Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade II
FA: Matt Perkins, David Whitelaw (1999)
Page Views: 6,797 total · 47/month
Shared By: Matt Perkins on Aug 12, 2007
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

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Total Soul is an eight pitch route on the North Buttress of Three O'Clock Rock. This is slab climbing, though with a remarkable variation to it as the climb follows a dike for two pitches, passes several interesting overlaps along the way, and has the rare distinction of being one of the routes that actually "tops out" on Three O'Clock Rock.

The difficult climbing is mostly bolt protected but the leader must carry and know how to use gear. Gear is particularly helpful for the long crack section on P4 (finger-tip-sized stoppers and up to a wide-hands cam size). It also may be helpful to place a piece or two on P2 and P7. See the attached topo for bolt counts per pitch.


From the base of Silent Running, head left and uphill from the point where the hiking trail reaches the rock. A few hundred yards later, the base of the climb is marked by a bolt on the right wall, maybe fifty feet below where the bushes give way to a rock chimney/gully system that forms the deep cleft between the North Buttress and the South Buttress.

Chains are in place at all the belays so you can rappel the route. The top two pitches are more easily rappelled by an alternate route in the trees on the right (north), for a more vertically oriented rappel.

The first of these two raps is from a set of slings on a medium sized tree, thirty to fifty feet right of where the route tops out. The second, less than a half rope below, has a chain anchor that is often overlooked, so there are slings on a large tree nearby. When you reach the anchor at the top of P2, you can do one rap to the ground with two 60-m ropes if you head towards the gully.


Gear to 2" and ten or eleven draws. Hoard your #1 Camalot until nearing the end of pitch 4 or bring an extra.
Fun route! Very safe for a 10- slab leader.

CD Guide for Darrington available here

Online topo for selected 3 O'Clock Rock climbs here Sep 7, 2007
Jesse Davidson
san diego, ca
Jesse Davidson   san diego, ca
a friend and I climbed this route, swinging leads, with no gear except quickdraws and I don't remember desperately wishing that we had any. May 4, 2008
Eric Bluemn
Worcester, MA
Eric Bluemn   Worcester, MA  
Don't let the approach beta above fool you - the base of 3 O'Clock Rock is no more than a 20 minute hike from the parking lot. That being said, this route is a lot of fun and is the most well-bolted slab climb I have ever been on. Highly recommended. Sep 13, 2009
Awesome climb, very fun and interesting moves the whole way. I agree with the above comments that this climb is safe and requires little gear. Between my partner and I we probably placed 6 pieces of pro over all 8 pitches. Its still worthwhile to bring those light small cams. We did the 5.11a variation to pitch 5 (you go straight up, following the bolts veering up and right then reconnecting with the standard line) and I recommend it! Jun 9, 2013
Hmmm. We did the first 3 the other day (too hot to continue so we bailed; in fact Darrington Clear Creek station measured 90.9 degrees).

P1 is a dirty mess. P2 started dirty but got interesting (5.9) in a hurry. It's got four bolts in 150 feet. We were very happy to put in four cams in between! P3 also has four bolts and no cracks, but it's 5.7. Because we rapped from there I'll postpone an overall assessment until we can return for the entire adventure. Jul 10, 2013
Ryan Hoover
Marysville, Wa
Ryan Hoover   Marysville, Wa
Definitly go for the superfly variation. Best pitch on a already awesome route. Sep 10, 2013
I just went this Labor Day. Pretty good, but the route is fairly wet, making it much harder. If the sun keeps up it should be good in a week. Sep 9, 2015
Fantastic slab climb. Would really hate to climb this even if the route was a little damp. Well protected but also run-out in some parts. Placed 6-7 pieces of gear on the whole route; there wasn't a lot of places to put gear in on the hardest slab portions. Ditch the nuts and hexes. Placed a 0/1 Master Cam thru #1 Cam. Maybe bring a #2 just in case. Brought 5 regular quickdraws and 7 alpine draws of various length.

P1-3 pretty low angle

P4 - The $$$ crack was not so money. It had some substantial grass, so it was a little hard to place gear. Only placed 2 pieces of gear and it was fine at the end of the day.

P5-7 angle steepens up substantially compared to the first 4!

P8 - Heartbreaker, but so awesome. My favorite pitch on the route. Some of the hardest and steepest friction/slab moves saved for the last pitch, but very well protected! Set up an anchor on a thick, alive tree!

Raps were fairly straight forward. Only thing is that the first rap (use one rope) there is some serious foliage that you have to get through to get to the P7 anchors. May 17, 2016
Seattle, WA
rohanbk   Seattle, WA
Holy cow. The SuperFly variation is so good but extremely challenging and technical. Highly recommend ditching the majority of your rack and traveling light; I took a couple of cams (I think I used a finger sized cam and a thin-hands sized cam) and quickdraws.

Every single move felt full on and it was pretty dirty due to lack of traffic (for good reason given the difficulty). I ended up scrubbing off a bunch of holds while on lead. Oct 5, 2017
Connor Culver
Bellingham, WA
  5.10b R
Connor Culver   Bellingham, WA
  5.10b R
Awesome climb. The second pitch (5.9) is super rad. The 10b pitches are full on 10b slab. I thought the 5.7 pitch (pitch 3) was a little sandbagged. Pitch 7 (5.8) is pretty run out. If your comfortable on slab you'd be fine. It is a pretty heady pitch though. Its about a 20 ft run out, then a 30 ft runout, and then at least a 40 ft runout from the last bolt to the anchors. If you blow it getting to the anchors you are looking at a really serious fall. This pitch should have an R rating. Definitely bring a single rack up to #2 camalot. There are spots to place gear on a few of the pitches which helps make it not so run out and you definitely need gear for pitch 4. Highly recommend this climb to anyone comfortable on 5.10 slab. Jul 15, 2018
Lane Aasen
Seattle, WA
Lane Aasen   Seattle, WA
The Superfly variation is clean and incredible! One of those "How am I still on the wall?" pitches. Aug 6, 2018
Matt Perkins
Seattle, Washington
Matt Perkins   Seattle, Washington
Mark, Curt and I cleaned up pitch 4 the other day. Oct 15, 2018