easy walk off with only a couple 3rd class moves and little exposure. It is worth noting that the rappel route is prone to stuck ropes and will certainly take you longer than walking no matter how good you are with rope management.

Depending on your comfort level you can either traverse right from the top-out around the back side of a gendarme on crumbly rock to the top of the gully, OR rap into the gully and hike up. Go around the right side of lost arrow spire (see Watts guide/the spire hidden behind the Platform from the main area, a couple third class moves with minimal exposure) and cross the top of the huge gully on what is actually just 2nd class to join the climbers trail.

Note that this descent works for anything topping out on the Platform or Sky Ridge, including Sky Chimney, White Satin/Lycra, etc. although for those routes you are looking at a longer walk around. Aug 28, 2014
Obi
Portland, OR
  5.9-
Obi   Portland, OR
  5.9-
Just a few extra bits of beta-

Some of the larger holds right at the start of P3 are a bit loose and hollow. Easily avoided and some of my partners never even realized this, but still something to mentally note.

The start of P2 is a step across a gap per the route description, but it might be a mentally committing move to do for a new leader despite it being quite easy.

This all being said, the starting moves of P2 were fun and P3 was by far my favorite of the entire route. A great overall multipitch sport route! Sep 22, 2013
S. Eppes
Bend , OR
5.9-
S. Eppes   Bend , OR
5.9-
The walk off is actually pretty cool and easy. Rap to the east from the top and head south up 2nd/3rd class. Follow the cairns and trail, going from the east to the west side of the ridge, always heading generally south. After one last exposed 3rd class move, the ridge mellows out and turns into a climbers trail which drops down a drainage to the west and curves back around to the base. Be careful not to drop down too soon as the first drainage that you encounter after the ridge turns to dirt cliffs out. Stay on the use trail until you can see the bottom. Jul 27, 2013
Bryan Hall
Portland, Oregon
  5.9-
Bryan Hall   Portland, Oregon
  5.9-
Nice route but the description needs a bit of an update...

The climb isn't sustained at 5.8/5.9. There is typically a crux move on each pitch and then it eases back quite a bit afterwards.

Pitch 2 DOES NOT have a separate line of bolts on it. Pitch 2 goes up and left and is very clear.

Pitch 3 DOES HAVE 2 lines of bolts leading you away from the mainline. Keep driving left and up whenever possible! When you reach the belay, build your anchor off the bolts, not rings to keep them open for people on rappel.

A few people at the cliff have told me there is a walk off for this route. I didn't get the beta but it would be good to have posted here.

The rappels can be done with a single 60 meter rope but there is one snafu. The 3rd rappel from the anchor at the top of pitch 3 can be extremely bogged down if there are a lot of people on route. I was stuck hanging on rappel waiting for people to climb through... If you have a 70 meter rope and quick links to add to the bolt anchor left and up from here you MIGHT be able to make it to the next set and skip that station. Jun 10, 2013
Nick_Cov
Truckee, CA
  5.9+
Nick_Cov   Truckee, CA
  5.9+
This route is well protected and super exposed. Definitely will get your heart racing even if you are a confident 5.10 leader. A must do at Smith. Started early and made made it to top of P3 by the time anyone else had showed up at the base. Might be able to link P4 and P5 with a 70M. We didn't have enough QD's to try it but it looks like it might go. Jun 21, 2012
Interesting moderate sport route. The name soon starts to make sense once you are on P3. Towards the end of P4, you need to climb over a bulge. You can't see the bolts from below and would wonder where the route goes. You just need to have some faith.

The rating is a bit soft, at least for the last pitch. Apr 24, 2012
celerystick
Riverton
 
celerystick   Riverton
 
To add to the above comment.. (Nate Ball) On rap #2, make sure you veer climbers right to the chains(belay station). Do not stop at the set of double bolts. If you try to rap from the bolts that do not have chains, you'll end up short of the next set of chains and you'll be stuck hanging. Sep 26, 2011
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
  5.9
Nate Ball   Portland, OR  
  5.9
A 60m rope will NOT get you from rappel anchor 2 to rappel anchor 3. You HAVE to use the anchor on the route (top of pitch 3). Otherwise you run the risk of downclimbing some gnar or hanging from a bolt like we did or swinging to some other anchors. All of this after I had already climbed the route twice. Our rope was a year-and-some old and had recently been washed, which is perhaps why it wasn't long enough...? Jan 31, 2011
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.9
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.9
Ok route. P3 is definitely the best. Sep 30, 2010
Tod Bloxham
Tacoma, WA
Tod Bloxham   Tacoma, WA
Great climb. I would recommend linking pitches 2-3 and linking 4-5. The pitches are short otherwise and you definitely get more continuous climbing out of each pitch; there is little to no rope drag when linking. By linking you may also help speed up the line of people behind you that wants to climb (on busy weekends).

P2-3 is 55-60 meters (or shorter) and takes 19 draws if you clip every bolt, though many bolts are so close that you can easily reach back clean many bolts from the next one.

P4-5 is even shorter (40-50 meters?) and takes much less bolts, particularly since you can skip or back clean many of the bolts (yes, they are really close to each other). Sep 8, 2009
Eric  
If you have two 70 m ropes you can do the rap from the ledge (just below the summit) to the ground. Jul 2, 2009
adam brink
Boulder, CO
adam brink   Boulder, CO
"TONS of bolts (the way sport climbing ought to be)"

if you don't get crap for that comment then the Smith locals have gone soft since I was last there... Nov 13, 2008
Seth Adams  
 
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this route, I did it with two new climbers and it turned out to be an enjoyable few hours in the afternoon sun.
TONS of bolts (the way sport climbing ought to be). I think I took about 16 draws and slings and used them all (including for anchors). A few long slings is nice. Nov 13, 2008
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
  5.9
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
  5.9
I did this route this morning. Some thoughts:

We took 2 60m ropes with us and while it made the rappels a bit easier you can definitely get by with just one. Don't rap back down the route-- we heard that some people have been doing this for some reason. Rap off the opposite side that you came up, then find the chains 10m or so to the climber's left of the route and rap down there. There are anchors everywhere on this wall so it's pretty easy to get down.

I was suckered in to going straight up the line of bolts towards the end of the 3rd pitch, and I wouldn't recommend it. I didn't have any problem downclimbing 20ft. or so to get back on route, but remember that it keeps traversing left.

The belay at the 5th pitch is really cool, and makes for a great picture if the leader has a camera.

Overall this was a lot of fun. Do it in the morning if you want it in the shade. It's a great route to teach someone the ins and outs of multi-pitch climbing. Aug 18, 2007
DonJuan
Boulder, CO
 
DonJuan   Boulder, CO
 
Great route to practice rope maintenance and multi-pitches at Smith, and to get away from the crowds of the main wall. There's quite a few routes in the same area now, so watch your bolt line (the first time I climbed it I ended up at a rap station for another route and had to down climb around the corner--atop pitch 3 I think?).

Don May 21, 2007
Matt McMurray
Castle Rock, CO
  5.9
Matt McMurray   Castle Rock, CO
  5.9
FYI- I saw another party's ropes get stuck in the cracks and on the knobs on the last two rappels, so be cautious as to where your ropes are running.

MM Nov 2, 2006