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The Scoop

5.11c, Trad, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 3.5 from 14 votes
FA: Matt Clifton, Evan Cabodi, Stewart Matthiesen
Washington > Central-E Casca… > Stuart-Enchantm… > Colchuck Balanced Rock


Pitch 1 (5.9): a bouldery move off the ground leads to easier terrain, belay below a small rotting tree. (~100 ft.)

Pitch 2 (5.10a): move into a grove where tough moves take you out and right where the climbing eases. (~100 ft.)

Pitch 3 (5.10a): fun climbing moves up into a dihedral and the crux of the pitch. A short slab section leads to "Launch Ledge". Move the belay to the left about 30 feet before starting pitch 4.(~100 ft.)

Pitch 4 (5.11c): "The Scoop" pitch begins with a nice crack leading into a corner. Take a good rest, and launch up the dihedral. Sustained finger and hand jams with good gear take you up and to the left, finishing up with a 5.10 hand crack to a nice belay ledge. (~195 ft.)

note: it is now possible to skip the classic crux "Scoop" pitch by climbing a hand crack to the right (the Nectar 5.10+)

Pitch 5 (5.10b): move down and left on a small ledge that takes you into a slab dihedral. Small cams and nuts are useful here to move up and into a nice dihedral crack (wet in early season). Move out and left of the roof to another nice belay ledge. (~100 ft.)

Pitch 6 (5.10a): Climb up the right side and find the easiest way to move back out left to the rock tooth on the left. A nice 5.9 dihedral above take you to a small roof and the final ledge (tree belay). (~100 ft.)

Pitches 7-10 (easy fifth): find the path of least resistance up and left to the summit and the balanced rock.


Located right of the Tempest, left of Rikki Tikki Tavi


Double rack to 3", extra small cams and nuts helpful.

No fixed gear, pins, or bolts on the route.

Natural anchors (trees and horns) allow you to rappel the route.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Evan on pitch 4
[Hide Photo] Evan on pitch 4
Evan finding more finger jams on pitch 4
[Hide Photo] Evan finding more finger jams on pitch 4
Roof at top of Pitch 5. You can get good hand jams along the top and there is a key knob for the foot out left.
[Hide Photo] Roof at top of Pitch 5. You can get good hand jams along the top and there is a key knob for the foot out left.
Money pitch!!
[Hide Photo] Money pitch!!
Evan on pitch 4
[Hide Photo] Evan on pitch 4
Evan leading pitch 4
[Hide Photo] Evan leading pitch 4
Pitch 1
[Hide Photo] Pitch 1
Ledge traverse to start pitch 5
[Hide Photo] Ledge traverse to start pitch 5
Stewart leading up pitch 5
[Hide Photo] Stewart leading up pitch 5
Topo map
[Hide Photo] Topo map
Looking up at the awesome "Scoop" pitch
[Hide Photo] Looking up at the awesome "Scoop" pitch
Matt leading up pitch 3
[Hide Photo] Matt leading up pitch 3

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Great climb, and awesome job by the FA folks to link natural features on the last two pitches. With good use of small gear, things are exciting but not dangerous. The 'Scoop' pitch doesn't have one particular crux, but features little in the way of rests and speed is your friend. Sep 16, 2010
Everett WA
[Hide Comment] So so good this is what it is all about. Easy to locate the base. Pitches 1-3 are easy to locate with only a few moves of .10. The Scoop pitch is CLASSIC. Straightforward climbing with good rests and pods for both hands and feet. Delivers a good pump for .11. Pitch five is little spicy with solid pro, HB offsets were nice to have. The final pitch had it all, good rests, solid pro, knobs, the icing on the cake. The scramble to the top is always fun as well. Aug 26, 2013
James Ellis
Seattle, Washington
[Hide Comment] I attempted to climb the Scoop on Saturday June 6 but discovered that the first half of the crux corner (not the slabby corner below it) was soaking wet and covered in slime. We bailed right onto the Nectar which was definitely a worthwhile alternative and deserves a bit more beta. At the top of the first pitch of the Nectar there are three alternatives.
a. Below an obvious offwidth section step left along small ledges to join the top of the crux pitch of the Scoop.
b. Climb straight up a few unprotected offwidth moves (gear below) until the crack narrows to hands/fists. Follow this to a small ledge. Belay here and then do a half pitch to climb over the block to the left to the base of an obvious hand crack.
c. Step right below the unprotected offwidth and climb the interesting chimney/v-slot/double offwidth with good medium sized pro. Follow this feature to the same ledge as (b). We took this option and the upper chimney felt like low 5.10, although it was dripping at the time.

The next pitch follows a mix of crack and face climbing past fun knobs. We belayed at a big horn. Felt roughly 5.9. Easy pitches up to 5.7 lead from here to the summit. Jun 8, 2015
Ben Gilkison
[Hide Comment] Climbed the Scoop 2 days ago. Mostly dry now with a little manageable moisture. For people closer to 5', the crux of pitch 5 probably comes lower down with some spice reaching up and left to the crack on the slab. 10+.

This route was awesome! Jul 2, 2015
Lance Colley
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] Awesome route! The scoop pitch is fantastic and the next two pitches are awesome 5.10 corners full of beautiful knobs and jams. The fifth pitch was wet July 13th 2016 but full of good jams and gear, so the wetness was only a minor inconvenience. The first three pitches aren't really memorable but route finding is easy, the massive scoop looms above, head for it!

With good rope drag management it is easy to link the first two pitches as described here and feels natural, it might be a bit of a rope stretcher with a 60m, we had a 70m and it was no problem.

Definitely bring triples in finger to thin hand size gear, the scoop pitch eats up gear. Conserve some cams in the BD .3-.5 range for the belay at the top. I managed to equalize four nuts in but it was a bit of a pain. There is a slung chockstone but it is up and left, not really convenient

Pitch 5 is a stemming crux above good gear which definitely favors taller folks. Jul 15, 2016