The Big Tree
5.8- YDS 5b French 16 Ewbanks VI- UIAA 14 ZA VS 4c British
Avg: 2.7 from 45 votes
|Type:||Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 4 pitches, Grade II|
|FA:||Manuel Gonzalez, Don Williamson (1970)|
|Page Views:||10,159 total · 53/month|
|Shared By:||Matt Perkins on Aug 11, 2007 · Updates|
|Admins:||Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Z Winters|
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The Big Tree I is one of the first routes climbed in Darrington. Big Tree II was added in 1970, and the routes have been steadily revised over the years with added bolts allowing more travel on clean slabs and less bush pulling. Few parties follow the original first pitch of Big Tree I that started on Cornucopia Flake and most modern parties do not actually climb to the Big Tree itself. After 3 or 4 pitches, follow Shake, Rattle and Roll for a short pitch and a long one to make it a longer outing.
The first pitch takes an obvious wide crack with a zig zag, a finger crack and then heads right to reach a set of ledges with rappel slings on a medium sized tree. A chain belay is fifteen feet up and left but standing at the tree is more comfortable.
Big Tree I: From here, step left and pass three bolts, climb a short corner, and reach a horizontal traverse left (one pro bolt here). The last move of the second pitch is a downward step to the left. Thence climb upward on flakes and corners, passing left around a tree maybe 50 feet above the belay (short pitch; many parties climb right of that tree, on much harder and dirtier rock). Climb up the right-hand of two corners, and then move out right onto a slab. If you find yourself eying a grassy seam that may have an old piton sticking out of it, it is time to look right and get onto the bolted slab. Pass an uncomfortable slab belay to reach chains at the top of this fourth pitch, maybe fifty feet below and right of the obvious "Big Tree." Shake, Rattle and Roll continues for two more pitches, 5.8. A short pitch climbs up and right from the Big Tree chains and a longer, varied pitch follows.
Big Tree II: Move right from the tree at the top of the first pitch, climb flakes and watch for a chance to move out right around the corner to pass through a gap in the trees lining the next corner over. Two bolts on Shake, Rattle and Roll lead to a crack and the belay. The third pitch, with 12 bolts, will feel run-out to some; it is sustained slab climbing with a 5.8 crux. Climb a short pitch (do not skip the belay), and then a left trending pitch with bolts where you need them, but runouts between.
These routes are not set up for descent on a single route.
Description and Topo: mattsea.com/Darr/three.htm
Three O'Clock Rock is home to about thirty routes in addition to The Big Tree. To reach the crag, drive five or six miles up the Clear Creek logging road from the Mountain Loop Highway southeast of Darrington, and take the right (main) fork. In less than another mile, parking is found on the left and a bulletin board and trailhead sign is just off to the right. Hike the Eight-mile Creek trail about two miles, at first along an old logging spur and through second growth but eventually entering big timber with some impressive old cedar trees. Just before reaching the crag, the trail exits the trees and crosses an old overgrown talus slope. Straight ahead the trail runs into and skirts the base of the North Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock; for the South Buttress, a climber's trail heads up and left into the slide maples, part way across this talus slope and 100 yards before the trail reaches the North Buttress.
The route starts with a prominent zig zagging crack where the South Buttress access trail reaches the rock.