Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Out of Harm's Way

5.8, Trad, Sport, 90 ft (27 m),  Avg: 3 from 107 votes
FA: Paul Fry, 1988
Oregon > Central Oregon > Smith Rock > (p) Spiderman Buttress
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Nesting Closures Details


Aside from Cosmos, this route is the best pebble-studded face climb I have done at Smith. The setting, rock, and lichen are all beautiful and so is the distance from the swarming hordes on the front side of the pass.

Jam and lie-back a small, right-facing dihedral to a comfortable ledge. Pumpier than it looks. Clip a bolt, then step out onto the face and tiptoe up endless pebbles to the anchor. This moderate, somewhat sequential climbing is a treat.


The first major crack left of Spiderman Variation.


Gear to 2", then bolts.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Daniel cruising.
[Hide Photo] Daniel cruising.
Ethan Smith pulling knobs on Out of Harm's Way.
[Hide Photo] Ethan Smith pulling knobs on Out of Harm's Way.
The amazing climbing up the mostly blank face.  Note the 2 ft sling on the last bolt.
[Hide Photo] The amazing climbing up the mostly blank face. Note the 2 ft sling on the last bolt.
Bottom Trad (or soloed) section.
[Hide Photo] Bottom Trad (or soloed) section.
Robert Barry pulling pebbles on "out of harms way"
[Hide Photo] Robert Barry pulling pebbles on "out of harms way"

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
[Hide Comment] This route has some of the best knob pulling at Smith for any grade. Wonderful route. The bottom will be pretty sewn up with a 0.75, 2 #1s, and a #2. Mar 11, 2008
Portland, Or
[Hide Comment] Amazing Mixed route. I think one of my favorite single pitch climbs at smith! Dec 24, 2010
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] 8 bolts, but skip the last one, or use the last bolt of In Harm's Way. Otherwise the rope drag to the anchor might hurt. Second pitch aint worth doing, for any reason ever. Cams from .75-2" are ideal for the first bit, which is an excellent stint of hand jams. 60m rope will get you down with a few feet to spare. Apr 16, 2012
Joe "Big Boi" Osterman
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] This route was longer than it looked from the ground. Definitely some quality pebble pulling on the bolted section. Possibly one of the best 5.8's I have climbed. Apr 15, 2016
Holden Marsh
Eugene, OR
[Hide Comment] This was an excellent route. Everyone in our party found it much more enjoyable (and possibly easier) than its variation to the left, "In Harm's Way". May 30, 2016
Ben Bilbrough
Beaverton, OR
[Hide Comment] Very fun climb. Wish there were more mixed routes.

Beginning of the upper dihedral was a little small for my hands, so ring locks were the moves for the first part of the dihedral, then towards the top found a solid hand jam. Lots of face features, but definitely took some work for the grade.

#.75-#2 with emphasis on the #1 BD Cams sewed it up. Made the mistake of using my moccasym, which made it difficult to get edges on the little nubbins. Very fun climb. Hope this is a good warm up for Screaming Yellow Zonkers Oct 6, 2017
Paul L
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] The best 5.8 I've climbed at Smith, for sure. The position with the views, the climbing, and the total lack of anyone else seeming to even look at the climb make it a must do.

The initial crack is really fun but no gimme at the grade, and takes gear easily. I lead it with 1x .5, 1x #1, 1x #2 and bumped both the #1 and #2 a couple times.

The upper face is stellar. You just can't appreciate the texture from the ground, the thoughtful movements, or the almost dead vertical crux section. So much fun. I"m almost 200# and didn't break a single thing off. Trust the nubbins.

It's also a good route for kids with a decent amount of experience. I lead the route and then belayed two six year olds from the belay ledge up top. They were able to navigate the crack well, and then have an endless amount of little nubbins to choose from to get to you on the ledge.

For followers or TR'ers, I think the leader belaying from above is preferable. There is a pretty comfortable little perch up there. The pitch is longer than it looks, and keeping some stretch out of the rope is good if the climber may fall across that face that has to traversed in short sections a few times.

All in all, if you are already at Spiderman with some gear and can climb 5.8, you should climb this thing. Oct 15, 2019
[Hide Comment] Personally, I didn’t think the upper “nubbin” pulling was thaaaat much easier than Zonkers. Certainly a grade easier, but maybe not 2, and similarly sustained. The lower crack section was also a blast! Only wish it were longer. If setting a TR for newer climbers, consider leaving a cam at the top of the crack to unclip, so if they struggle, the rope won’t be pulling them away. Nov 3, 2019